I’m very happy to announce the publication of my latest historical romance, The Glass Heart.
Blurb: After Merrill’s widowed mother becomes engaged to an earl, the fate of their respective estates hangs in the balance. A battle of wits ensues when the earl’s arrogant son shows up to make demands. Despite their prickly start, once Merrill discovers she and the viscount have both been painfully crossed in love, she begins to feel a measure of empathy. Unfortunately for their burgeoning relationship, a tempestuous drama threatens to tear them apart forever.
Merrill lifted her chin as she strode toward the house. As she approached the drawing room, she was dismayed to hear the sound of piano music — a song from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers.
“Cheeky devil,” she muttered.
Despite her irritation, Merrill plastered a serene smile to her lips as she sailed into the room. A young man was sitting at the baby grand piano and she was obliged to raise her voice to be heard. “Excuse me?”
Lord Wharton broke off playing and rose to his feet. “You must be Miss Cawthorne? Good afternoon.” He picked up a snifter of amber liquid from the piano lid and lifted it up as if in a toast. “Thank you for making me feel welcome here at Ravenell.”
Despite his words, the man’s eyes glittered with obvious and inexplicable dislike.
“If I have made you feel welcome, it was entirely inadvertent.” Merrill returned his glare with one of her own. “You’ve not been invited, so what is the meaning of this intrusion?”
“Forgive me but I have been invited — by your mother,” With his left hand, Lord Wharton extricated a letter from his jacket pocket. “This letter of introduction is addressed to you.”
As Merrill crossed the room to pluck the letter from his fingers, he swirled the amber liquid with appreciation. “I usually don’t drink before dinner, but this brandy is lovely.”
She bristled. “It’s Armagnac from Gascony, and it’s a very rare vintage.”
“Mmm.” He took a long swallow. “C’est magnifique.”
Merrill discovered the letter was in her mother’s hand and did indeed appear to be a letter of introduction. She read the entire missive through twice before glancing at her unwanted guest.
“You are Lord Seacombe’s son, then.” Merrill gritted her teeth. “I am to show you every courtesy.”
Lord Wharton bowed. “I am delighted to meet you, Miss Cawthorne — or should I call you sister?”
“We are not related yet, so Miss Cawthorne will do.” She peered at him. “Why have you come?”
He put the snifter down so hard she thought he might have broken the stem. “In contemplation of marriage to your mother, my father may sell his estate out from under me.”
“That’s unfortunate, sir, but what does that have to do with me?”
He fixed her with his gaze. “In contemplation of marriage to my father, your mother may sell Ravenell instead.”
Merrill gasped. “What? No!”
“It will be one or the other. Neither my father nor your mother have decided yet.”
“That’s not possible.”
“It is not only possible, but from what I overheard, they have indicated the sale of one estate is a certainty.” Lord Wharton’s eyes narrowed. “If we do not find a way to stop this travesty of a union, one of us will be deprived of our home.”
“I’m not sure what you expect me to do.”
“Tell your mother to break her engagement.”
“You’re mad! I would never presume to tell my mother what to do.” Merrill frowned. “If you are so determined, why don’t you make your demands to your father?”
“My father keeps his own counsel.”
“So does my mother!”
“In that case, we are at an impasse — for now. In the meantime, I intend to acquaint myself with Ravenell. For all I know, I will be living here before long.”
“What a ghastly notion.”
Lord Wharton raised an eyebrow. “I couldn’t agree more.”
The Glass Heart is available at Amazon, in both ebook and paperback format. Happy reading!