Found battered and near death, a mysterious raven-haired beauty brings turmoil and intrigue into the lives of the Chandlers in post-Revolutionary America when she wakes up and reveals a shocking truth—the brutal attack left her with no memory. Immediately drawn to her fiery spirit and captivating violet eyes, Zachary Chandler vows to find the man responsible and learn her identity. The only clues—her pronounced English accent and a gold pocket watch with the King’s crest—point to a conspiracy that will either reveal her to be a traitorous British spy or an innocent victim. As dark forces work furiously to eliminate her, Zach struggles to uncover the truth while protecting his heart. Is his mystery lady the angel she appears to be or the ultimate key to his downfall?
Targeted Age Group:: 30-60
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I am a lifelong lover of historical romance novels, so stories based on historical time periods and characters come very naturally to me. I focused on the Revolutionary War era for this particular book partly because I haven’t run across many books set in that time period. I thought it would be interesting to use an out of the ordinary setting.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I usually decide on the core characteristics for my characters before I start writing, but the deeper details often evolve as the story progresses. At times, the characters end up significantly different than my original vision.
Elizabeth didn’t like the wicked gleam in his eyes when he made his way toward her. “Stay back!” she ordered imperiously. Zach merely laughed in response. It was with great relief that she noticed the study door opening at that exact moment. Zach’s attention was temporarily diverted by Missy carrying what appeared to be a picnic basket.
“You’re going on a picnic?” Elizabeth asked as she practically ran across the room to Missy’s side. “How nice.”
Missy gave her a puzzled look. “Actually, Hannah asked me to bring this to Zach. He told her he was taking you on a picnic.”
“Oh,” Elizabeth said in surprise before her eyes narrowed in thought. So he wanted to take her on a picnic, did he? Maybe this was exactly the leverage she needed to finally get some answers out of the obstinate man. “I have so many puzzling questions on my mind right now. I really don’t see how I could possibly relax and enjoy a picnic. What a shame all that food will be wasted.” She sighed dramatically.
Zach rolled his eyes at her blatant attempt to manipulate him. “It won’t be wasted. You’re coming with me,” he ordered.
Elizabeth’s spine stiffened as she immediately bristled at his tone. Who did he think he was? He didn’t have to bend at all, but she was expected to do whatever he wanted her to do? It wasn’t to be borne. “Not bloody likely,” she said stubbornly. “When you decide you’re ready to talk to me, I’ll be happy to accompany you on a picnic—not before.” She turned to stomp out of the study.
She never made it to the door. Without any warning, she was thrown over Zach’s shoulder like a sack of grain. She viciously pounded his back with her fists, but the dratted man didn’t even appear to notice. He merely smiled and politely thanked Missy for the picnic basket before carrying her, kicking and screaming, out the door.
Poor Missy. If Elizabeth hadn’t been so busy screaming, she would have had a good laugh at the expression on her friend’s face. It was really quite comical.
Zach didn’t put her down, even after she had finished her long string of insults and stopped pounding on him. He decided she deserved to be carried upside down all the way to the pool. Maybe all that blood rushing to her head would do her some good. When he reached the pool and swung her around, she swayed precariously from the dizziness, but when he tried to steady her, she slapped his hands away spitefully.
“Temper, temper,” he said with a chuckle.
Her only response was a steady glare.
“So you’re not speaking to me?”
She gave him another glare before stomping to a nearby tree and sitting down in a huff. The nerve of the man! He was impossible, and she definitely wasn’t speaking to him. He would be lucky if he ever heard her utter another word for as long as he lived. She was finished trying to argue her way around him. He was never going to listen to anything she had to say, so she might as well give him silence.
Unperturbed, Zach whistled as he went about spreading a blanket and setting out the food. The sound was grating on her last nerve when he finally spoke. “Are you sure you won’t join me?” He patted the blanket next to him invitingly.
Her only response was another violet glare.
“I love this place. It’s so quiet and peaceful here.” He took a deep breath of the fresh air and sighed with pleasure. “Yes. Now that I won’t have to listen to your endless chatter all afternoon, this day just might be perfect,” he taunted.
