Happy Cover Reveal Day!
I am very happy to present to you the real cover for book 2 of my new Captivating Countesses series, Almost a Countess!
Isn’t it gorgeous? Danielle Fine knocked it out of the park on the first try this time! Thank you, Dani!
Exiled to a lonely estate in north Yorkshire, Dora Harper finds life satisfying, if appallingly routine—until an escaped Scottish prisoner begs for her help. Despite her misgivings, Dora takes him in, feeds and clothes him, and is amazed at his transformation into a very handsome, virile gentleman, who claims he is an earl. No matter who he really is, his very presence in her house could ruin her reputation for good. Trouble is, Dora might not mind that at all.
Phineas “Finn” MacDonald, the Earl of Aberfoyle, is on the run from a troop of soldiers bent on hauling him to London to be transported for a minor infraction. Dora’s miraculous appearance is a godsend for him, in more ways than one. The pretty young English woman is kind, compassionate, and willing to help him in his attempt to seek justice and evade the troop that is quickly closing in on him.
With their close proximity over several days, Finn’s desire to escape wanes, even as thoughts of Dora fill his mind. So when Dora suggests she pose as his wife to throw the soldiers off Finn’s trail, Finn wonders if he can persuade her to make the ruse a reality—before the army finds him and banishes him from Britain forever.
A quarter hour’s canter brought them to the inn, a hub of industry just as Mrs. Pierce’s shop in Potterne had been at her home in Wiltshire. Moments later Mrs. Jameson’s thirteen year-old son had helped her off the horse and was leading Gretchen to the watering trough at the side of the inn. “Thank you, Tom. I won’t be long.” Only long enough to secure a cup of something cool and one of Mrs. Jameson’s superior small cakes.
The innkeeper’s wife did not disappoint, and Dora was soon ensconced in the place of honor nearest the large front window, a mug of small ale and two of the heavenly cakes on a plate in front of her. “Much obliged, Mrs. Jameson.” Dora drank thirstily, then bit into the first cake. The currants gave it an extra sweetness that made Dora want to eat it slowly to savor the taste, while simultaneously wanting to gobble down the sugary treat. “I am never disappointed when I come here.”
“Ye’re lucky today lass.” The good woman plied the surrounding tables with a soapy rag. “Those’re me last two until tomorrow. A group of soldiers come through an hour or so ago like a plague of locusts and ate every scrap I had.” She nodded to Dora’s plate where the final cake remained. “Savin’ the two I held back.” She sent Dora a smile. “I knows you likes to come by of a Tuesday, Miss Harper, and that you likes my cakes particular.”
“Indeed I do, Mrs. Jameson.” Dora broke off a bite of the remaining cake and popped it into her mouth. If that was the case, and there were no more to be had, she intended to savor this cake. “What were soldiers doing here?”
“They asked me if I’d seen any ragged-looking men come by in the last day or two. Said they were looking for a man who’d escaped them several days ago. Takin’ him to London they were, when he gave ‘em the slip.” Mrs. Jameson nodded and grinned. “Good fer ‘im, I say. The army can be a cruel and vicious thing, mark my words, Miss Harper. I’m sure you’ve not seen the wrongful things they’re capable of, but I have. You don’t want no trouble with them, miss.”
“I certainly don’t, Mrs. Jameson.” She’d never had any communication with soldiers or the army in general. She’d always thought it a decent profession for a gentleman to enter, but she understood that all the regiments were not made up solely of gentlemen. Still, if they were searching for a prisoner, she’d pray they found him and swiftly. Such desperate men could be dangerous, especially to a woman virtually alone as she was.