My newest release can be found in the boxed set Second Chance Loves: A Regency Romance Set, available for free on Kindle Unlimited or in e-book for .99 on Amazon here. I’ve been sharing snippets of my offering, Heart of Decadence, on this blog (Chapter 1 can be read above) and via my posts each Sunday to Weekend Writing Warriors.
So this week, I thought I’d introduce you to the other five stories that comprise Second Chance Loves. The premise of the set is women who are not in the first bloom, who have loved and lost, or in some manner needed a second chance to find love.
Below is an excerpt from A Letter from a Lady:
“It’s what you wanted, ain’t it, m’lord?”
Adam Kendrick, Viscount Morgan, considered the single sheet of writing paper the man known as Dirty Tom had proffered. A fine feminine hand filled the page, the words writ boldly, as though the passion in them had driven their writer to bear down on the pen. Mine own dearest husband, he read. How long the nights stretch when we are apart. How empty my arms without you to hold. I lie here beside the place where you should be, my head full of the words I should say when we are together. But when you are with me, words flee, and I turn timid. Love makes me mute, my lips silenced by your kisses.
Adam smoothed his hand over the carefully penned words. What would it be like to have a woman love you that way, so that her whole being seemed poured out onto the page of her letter? He gave Dirty Tom a sharp look. “Are you sure this is from DeLae?”
Tom squared his shoulders. “Filched it from his trunk meself, when he was in his cups. It’s got his real name on it, see?” he leaned over and stabbed a dirty finger at the address at the top, Lord Delaware.
Adam dropped his gaze to the signature at the bottom of the page. Your Clarissa, Waverley House, Sussex.
“It’s what you were after, ain’t it? Something to prove who this DeLae chap really is?” Tom cackled. “A titled gent and all. Who’d have thought it?”
Adam slid the letter into the top drawer of his desk and folded his hands in front of him in a deceptive appearance of calm. “When you were with DeLae, did you see a boy with him? A lad of eighteen, with dark hair and eyes?”
Tom nodded. “I saw the young gent, but only for a bit. He was with another of DeLae’s bunch, outside in the wagon yard whilst DeLae was inside drinkin’ his fill.”
A pulse throbbed at Adam’s temples. He took a gold sovereign from his purse and handed it to the man. “Very well. You may go.”
Tom squinted and rubbed the coin between his thumb and forefinger. “Well, now, m’lord, seems to me that letter ought to be worth a bit more, seein’ as how it was written by a lady and all. And how it contains such tender sentiments.” He moved closer, lowering his voice. “Might be the woman in question might not like knowin’ a stranger is readin’ words meant personal like.”
Adam scowled. The man made him sound like the basest sort of voyeur. With barely contained fury, he pinched a silver sixpence from the moneybag and tossed it across the desk. “Out of here, before I throw you out.”
Tom blanched at the menacing tone, and backed toward the door. When he was gone, Adam took out the letter again. The monogram at the top of the page depicted a stylized W over a wavy line. Remember, while we are apart, you carry my heart with you, he read. How had a scoundrel like Jacques DeLae, nee Jared Delaware, won such a woman?
But then, how had his brother Devon ended up with the man? Adam laid the letter aside. What would lead a young man from a good family to take up with a gang of smugglers and thieves?
Deserted by her husband, Lady Clarissa Delaware has opened her home as a respite for ailing gentry, but her newest lodger is a mystery man who seems far too interested in her. Will dangerous intrigue and forbidden passion unite Viscount Adam Kendrick and Lady Clarissa in a bond sure to cause scandal?
Meet the Author:
Cynthia Sterling decided to be an author when she was nine years old and read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. A lover of books, history, chocolate, and flowers, Cynthia is the author of a dozen award-winning historical novels.