on June 30th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Home is the sailor, home from the sea…
Five years after he’s lost off the coast of South America, presumed dead, Captain Robert Nash escapes cruel captivity, and returns to London and the bride he loves, but barely knows. When he stumbles back into the family home, he’s appalled to find himself gate-crashing the party celebrating his wife’s engagement to another man.
No red-blooded naval officer takes a challenge like this lying down; but five years is a long time, and beautiful, passionate Morwenna has clearly found a life without him. Can he win back the wife who gave him a reason to survive his ordeal? Or will the woman who haunts his every thought remain eternally out of reach?
Love lost and found? Or love lost forever?
Since hearing of her beloved husband’s death, Morwenna Nash has been mired in grief. After five grim years without him, she must summon every ounce of courage and determination to become a Dashing Widow and rejoin the social whirl. But she owes it to her young daughter to break free of old sorrow and find a new purpose in life, even if that means accepting a loveless marriage.
It’s like a miracle when Robert returns from the grave, and despite the awkward circumstances of his arrival, she’s overjoyed that her husband has come back to her at last. But after years of suffering, he’s not the handsome, laughing charmer she remembers. Instead he’s a grim shadow of his former dashing self. He can’t hide how much he still wants her—but does passion equal love?
Can Morwenna and Robert bridge the chasm of absence, suffering and mistrust, and find the way back to each other?
Hi Lisa! Thanks so much for inviting me to Buried Under Romance to share an exclusive excerpt of the last (well, for the moment!) Dashing Widows novella which is out today.
Catching Captain Nash is a reunion story – I thought I’d do a twist on the widows theme and have a heroine who turns out not to be a widow at all. For five years, Morwenna Nash has believed her dashing naval captain husband, Robert, was lost at sea. Imagine her feelings when Robert turns up just as she’s getting engaged to another man!
Morwenna brought her husband upstairs to the bedroom she’d slept in for the last few months. When she’d first come to London, she’d lived with Sally, Lady Norwood, as part of their pact to play Dashing Widows, women of independent spirit who had fun and dazzled society. But Sally had recently married Sir Charles Kinglake, and was touring Italy on her wedding trip. Morwenna desperately wished Sally was here in London—she had a suspicion she might need a friend before everything was settled with Robert.
Her maid put aside the mending to greet her mistress with a curtsy and quickly hidden surprise at a man’s presence in this, until now, purely feminine territory.
Well, the girl would find out plenty once she went down to the servants’ hall. Morwenna had been in Town long enough to know that Robert’s return would be the subject of conversation from cellars to attics in every house in Mayfair.
Let them talk. She didn’t care. Her love was alive.
Right now, Robert wouldn’t want an audience, so she sent the girl away. Although heaven knew how she’d get out of this gown without help.
Once they were alone, Robert didn’t shift from the threshold. The hand on her wrist was trembling. Tiredness? Anger? Some mysterious illness?
Morwenna didn’t know. And she didn’t feel she could ask this stranger, who wasn’t entirely a stranger.
Because his touch made her burn the way she hadn’t burned in five years. And his scent teased dormant senses back to tingling life. The shabby coat reeked of salt and old fish, but beneath it, even after so long, she knew that warm, male smell. At an animal level, her body immediately recognized this man as her mate.
She tipped her head to study him. He seemed dazed, and at last she saw his bone-deep weariness. Caro was right. He looked ready to drop from exhaustion.
With a soft sound of distress, she reached to touch his face. “Oh, my dear,” she whispered, hating how he flinched away. “Tell me what you want.”
He sucked in a shuddering breath. By now, his trembling was visible. She expected another monosyllabic response, but he shot her a sharp look and said, “Now, there’s a question.”
She frowned, wishing she was clever like the Nashes, clever enough to know how to heal him. Before she could summon an answer, he pulled away, pressing his hand to the doorframe in a silent admission that he couldn’t stand unsupported. Morwenna began to reach for him again, until she recalled how he’d shied away from her.
“You know, I should leave you.” He started to turn toward the corridor. “I’ll see you in the morning.”
To her surprise, she found herself saying, “No, stay.”
She found the courage to take his arm. He went rigid as a gatepost under her hold, apart from that awful trembling. She had no idea what he’d been through, but she knew enough to understand that whatever had happened to him left him stretched to the absolute limit.
He didn’t look at her. “I’m not fit company tonight.”
She made a disgusted sound. “I’m your wife. You don’t have to be company.” She almost spat out the last word.
He leveled a flat gaze on her. “I wasn’t sure you remembered you were my wife.”
You can read a longer excerpt on my website here.
You can follow the complete Dashing Widows series on Goodreads.
I have to say I’ve always been a complete water baby! Love to swim and muck around with boats. In honor of my dashing naval hero, Captain Nash, I’d love you to tell me if you like being on/in the water. Or are you like a cat, and you’d rather stay perfectly dry?
Everyone who comments goes into the draw to win a Kindle download of Catching Captain Nash (no geographical restrictions). So let’s make a splash!