THE STORY BLURBAmidst murder and betrayal, destiny and hearts collide when scandal forces a viscount and a gypsy noblewoman to marry in this Regency romance, sprinkled with suspense and humor.
Part Romani, part English noblewoman, Evangeline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton, the Viscount Warrick, could ever love—an immoral wanton responsible for his brother’s and father’s deaths. She thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard, who after setting out to cause her downfall, finds himself forced to marry her—snared in the trap of his own making.
When Vangie learns the marriage ceremony itself may have been a ruse, she flees to her gypsy relatives, declaring herself divorced from Ian under Romani law. He pursues her to the gypsy encampment, and when the handsome gypsy king offers to take Ian’s place in Vangie’s bed, jealousy stirs hot and dangerous.
At last, under a balmy starlit sky, Ian and Vangie breech the chasm separating them. Peril lurks though. Ian’s the last in his line, and his stepmother intends to dispose of the newlyweds so her daughter can inherit his estate. Only by trusting each other can they overcome scandal and murderous betrayal.
“A brilliant tale combining Regency romance with exotic Romani culture.”
SOUNDS GREAT, HUH? LET'S GET A LITTLE EXCERPT...
He drew her hand through the curve of his elbow. Tucking it near his side, he covered her fingers possessively with his. “Do you feel strong enough to take a stroll in the garden? They’re untidy, but still quite charming.”“Oh, yes. I’ve admired the grounds from the tower window—”
She changed the subject abruptly. “I’d love to go outdoors. It’s a beautiful day.”
He guided her onto the rear terrace. Vangie stood gazing at the beauty before her. Weathered, whimsical stone statuary speckled the gardens and pathways, though several were chipped or missing limbs.
Apparently, at one time, one of the gardeners was adept with sheers. Several evergreens had been sculpted into fanciful topiaries, though it was difficult now to determine precisely what some of the shapes were.
“Ian, is that a horse?” She pointed to the four-legged bush.
“Indeed. And over there is what used to be a bear.” He indicated a large humped shrub with blobs for ears. “And that one is. . .”
“Don’t tell me. A pig?”
“Madam, you insult me. Pig indeed. That, my dear lady is a noble hunting hound.”
She giggled. “It has no nose or tail, and it is short and fat.”
He cocked his head and studied the shrub. A deep chuckle rumbled through his chest.
“A pig-hound, then.”
“Can we walk the gardens?” Three weeks of staring at them from the tower window made Vangie eager to explore the gardens in person.
Ian flashed a charming smile. “What and leave these zoological masterpieces?”
Vangie laughed. She’d not felt this carefree in ages. His good humor was contagious. And the sun felt marvelous. Closing her eyes, she turned her face upward, savoring its warm rays. A soft kiss brushed her mouth. Her eyes flew open.
She stared at his finely sculpted lips. They had been warm and soft on hers. Her tongue trailed the seam of her mouth trying to capture the sensation of his lips on hers again.
His knowing chuckle drew her from her reverie. “I thought you wanted to see the estate?”
Available at: Amazon
AND NOW FOR THE JUICY DETAILS....
Alexa: All right, Collette. Let's get to the important stuff. Where do you read and how often?Collette: I do most of my reading in bed. I like to snuggle with my doxies and escape into a good book. Lately, it’s been almost every night. That’s not always true. I have dry spells where I’m just too busy to read.
(Collette's Writing Room)
Collette: There are actually several. I grew up on the Oregon coast so sound of the ocean and seagull is very comforting to me. I also like the sound of running water, so I have a pond right outside my bedroom window that runs all the time. I love waking up in the middle of the night and hearing it burbling. And finally, songbirds early in the morning. There’s no better way to wake up.
Alexa: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?
Alexa: What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?Collette: I’m more of an introvert than extrovert, though with modern technology, that can be hidden. I have a great sense of humor, but you have get to know me before I open up.
Alexa: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?Collette: I do, only to see if there are patterns to what reviewers like and don’t like about my writing. I glean what I can to make me a stronger writer and a better story teller and disregard the rest.
Collette: I sleep with five dachshunds. I’ve slept with dogs my entire life, so to me, it’s no big deal. I do know people who are horrified by it though.
Alexa: What three things are, at this moment, in your heroine’s purse, satchel, reticule, weapons belt or amulet bag (whatever she carries)?
Collette: Vangie always has her dagger on her, an embroidered hanky with a crocheted edge her dead mother made her, and a pencil and paper for sketching.
Alexa: What will always make you smile, even on a bad day?Collette: Birds singing at the feeders in my yard, my doxies playing, and a fabulous cup of coffee.
Alexa: What’s something unusual you found while researching your book?Collette: Romani are fastidiously ritualistic about cleanliness.
Collette: I loath mushrooms and peas. Bleck. Strawberries, sharp cheese, and smoked salmon rank high on the list of foods I love.
Alexa’s Gotta Ask: What’s the strangest gift you’ve ever received?Collette's Gotta Answer: The first bouquet I ever got from my hubby before we were married was a handful of pheasant tail feathers. Last year for Christmas, he bought me a robot vacuum. I’ve become quite attached to Romeo. Hey, if I was going to have a robot maid, it was going to be a man.
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