on December 5th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Her beauty is divine. His heart yearns for another. Will attempted revenge result in true love?
Emily is the last unmarried Sinclair sister. For all her spellbinding beauty, she’s never been able to clear a certain man from her head and her heart. He’s made it clear there’s no hope, and now he’s about to marry her best friend.
The Earl of Bracebridge knows how to hold a grudge. The former prizefighter turned disreputable nobleman hoped to marry Emily’s sister until she was forced to wed another. After his hopes for a suitable marriage are dashed once again, he seizes the chance to settle the score with Thomas Sinclair---by eloping with Emily and consigning them both to a union without love.
Emily knows Bracebridge loves another, but every time they’re alone, sparks fly. Can the Earl get past his heartbreak to realize the perfect woman didn’t get away -- she’s already his wife?
Surrender to Ruin is the long-anticipated third book in the Sinclair Sisters historical romance series. If you like unmistakable chemistry, sizzling romance, and potent regency drama, then you’ll love the next chapter in Carolyn Jewel’s heart-pounding series.
Buy Surrender to Ruin to continue the breathtaking trilogy today!
Rosefeld, near Bartley Green, England, 1821
Emily stood by the door with her breath caught in her throat, and her heart shattered all over again. Momentarily paralyzed, she watched her dog gallop across the entry. The leash bounced and curved like some demented snake as Frieda headed for the stairs and the man who stood there.
“Frieda. No!” But her ungainly adolescent dog, intent on making a new friend, did not stop. Frieda was also, perhaps fortuitously, unable to safely negotiate the marble floor. Her front legs splayed and propelled her into a four-footed spin that ended with a crash into the bottom step. She scrambled to her feet and shook herself off, panting and wagging her tail hard enough to move her entire body.
The Earl of Bracebridge remained on the stairs, his attention on Frieda, as was wise when a large dog whose bark was a cross between a bay and a bone-chilling snarl was heading straight for one. Thank God for Frieda, for Emily needed time to master her feelings and the brutal realization that her heart was as yet unhealed. Oh, heavens above, how could she still ache like this?
Emily leaped for the trailing leash, but Frieda bounded up the stairs. For all her size and bloodcurdling noise, the dog wasn’t snarling or threatening in any way. She wriggled with joy.
Emily had last seen Bracebridge over a year ago. They had met—her fault, all her fault, that meeting—inappropriately alone. Their usual escalation toward unrecoverable disaster had ended with harsh and brutally honest words from him. Devastating words. He’d kissed her yet again, then the embrace had spun completely out of control. His hands had been underneath her skirts, on her bare skin. She, to her everlasting shame, would have allowed him anything. Anything at all. But he’d stopped. Pulled away and told her, in no uncertain terms, that he would never love her, that she must not have any expectations of him.
Without exaggeration, the encounter had crushed her heart to nothing. She recognized her responsibility for that outcome. She did. He loved her eldest sister, not her. He would never love anyone but Anne. How could his heart not be broken beyond anyone’s ability to repair it?
Anne had been forced to marry the Duke of Cynssyr, one of Bracebridge’s closest friends, when everyone, Emily included, had expected a match between Anne and Bracebridge. The fault for that lay squarely with the duke. On that infamous night when Anne had been dosed with laudanum, the duke had been found in her bed. His claims of mistake changed nothing. Anne and Cynssyr had married the next day.
Frieda woofed again.
Emily just missed regaining the trailing end of the leash, allowing the dog to reach Bracebridge and rear up on her hind legs. Her front paws landed on his chest. Frieda was heavy, strong, and intent on licking his face.
“Good day to you, too, milady.” Bracebridge rubbed the dog’s ears, then gently pushed her back to all four paws and down the last of the stairs. At least he wasn’t angry; Emily was grateful for that.
Emily tried for the leash again, but the moment Bracebridge was off the stairs, Frieda reared up to attempt another face-lick. “Honestly, Frieda! Down!” Emily missed the leash yet another time. He had yet to fully register her presence and truly see her. In the instant when he did, she watched with dismay as his smile vanished and his eyes turned hard.
How utterly humiliating that her stomach was full of butterflies. She would absolutely not let him see that nothing had changed for her. “Oh, drat, Frieda. Behave!”
“Down,” he said in that dark, unyielding voice that never failed to send a shiver down Emily’s spine. The dog did not precisely obey, but she did return to four legs. He grabbed the leash near where it fastened to her collar and pulled the loose end until he had the strap firmly in hand.
Emily was relieved, not to her credit, by this excuse to delay or defuse what was plainly going to be an uncomfortable and awkward encounter. She’d never intended to fall in love with anyone, but one day, not long after Anne was married, she’d seen him walk into a room, and all these feelings had simply appeared and refused to be dislodged from her heart. “I beg your pardon, my lord,” she said.
He didn’t immediately respond to the first words spoken between them in over a year.
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