Good morning and welcome to this week’s Midweek Tease, the blog made possible by the lovely and talented Angelica Dawson and a group of international authors who share a portion of their work with you each week. Tales range from super spicy to clean reads like mine. There’s something for everyone.
This week, I leave you with a last taste of The Price of Honor, Canadiana Series, Book One.
Guy glanced up to see the Caen carriage parked at the end of the wharf as it had been yesterday. Coming along the pier was the Chevalier d’Angrignon in conversation with another man who looked vaguely familiar.
“I very much doubt the lady would need to steal, as you put it, from her own home,” he sneered. “The goods she sent yesterday are all in the galley. Feel free to check each box, but rest assured, had there been a woman in any of them, the men would’ve noticed.” He chuckled. “Now, can you hurry up this nonsense? The women are cold.”
The lieutenant reddened. Before he could speak, two of his soldiers came on deck.
“Lieutenant,” the sergeant said, stopping before him and saluting. “Begging your pardon, sir, but the forecastle and beakhead are clear. There’s no one there.”
“Thank you,” the lieutenant answered. “Send some men below to search the lower decks. Don’t omit anything or heads will roll. Pay special attention to the galley and ask to see the goods sent from Caen. Send two men to search the quarterdeck as well.”
“Lieutenant, my mother and her niece are still in bed,” Guy interrupted. “Since I don’t want my family upset, I’ll accompany the men below.”
“As you wish,” the lieutenant answered. “Sergeant, have the men searching the quarterdeck wait for his lordship.” He turned to the women. “My sincerest apologies, mesdames. You may return to your cabins. I wish you all a safe voyage.” The lieutenant bowed.
Guy huffed out a relieved breath. Now that Sophie was safe, he need only worry about Isabelle and whatever surprise awaited him below.
Nodding their thanks, the women, wide-eyed and shivering, scrambled up the steps.
“Wait,” the chevalier cried, just as Sophie took her first step.
She halted, trembling so badly Guy could see her shake. Damn. They’d come so close.
“I have additional questions for you, madame,” he said walking over to the frightened girl.
Without warning, he grabbed the neckline of Sophie’s nightgown and pulled hard, ripping the linen down to her waist, allowing the fabric to gape open, exposing her breasts and the white birthmark beneath the right one.
Sophie cried out, hurrying to cover herself from the prying eyes of those on deck.
Guy, momentarily immobilized by the chevalier’s actions, rushed to cover her with the shawl that had fallen to the floor. Sophie buried her face in his chest and wept.
“For God’s sake d’Angrignon,” he said, holding the girl tightly to him. “What’s wrong with you? Is that any way to treat a lady?”
“My apologies, madame,” the chevalier answered, not sounding in the least apologetic. “I had to be sure.”
“Sure of what?” Guy muttered between clenched teeth, angry enough to kill the man on the spot. If he would do this to an innocent, what might he do to Isabelle?
The chevalier turned to Guy, his cold eyes boring into him.
“This one closely resembles her sister. I had to be sure they weren’t playing tricks,” he said, the ice in his words freezing Guy’s blood.
“And what would your fiancée have done with her sibling? Toss her overboard to take her place?”
That’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed looking into the past.
What is the price of honor? For Isabelle de Caen Gaudier, it’s disobeying the king, leaving her home, and giving up her identity.
When King Louis orders Isabelle to marry the Chevalier d’Angrignon, she’s appalled. There is no way she can obey and wed the man she believes may be involved in her husband’s murder and her father’s poisoning. Add to that, the monster may be paving his way to the throne of France for the children she’ll bear him by killing all those ahead of her in line, something she can’t allow. For the sake of her honor, Isabelle de Caen must die.
Hoping everyone will believe she drowned in the millpond, Isabelle disguises herself and sneaks aboard the ship taking her beloved cousin Sophie to the New World. That’s where the charged of treason against her husband originated, and that’s where Isabelle hopes to find the answers to clear his name and implicate the chevalier. But her plans threaten to fail when Guy Poirier, an old friend and her first love, finds her hiding under his bed.
Guy knows Pierre Gaudier isn’t a traitor. The man was on an errand for the governor-general of New France, bringing him critical information, but he was killed before he could deliver it. Someone doesn’t want the king to know what’s really happening in the colony. When Guy finds Isabelle hiding under his bed, he jumps at the chance to help the woman he’s always loved and clear his friend’s name, and if Isabelle can some day return his affections, that would be the best reward he could get.
But things are far more complicated than either of them suspects. After examining information found aboard a vessel attacked possibly by pirates and a wampum belt pointing to an alliance between the Iroquois Confederacy and tribes to the south, Guy fears for the lives of all those in the colony. There’s more than one conspiracy afoot, and with Isabelle at his side, he seeks to find the men behind it all to save not only the woman he loves, but the place he now calls home.
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