Published by Bree Wolf on April 24th 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
In the seventh installment of USA Today bestselling author Bree Wolf's emotionally charged 'Love's Second Chance Series', Madeline must find a way to become a woman she never wanted to be...before she loses the one man she never knew she always wanted.
She is determined to marry an earl.If only he weren't only a baron.
LADY MADELEINE, daughter to the Earl of Carlton, has vowed not to marry below the rank of an earl. Using her clever wit and fierce determination, she has passed up several marriage offers as well as successfully sidestepped the occasional scandal, orchestrated by a suitor trying to trap her into marriage.Setting her sights on the Earl of Townsend - handsome, rich AND an earl - he is everything she desires in a husband.Until one night when her plans go horribly wrong, and she is compromised by the wrong man.
DEREK MCNIGHT, BARON AINSWORTH, is a self-made man. As a farmer's son, he gained glory in the war and was given a run-down barony for his service to the crown. Now, he only wishes to keep a safe distance from the peers he despises and rebuild his estate to see his family and tenants well settled.Until one night when he sees a raven-haired lady on the arm of a man from his past.Determined to protect her, he takes a wrong step, dooming them both.
Will Madeline ever be able to see past his title? Can Derek come to love a woman of high standing? Or will they forever be trapped in a marriage that only serves to make them miserable?
Love's Second Chance Series
#1 Forgotten & Remembered - The Duke's Late Wife#2 Cursed & Cherished - The Duke's Wilful Wife#3 Despised & Desired - The Marquess' Passionate Wife#4 Abandoned & Protected - The Marquis' Tenacious Wife#5 Ruined & Redeemed - The Earl's Fallen Wife#6 Betrayed & Blessed - The Viscount's Shrewd Wife#7 Deceived & Honoured - The Baron's Vexing Wife (coming April 24, 2018)More to follow
Hi everyone, I’m thrilled to introduce book seven Deceived & Honoured – The Baron’s Vexing Wife in my emotionally charged Love’s Second Chance Series. This novel incorporates the saying ‘Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans’. Both Derek and Madeline have a very good idea of what they want…as well as what they don’t want. However, life interferes, circumventing their plans and tying them to one another. Still, love is often found where you least expect it. Join them on their turbulent journey to their happily-ever-after.
Maybe tonight she would not only receive a marriage proposal, but also her first kiss.
As though in answer to her thoughts, she heard the faint sound of footsteps as they proceeded down the hall and then stopped just outside the room. The door she had left ajar, almost silently swung open, before slightly louder footsteps crossed the threshold.
Taking a deep breath to calm her fluttering heart, Madeline smiled, then turned to the man she would marry. “Lord Townsend, I must say you−”
As her eyes found his face, half-hidden in the nebulous shadows of the room, her heart stilled in shock and the rest of her words lodged in her throat…for the man standing in the doorway was not Lord Townsend.
“I’m afraid I must disappoint you, my lady,” the man said, his voice harsh with a touch of anger, as he ran a hand through his pitch-black hair.
Had he not spoken, Madeline would have thought him a shadow. Dressed in black from head to toe, the white of his shirt more like a reflection of the moon outside, his dark eyes lay almost hidden in the mask that covered the upper half of his face. He seemed like an apparition, a phantom, the shadow of a memory. As he approached, she found herself watching him, strangely fascinated with the smooth movements that carried him across the floor as though his feet never even touched the ground.
The moment he stepped into the glow of the moonlight, Madeline sucked in a breath for the look on his face sent chills down her back. Without a doubt, she knew that this man was dangerous, his gaze hard and focused like that of a hunter, his tall, muscular frame towering over her, forcing her to tilt up her head. In the dim light, his eyes seemed almost black, and yet, they glowed eerily as they reflected the moonlight, …
…and they held hers with a power so forceful she did not dare look away.
And then he blinked, and the spell was broken.
Swallowing, Madeline drew in a deep breath, trying to focus her thoughts. “Who are you?” she demanded, craning her neck to see behind him. “What are you doing here?” Instantly, fear crawled up her spine. “We must not be seen alone together.”
For a moment, he remained silent, his lips thinning into a hard line as his eyes narrowed, an open accusation resting in them. “You had no such scruples regarding Townsend.”
Madeline almost flinched. Had he been watching her? Where was Lord Townsend? Had he harmed him? Her thoughts ran rampant as they stared at one another, trying to determine what they saw. “Where is he?” Madeline finally demanded. If this man in front of her indeed was a lunatic, then it would not serve her to appear weak.
A snort escaped him. “Back in the ballroom, a clowder of debutantes fawning over him.”
At his words, Madeline felt her muscles tense. Of course, she was aware of her future husband’s reputation. She was not a dimwit and always had an ear out to the gossips. Hell, she was one of them. However, she knew just as well that gossip was never equal to the truth. More than once she had taken note of rumours about herself, which had been far from the truth as well. Therefore, she had always counselled herself not to base her decisions on rumours, on gossip, on the falsehoods of society.
And yet, there and then, in that moment, all her principles failed her. Never in her life had she experienced jealousy. Never had she had any reason to. Never had a man chosen another woman over her.
“You lie,” she hissed, her nostrils flaring as she stared at him, willing him to reveal his words to be a falsehood. “He would not abandon me.”
A wry grin touched his lips. “He had help.”
Frowning, Madeline took a step forward. She’d be damned if she let this stranger intimidate her! “Yours?” she pressed, daring him to reveal his own involvement.
Holding her gaze without flinching, without the slightest sign of hesitation or uncertainty, he lowered his head toward hers. “Yes,” was all he said, and the look in his eyes dared her to attack him with all the anger she felt.
Lips pressed together, Madeline inhaled deeply through her nose, seeking to steady her shaking hands. Lashing out at him would serve no one. It would only draw unwanted attention.
Above all else, she had to get rid of this man, and then see to Lord Townsend, ensure his well-being. “Leave. Now,” she hissed, jerking her chin toward the door.
He swallowed then, and for a moment, she thought he would comply. However, instead of retreating, he took another step toward her, the look in his eyes faintly softened by something resembling honest concern.
Madeline was utterly flabbergasted. Who was this man?
Then he opened his mouth, and his voice was almost gentle as he spoke. “I followed you tonight because−”
Madeline sucked in a sharp breath. “You followed me? Why?” Again, panic seized her as she remembered all those many moments gentlemen had tried to catch her alone to compromise her, to trap her into marriage, to take the choice out of her hands.
Always had she seen them coming, seen their intentions and thwarted their plans.
Often, she had prided herself on her ability to read people, to know what they thought.
Only this man was different.
She had not seen him coming.
She could not even recall laying eyes on him.
It was as though he had appeared out of thin air.
“What is going on here?”
At the sound of her aunt’s voice, Madeline jerked her head toward the door, which now stood wide open, revealing a bunch of old matrons staring in, their eyes widened in shock as they took in the scene.
Comment for a chance to win one of 5 e-copies of Deceived & Honoured – The Baron’s Vexing Wife!
Madeline had her whole life planned out, down to the man who was to propose to her. Until she was surprised by the wrong man and her life took an unexpected turn. Derek, too, had never contemplated marrying Lady Madeline.
Question: What about you? Has your life ever taken an unexpected turn?