She still didn’t respond, although he could have sworn he heard what sounded suspiciously like a growl coming from her direction. He would just have to try harder. This was far too much fun to surrender.
“You know,” he said as he reclined back onto the blanket, “just in case you change your mind and turn back into a chatterbox, I think I’ll pass on the food for now and take advantage of the quiet to have a nap.” With that bait still dangling in the air, he immediately closed his eyes and pretended to fall asleep.
Elizabeth ground her teeth in frustration, not believing for one second that he actually intended to go to sleep. She knew he was lying there, quietly waiting for her to attempt some sort of retribution, so he could catch her in the act. She wouldn’t disappoint him. She just had to come up with some way to get even with him that he wouldn’t anticipate. But what?
She studied the area around her for an idea, but she couldn’t think of anything that he wouldn’t be expecting. There had to be something. She was staring at the rocks that reached out over the water when she saw the snake. She was just gathering breath for a good scream when she realized it was merely a piece of vine and not a snake at all, but it gave her an excellent idea. It just might work.
Zach literally flew off the ground when Elizabeth’s terrified scream pierced the air. “What’s wrong?” he bellowed, ready to fend off an attack.
“A snake!” she screeched.
“A snake? Where?” Zach searched the ground around her but could see nothing that resembled the offensive creature.
“Up there! On those rocks!” Her voice was shrill.
“I don’t see it.” His eyes scanned the rocks for any sign of a snake. “It probably heard your scream and is long gone,” he said with a chuckle.
“It slithered up to the top,” Elizabeth insisted. “You have to kill it!”
“If that’s true, it’s gone. You’re safe,” he assured her in a soothing voice.
“But the children!” Elizabeth insisted desperately, afraid he wasn’t going to fall for her scheme after all. “If you don’t kill it, it could still be here, lurking and waiting for a chance to strike when the children come to play!”
He opened his mouth to tell her that killing this one particular snake wouldn’t ensure there wouldn’t be others in the future, but one look at her face convinced him it wouldn’t do any good. He had never seen her look so terrified. He sighed deeply, paused to pick up a large stick, and cautiously made his way to the top of the rocks. He certainly didn’t want to get bitten by the damn thing. That was the last thing he needed.
He was peering around curiously, searching for any places the creature might have slithered into, when the shove came from behind him. He teetered precariously for a long moment before finally losing his balance and toppling into the water below.
Elizabeth released her pent up breath in a loud whoosh. For the briefest of seconds, she thought she hadn’t pushed him hard enough, and he wasn’t going to fall. Watching him sputtering in the water below more than made up for her moment of panic. Now this was a glorious feeling!
“English!” His shout was loud enough to frighten the stoutest of men. Elizabeth merely giggled.
He looked like a drowned rat. She couldn’t contain her guffaws of laughter as he glared up at her, water dripping off his chin. She could feel her anger and frustration melt away in favor of the giddiness she felt at getting the best of him. This was marvelous. She was laughing so hard she didn’t realize how close to the edge she was until her right foot met nothing but air.
Zach watched her lose her footing and briefly thought about catching her before abruptly stepping out of the way. Let her take a dunking. She deserved it.
She sputtered to the surface and immediately clutched him for support. “The water only comes to your waist right here. You could have caught me, you know,” she pointed out with mild reproach.
“I suppose I could have, but it was a childish prank you pulled, and children do so love the water,” he drawled.
“You’re just angry that I bested you.” Her violet eyes sparkled devilishly at him.
He was about to disagree vehemently with her conclusion when his eyes dropped to her breasts, straining against the wet fabric of her gown. “Maybe I just wanted to see you wet,” he said huskily as his arms wrapped around her waist to pull her closer.
“Zach! I’m shocked!” Elizabeth feigned an outraged expression.
He ignored her to nibble on her neck. “But I haven’t done anything shocking—yet.”
Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
Is this book in Kindle Unlimited? Yes
Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought! All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.