Welcome to day five of
Second Chance Love
Meet the Authors Week!
My newest release, Heart of Decadence, 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 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 Lady of Courage:
To elope to France with the man you love must surely be the most adventurous, the most exciting, the most reckless thing a young lady can do. Elizabeth, now a respectable mother who had recently marked her forty-second birthday, could only dimly remember the impulse that had led her to escape from a London ball in the middle of the night. At the time, she had been motivated by an all-consuming passion for the dashing Honourable John Milford, known as Jack—and the knowledge that her father would never countenance her marrying him.
She and Jack, with all the confidence of youth, had been convinced that all would be well. They would be together, and surely Elizabeth’s father, faced with the inevitability of their marriage, would come to accept it in time.
The reality had been rather different. Elizabeth shook her head at the memories. How foolish I was! And how young! Oh, she had never doubted Jack’s integrity, or his love for her. But he had been, she now knew, just as naïve as she, just as unsure of the ways of the world. Only a few weeks after their arrival in France, he had gone off to fight in the Flanders campaign, promising to return in ‘a very few days—a week at most.’ He had been dead within a sennight.
Eight months later, and just weeks before her twenty-second birthday, Elizabeth had given birth to her daughter. My Juliana! she thought fiercely. What a daughter I have!
‘Good day, Mama.’ Juliana entered the parlour and stooped to kiss her. Elizabeth felt the usual rush of pride. Juliana was now a beautiful, accomplished young lady. As well as being beautiful, she was passionate, headstrong, and perfect in every way. Well, of course, occasionally Elizabeth might wish for her daughter to be a little calmer, or quieter, or amenable— she felt a little guilty at the thought.
Juliana was every inch her father’s daughter—Jack’s impulsiveness and sense of adventure had been one of the aspects of his character that had seemed most attractive to the twenty-year-old Elizabeth. Just now, she had difficulty in recalling exactly why she had found such traits so admirable.
‘Mama, I have had the most wonderful idea!’
Elizabeth’s heart sank. Some of her greatest trials had ensued from statements just like this. She maintained her normal calm demeanour, asking simply, ‘Oh? What might that be?’
Juliana crossed to the desk in their little parlour, fetching the pile of letters from her best friend, Charlotte. The girls had attended school together and became firm friends. Elizabeth approved of Charlotte—her calm reasonableness was the perfect foil to Juliana’s passionate nature.
‘You remember I told you of Charlotte’s recent marriage?’
‘Of course. She married the Earl of Shalford, did she not? What a triumph for her! And indeed, no-one could begrudge her this good fortune, for she is one of the most amiable young ladies of my acquaintance.’
Juliana beamed at this praise of her favourite. ‘Indeed, Mama. Well, she has invited us both to visit her in her new home.’
Elizabeth’s heart immediately skipped a beat. ‘In England?’ She could feel the colour draining from her face.
‘Well, yes, Mama.’ Juliana’s tone was patient. ‘That is where she lives now—in the earl’s country estate, Chadcombe, in Surrey.’
‘Oh, no!’ said Elizabeth reflexively. ‘I—we—it’s impossible!’
Juliana eyed her levelly. ‘But why not, Mama? We have never visited England, the land of your birth. This would be our opportunity to do so. You know I love living in Brussels, and we have a great many friends here, but this would be the perfect opportunity to visit England.’
Elizabeth could feel anxiety flutter to life inside her. ‘It’s out of the question!’ How can I possibly go back now and face the shame? How could I bring such disgrace on my beloved daughter? Living in Brussels all these years had enabled Elizabeth to gloss over the details of her marriage and Juliana’s birth. Why, Juliana herself had no idea of the shame surrounding her conception! And so, it must remain.
Following a scandalous elopement and a cloud of mystery over the legitimacy of her child, Elizabeth has spent years in exile, hiding away from society.
Now back in London for the first time, can she find the courage to regain her place and find love?
Meet the Author:
Catherine Tinley is an award winning author who writes witty, heartwarming, Regency love stories. Her first book, Waltzing with the Earl, won the prestigious Rita® Award for Best Historical Romance.
She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start.
Remember to grab your copy now from Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!
Meet Second Chance Love author Cynthia Sterling here!
Meet Second Chance Love author Tabetha Waite here!
Meet Second Chance Love author Wendy LaCapra here!
Meet Second Chance Love author Annabelle Anders here!