Today I’m revealing the cover for my upcoming release
A Countess of Convenience.
Isn’t it gorgeous? Danielle Fine, my editor and cover designer outdid herself. 🙂
Following a tragic accident, an unconscious Judith Harper is returned to her childhood home only to awaken to a horribly changed world: her husband is dead and her child has been given to her in-laws to raise.
As Judith regains her strength, she makes plans to reclaim her child, but to her dismay, the law of the land might not grant her guardianship unless she can show herself to be the better choice, which means she may need to marry again and quickly. Not only is Judith not ready for another husband, but she is newly widowed and will be part of a scandal should she wed before her year of mourning is up.
Still, if she hopes to have her daughter with her once more, she will have to make a marriage of convenience, but to whom?
John, Lord Haxby has loved Judith since childhood, and because of that he let her marry another eight years ago. Now she is free of her odious husband, he hopes he can persuade her that he is the only man who can make her truly happy. However, he discovers Judith is more than interested in Lord Fitzhugh, the man who saved her life. Can he stand aside once more and watch the love of his life make a grave mistake, or will he step up and show the woman he loves he is not a convenient solution to her problem, but the perfect solution?
“Do you truly think she is cured, my lord?”
“I think she is close to it. I will call again tomorrow. If the headaches have truly gone and her hand is as strong as it was today, then I believe you will be seeing less of me in future, Mrs. Welbourne.”
“Except for social occasions, my lord?” Dora spoke up brightly and cut her gaze at Judith. “I hope we would see you at any neighborhood gatherings. Or perhaps a dinner party.”
“To be sure, Miss Harper.” Miles beamed at her. “I would never refuse an invitation to dine here at Ruecroft Manor, should one be extended.”
“Indeed, Lord Farringdon,” Mamma clutched the necklace at her throat. “We would be honored if you would dine with us Thursday evening.”
“It would be my pleasure, Mrs. Welbourne.”
“Who is that?” From the corner of her eye, Judith caught sight of a figure, dressed in a well-cut suit of dark blue, striding down the pathway toward the folly and her heart unaccountably sped up again. “Oh, I believe it is John.”
“I was wondering when he would return.” Mamma sipped her tea, her gaze resting uncomfortably on Judith. “He always visits regularly when he is in residence at Donningham.” She smiled triumphantly. “How fortunate I asked Inman to lay in a supply of cups.”
John’s lanky form hurried toward them, a joyous smile on his face. “Ladies, my lord. At last I have discovered your hideaway.” He bowed to them all. “Mrs. Welbourne, Judith, Miss Harper.” He paused and his smile dimmed slightly. “Farringdon.”
The man’s timing could not have been better as far as Judith was concerned. She could change the subject easily now. “What brings you here, John?”
“I stopped by to ask your father about the planting. My steward had mentioned Mr. Welbourne might be changing his wheat crop.” John grinned at her. “Deadly boring stuff for ladies, I suppose. Although you might be interested, Farringdon.”
Miles shrugged. “I’m too new to this side of owning property to have a decent opinion. I fear I’ve been leaving everything to my steward and hoping for the best.”
“We three should make an appointment to thrash out what will be best for us and our tenants.” A smug smile flitted over John’s face, then disappeared as he turned to her. “I see you are mending very well now, Judith.” His avid gaze seemed to take in all of her, from top to toe and inside to out. “You are enjoying the weather I see.”
“We all are, John. It is a truly lovely day.” Judith leaned her head back and savored the soft breeze. Spring had always been her favorite season.
“I am surprised you haven’t brought Anna out with you.”
Judith’s head snapped forward. “What did you say?”
Immediately on guard, John glanced from Mama to Dora, their faces suddenly drained of all color. “I simply wondered why your daughter wasn’t enjoying the day with you, my dear. Is she perhaps napping?”
“My daughter?” A sharp pain shot through Judith’s head and she pressed her hand to the spot Miles had operated on. “I have a daughter?” She gripped her head tightly, willing the pain to subside. She couldn’t think with the pain throbbing, making her face go numb. An image of a young girl, perhaps five or six, in a simple white dress, her golden hair hanging around her face rose to mind. With a sigh of relief, Judith said, “Anna. My daughter’s name is Anna.” Immediately, all the memories of the little girl flooded her mind.
“Yes, my dear.” Mamma had clutched her arm, which helped steady Judith. “She has just turned seven years old.”
Judith nodded and continued to rub her head. Perhaps the soothing motion would bring back more memories. Memories past this last week. But other than the image of her child’s face, she had no recollection of seeing the girl here at Ruecroft. “Is she napping as John suggested?”
Mamma and Dora exchanged a look that frightened Judith more than the news of her husband’s death ever had.
Slowly she rose and leaned toward the two panicked women. “Mamma, Dora, where is my daughter?”
If you’d like to pre-order A Countess of Convenience, it is available on Amazon for its pre-order price of $2.99. After the release it will rise to its normal price of $4.99.
A digital chapter book containing an excerpt (Chapter 1) from A Countess of Convenience titled A Return to Life released on Monday, February 22nd and is available on Smashwords for FREE and on Amazon for .99.
CAPTIVATING COUNTESSES SERIES