on April 17th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
In the City of Love, she has nothing left to lose except her heart...
Penniless and stranded abroad, Lady Adele Sinclair’s survival depends on her brother’s ability to charm the ladies. After Adele meets the man of her dreams and he makes an offer of marriage, she’s certain her struggles have come to an end. However, when one of her brother’s assignations turns dangerous, the siblings must flee for their lives, separating Adele from the only man she has ever loved.
He is just another fool for love...
Jaded by betrayal, Marcus Fletcher spends his days at the Drayton Theatre, a small London Playhouse, attempting to forget the lady who left him. When Lady Adele shows up at the theatre expecting him to honor their betrothal agreement, he must decide if he will play the fool for her again or possibly lose the only woman who has ever been able to break down the walls around his heart.
A Lady to Remember
Marcus regarded her grimly. “This way, my lady.”
He led her around a corner and down a dim corridor that eventually brought them back stage.
“You seem to know your way around the theatre,” she said.
“I’ve spent a fair amount of time here.”
Jealousy coiled in her chest. “With Natalia?” She cringed as the words left her mouth.
“Occasionally.” He sounded detached, and his expression was impassive as he offered his hand to assist her down the stage stairs.
A burning started at the back of her eyes. She blinked to keep her tears at bay. For some time, she had suspected his interest had shifted toward other women, but hearing him admit to it wounded her.
They sat on one of the hard benches. She folded her hands in her lap, lowering her gaze. “Natalia is very pretty. I hope she pleases you.”
Marcus scoffed and Adele’s head shot up. He regarded her with steely blue eyes. “Are you accusing me of being faithless?”
“No, of course not.” She licked her lips, nervous that he might twist the meaning of anything she would say. “I was expressing a desire for your happiness.”
“God’s blood,” he bit out. “Do you truly believe I am capable of finding happiness with Natalia or any other lady, love?”
As the term of endearment tumbled from his lips, a thrill passed through her. It might have been wrapped in sarcasm, but it carried her back to Paris to a time when everything had been right between them. Once, Adele had basked in his sweet words of love. His beloved. How she longed to return to such an honored position.
“I do not know what is possible,” she admitted.
Color rose in his cheeks, and his calm façade began to crumble. “I assure you, if I could replace you in my affections, I would do so at once. You are like a plague visited upon me. I feel as if I am doomed to want you until I draw my last breath.”
Her heart faltered before battering against bone. His admission was delivered with such anger, yet it provided her with a shred of hope.
“Perhaps we are both cursed,” she murmured, “for you are in my thoughts always.”
His jaw began to lose its hard edge, but it was the only sign of him warming toward her. He veered the conversation away from them as a couple. “How do you know Lars and Tilde?”
She frowned, thinking of him in that awful prison. “You must have been released before I wrote to you about meeting them at the theatre in Brussels. Do you recall that I took in sewing for a bit?”
He stared at her blankly; she waved her hand, dismissing the detail as unimportant.
“I took in sewing for a while, but it was sporadic work until the theatre hired me to outfit the players for one of their productions. Tilde and Lars were members of the company.”
“Why, in God’s name, were you in Brussels, and what was your brother thinking by putting you to work?”
His judgmental tone left her feeling prickly. “I told you I wanted to stay close, and Harry thought doubling our efforts would allow us to earn enough for your release in half the time.”
“Wait a moment.” Marcus’s strong brows lowered over his intense eyes. “You said you wrote to me in Paris. How many letters were there?”
“I cannot say exactly. I wrote to you at least once a week. Sometimes more. Do you think some were lost?” When he didn’t answer, queasiness began to stir inside her. “Dear Lord, did you receive any of my correspondence?”
“No,” he said quietly. His blue gaze thawed a bit more. “You must have visited the prison, too. How else would you know about the fine?”
“Of course I came to the prison. I told the commander you were with me in the gardens. I vouched for your innocence, but he said it did not matter. He demanded a hundred pounds.”
She couldn’t bear the distance between them anymore. To have him so close without touching him was torture. She scooted toward him on the bench, taking his hand between her two.
“Marcus, I would never have left you in that horrible place, but you must know we had no choice. You are my betrothed, the only man I have ever loved. Harry and I were coming back for you.”
His fingers grazed her wrist. Lifting her hand, he placed a lingering kiss on her knuckles. Her pulse quickened as his steady gaze seemed to probe into her mind, seeking answers. “You left Paris, darling. Why should I believe you intended to return?”
Her breath caught. “Because you know me, Marcus.”
She searched his face for a sign that he was playfully teasing, but the twinkle was absent from his eyes, and there was no hint of a smile on his lips.
“Of course you know me,” she said. “You asked me to marry you. We would be married now if everything had unfolded as we had planned. We would share a marriage bed, and you would know me as no other man ever has or will.”
“Yet, we are not wed.” He released her hand and stood, placing distance between them again. “Perhaps we should consider it an omen. We are not meant to be.”
You can follow the Drayton Theatre Productions series on Goodreads.
Samantha is giving away an ebook copy of Resisting Romeo.
I’m a sucker for reunion romances. Star-crossed lovers separated by fate and brought back together again? *le sigh* What is a favorite romance trope you can’t resist?