Had She Learned Nothing? #MFRWHooks #MFRWAuthor #freebook

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This week’s hook is from my Western romance, Lily and the Gambler, currently free at Amazon through Saturday! Also available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited.

Free Aug 23-27


Callaway cocked an eyebrow. “What happened to your husband, Mrs. Albright?”

Lily bit her lip. She had revealed too much, but she hadn’t confided in anyone since leaving England, and her memories were eating away at her. It might help to talk about it, and she had a feeling King would understand.

“Nigel was on a winning streak. Another gentleman accused him of cheating. He was offended, of course. When the other man refused to apologize, Nigel challenged him to a duel. He was mortally wounded and died in my arms.” She swallowed the lump in her throat and blinked back the tears welling in her eyes. She refused to cry for him anymore.

“How awful for you.” His voice sounded gruffer than usual. “No wonder you feel the way you do about gambling.”

She fumbled in her bag for her handkerchief, but he was faster. She took the linen handkerchief he offered and dabbed at her eyes. It smelled of starch and tobacco and man. Comforting scents. How many times had she snuffled into Nigel’s handkerchief?

When Callaway placed an arm around her shoulders, Lily was tempted—oh, how she was tempted—to lay her head on his shoulder and give vent to a good cry. Then she remembered it wasn’t proper to weep on a man’s shoulder in public, so she wiped her eyes, straightened her back and stared out the window.

You’re a respectable widow now. Behave like one. And no more breaking into tears in public, though she knew her vow was easier said than done. Sadness had a way of sneaking up on her at inconvenient times like this. But holding in her emotions was becoming a strain. She wanted the freedom to sob, to laugh out loud, to sing and dance again.

Maybe even to give her heart to another man.

The realization almost made her gasp. Her emotions must be thawing out in the California sunshine. What else could have brought that on? Or was it the presence of the man sitting next to her?

No. She was promised to another, and she would not succumb to Callaway just because he was charming and attentive. Had she learned nothing in the last five years?

She looked at his handsome face and felt an unwelcome thrill go through her. Apparently not.

Lily and the Gambler coverBlurb:

A mail order bride sets out for a new life only to be tempted by a charming gambler. Can he convince her to pass up a sober businessman for a foot-loose card sharp?

After the death of her lover, Lily Penhallow has learned the cost of flaunting convention. Reinventing herself as a widow, she travels to California as the mail order bride of a prosperous mine owner. But on the riverboat from San Francisco, she meets an irresistible gambler. Against her better judgment, she finds herself drawn to the handsome charmer.

King Callaway believes that since life is a gamble, there’s no point in planning for the future. After meeting Lily, he knows he has found his Queen of Hearts. But she’s engaged to his uncle, a man King respects.

Lily finds herself torn between two men and two ways of life. Will she choose respectability or love?

Lily and the Gambler is a Second Chance at Love western historical romance.

If you like mail order brides, charming scoundrels and sensual romance, why not take a chance on Lily and the Gambler while it’s free?

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Taken Captive: Rogue’s Hostage #freebook #SnipSun #snippetsu

Welcome to Snippet Sunday, where authors post short excerpts from their writings. Today’s snippet is taken from my historical romance, Rogue’s Hostage, currently free at Amazon through July 5th.

Rogue's Hostage free July 1-5, 2022

Here’s a short snippet from the hero’s point of view:

Holding the towel to his shoulder, he walked over and stood by the bed to check on the woman, who was still in a faint. Despite her pallor, he noted that her skin was fine, her nose straight and thin. She had a lower lip just full enough to entice a man to taste it, and a stubborn chin that dared him to try.

She was perhaps not as lovely as he’d thought when he first saw her standing in the clearing—her hair, the color of corn silk, shining in the sunlight. Still, she was tall and fair, with slender curves and shapely ankles visible beneath the short skirts of a farm wife.

And now she was a widow. He stared down at the woman and silently vowed to see that no more innocents died today.

The woman gave a soft moan and opened her eyes. When she spotted him, she shrank back against the wall, arms folded defensively across her breast. His gut tightened. He didn’t enjoy terrifying women, but fear should make her easier to control. She had already proven unpredictable.

Terror, stark and vivid, glittered in her eyes. “Who are you?”

“My name is Jacques Corbeau, lieutenant in the army of France. And you are my captive.”

Rogues Hostage coverBlurb:

Fate delivered them into each other’s arms. Will love set them free?

The Pennsylvania frontier, 1758. Mara Dupré never got used to living in fear. As danger lurks in every shadow, supporting her husband’s farming efforts while France and Britain battle in the New World has worn her down. But her life shatters when an invading war party kills her spouse, and she is taken captive by a dashing French officer.

Lieutenant Jacques Corbeau thought he’d lost his honor years ago. But something about the spirited woman whose scalp he saved from his Indian partners tugs deeply on his desire to redeem his past. And now as they undertake a dangerous trek to return to the fort, he swears a silent oath to protect her with his life.

In desperation, Mara attempts to bargain her virtue in exchange for her freedom. Though Jacques would gladly bed the fetching widow, he’s torn between passion and reclaiming his lost honor.

Will their tragic union fall to a murderous musket, or can they find everlasting love?

Rogue’s Hostage is a riveting standalone historical romance. If you like strong characters, enemies-to-lovers stories, and richly detailed histories, then you’ll adore this sensual adventure.

Grab your free copy of Rogue’s Hostage to untie the bonds of desire today!

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You can find more great snippets at the Sunday Snippet Facebook Group.