Wendy May Andrews is celebrating another book! So of course I told her I’d help share the news!
Wendy hosted my blog a while back, sharing her Path to Publication story. And now she’s got another book to celebrate, Sweet Surrender.
Can a lost love be rekindled?
When Lady Julianna ended her engagement to Lord Ackerley, Viscount Beaumont, during her first Season, she left London vowing never to return.
Seven years later she returns as chaperone to her niece and unfortunately Lord Ackerley is also in Town for the Season. Moving around the small circle of the ton stirs up feelings she has kept hidden. Embarrassed and ashamed that she made a mistake in ending their previous relationship, she tries to avoid further contact. Ackerley, stunned by her second rejection, pursues her to discover the truth.
Is it ever too late for a second chance at love?
Julianna felt herself grow faint for a moment at the sound of her name spoken in that deep baritone. Despite the incredulity coloring his tone, she would recognize that voice anywhere. Of course, it was easier to handle due to the fact that she had been both expecting and dreading just such an encounter.
“Good afternoon, my lord.” Proud that her voice did not betray any of her weaknesses, she prayed that her face did not give away her reaction to his rugged beauty. Time had been kind to Viscount Beaufort. He was handsomer than ever, blasted man. Gone was any trace of youthful fleshiness. His high cheekbones were highlighted by the traces of laugh lines around his eyes — eyes that were not laughing now. Their grey depths were a block of ice.
During their previous association, one of the things that had attracted her to him was his size. She had enjoyed feeling dainty and feminine next to his athletic build. Now it felt as though he towered over her, and she felt it put her at a disadvantage. Julianna tried to ignore the sensation.
“Rumor had it that you vowed never to return to London, but here you are.”
Julianna wanted to cringe at the coolness in his voice but managed to contain her reaction. Offering a polite, cool smile of her own, she wished fervently that she had remained inside the fripperies shop with her niece and their maid instead of escaping to the busy street for a break from the tedium of shopping. She had thought the cool air of the spring afternoon would be a relief. It would have been if she had remained alone.
“Yes, I had made that vow in my youthful haste, but the need has arisen to be here, so here I am.”
“Are you here for the Season?” he asked, or rather demanded, his tone turning fierce and his arctic gaze sharpening to scrutinise her.
His almost insolent examination made her wish she were wearing some of her newly acquired finery instead of a less than fashionable, though still serviceable, frock. She was glad that her maid had at least taken pains with her hair before she left the house for the day. She had to remind herself quickly of his question in order to answer him, hoping she would not appear a simpleton at the delay.
“I am,” she answered simply but then felt compelled to elaborate. “My niece is here for her debut, and I am to be her chaperone.”
It would seem the viscount could not keep the incredulity from returning to his face. “You are going to chaperone your niece?” he asked with unmistakable emphasis on the “you” as though he considered her completely inappropriate for such a role.
Julianna squelched her residual feelings of anger and attraction toward him, maintaining her dignity with an effort of will. “That is correct, my lord. So no doubt I shall see you about. I wish you a good afternoon. I must return to my niece.”
With those coolly uttered words, Julianna turned her back on her former fiancé and returned to the shop. As the door closed behind her with a small tinkle of the bell, she braced herself against the wall in order to rally her senses and bring the frantic beat of her heart under control.
Rolling her eyes heavenward she asked herself rhetorically, Why does a man I vowed to hate forever have to be the only one who causes this reaction? It is nonsensical! And I will not have it.
Pasting a smile upon her face, she entered fully into the shop and collected her niece and their purchases.
About the Author:
Wendy May Andrews has been in love with the written word since she learned to read at the age of five. She has been writing for almost as long but hasn’t been sharing those stories with anyone but her mother until recently. This is Wendy’s fifth book with Clean Reads.
Wendy can be found with her nose in a book in a cozy corner of downtown Toronto. She is happily married to her own real-life hero, who is also her best friend and favorite travel companion. Being a firm believer that every life experience contributes to the writing process, Wendy is off planning her next trip.
She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website, on Twitter or Facebook.