Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
This week I’m moving along to my current WIP, Almost a Countess , book 2 of my new series, Captivating Countesses.
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 criminal act. 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.
When they reached the grassy verge at the edge of the field that marked the farthest point of Mr. Hawkins’s tenancy, Dora pulled Gretchen down to a jog, then to a walk. She was as winded as the animal she rode. Unaware she’d been panting the whole time since leaving the farmhouse, Dora gulped in huge lungfuls of air. “Good girl, Gretchen.” She leaned down to pat the horse’s sweaty neck. “I think it’s best if we head for that stand of trees just ahead and let us both catch their breaths in the shade.”
The short walk calmed Dora a measure. She’d no business allowing Mr. Hawkins to alarm her so badly. Should she happen upon the soldiers riding about searching for the prisoner they would likely question her to see if she’d seen the man and since she hadn’t, they’d allow her to continue on her way. Surely there would be an officer with the troop who would make certain his men acted honorably toward her.
And a little more for good measure…
She should have asked Mr. Hawkins if there had been a captain or lieutenant among the soldiers. A trickle of dread made its way down her spine. A young woman was never supposed to ride without escort of some sort. At the very least a groom, although what Alfred alone could do against a group of five men didn’t bear thinking about.