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A French privateer’s daughter. A marquess’s son.
And a chance encounter on the high seas.
VIOLET WINTERS, a French privateer’s daughter who fled England with her mother when she was a little girl, takes the chance to return to her home country unrecognised when fate delivers an English lord into her hands.
OLIVER CORNELL, EARL OF CULLINGWOOD, fascinated by the adventurous gleam in her eyes, does not hesitate to offer his assistance…and pose as her husband.
Can a privateer’s daughter and a marquess’s son ever have a happily-ever-after?
Hello everyone, I’m excited to be able to introduce you to the 9th novel in my emotionally charged Love’s Second Chance Series, Condemned & Admired – The Earl’s Cunning Wife. In this novel, we temporarily venture away from England and onto the open seas where we meet Violette, the daughter of a French privateer, as well as Oliver Cornell, Earl of Cullingwood, son of an English marquess, whose latest escapade around the docks have him waking on a merchant vessel about to be boarded by the French.
Thus, our two heroes meet.
In order to buy his freedom from French captivity, Oliver offers to introduce Violette to English society as his wife when she uncovers a secret of her past that leads her back to England…and into enemy territory.
Writing this novel was a lot of fun as I’ve always wanted to write a swash-buckling romance set in Regency England. Violette is a strong and determined, young woman living a life quite different from those women generally had at that time. However, that is exactly what catches Oliver’s attention, and he comes to realise that the life he has is not the life he wants.
Finally, when it’s time for Violette to leave England and return to France, they are faced with a life-altering decision.
At the cry from the crow’s nest, all heads turned upward and then swept out to sea following the direction the sailor in the lookout indicated. On the distant horizon, white sails rose out of the water.
Rushing forward to the rail, her father pulled out his spyglass. “It’s English,” he said before handing the spyglass to Violette. “A merchant ship, most likely from London port.”
Violette nodded as she took note of the small details that gave away a ship’s origin and purpose. “It’s running low. The hold must be full.” Looking at her father, a slow grin spread over her face. “She won’t be able to outrun us.”
A slight twitch around her father’s mouth betrayed his thoughts before he stepped toward her. “Perhaps one day we’ll be able to outfit two ships after all,” he whispered to her before rushing up the stairs to the quarterdeck.
Violette could have shrieked with joy. Instead, she sank her teeth into her lower lip and hurried after her father as her pulse adjusted to the new adventure waiting on the horizon.
“Hoist the colours!” her father called as he crossed the quarterdeck in long strides. Instantly, the French flag was raised, its coloured stripes flapping in the wind, a symbol of their allegiance, of their home.
But even more so, of their family.
At the sight, Violette felt her heart swell with pride.
When her father shouted for his crew to prepare the ship for a turn, Violette rushed to man the lines with the rest of the sailors, knowing that it was her insistence on pulling her weight that had earned her the respect of her father’s crew. If she ever wanted to be captain of her own ship–whenever that day might come! –she would have to work hard to prove her worth.
And she would.
Out of the corner of her eye, Violette saw her father rush to the helm and speak to Henri, ordering him to pursue the ship. It still seemed like a ghost dancing over the waves, its white sails barely visible in the early morning light as it peeked over the horizon, its rays setting the world aglow. Fortunately, they would attack from the east with the rising sun, hiding in its blinding light until it was too late for the English merchant ship. Once they saw their approach, they would not have time to escape.
At her father’s command, Henri turned the wheel, directing the ship into the wind, while Violette once more joined the rest of the crew in manning the lines, her heart racing as the Chevalier Noir began its turn, cutting through the water like a knife through butter. The rope burned in her hands as they released the main sheet. Then they rushed to untie the jib, a small triangular sheet, from the starboard side and reattached it at the port side so it would catch the wind and bring them closer to their prize.
Once the main sheet was secured once more, they were in pursuit.
Returning to her spot at the bow, Violette kept her eyes firmly fixed on the white sails on the horizon. Her heart thudded wildly in her chest as the ship slowly came within reach. Her hands gripped the rail, and she leaned into the wind, momentarily closing her eyes. Then she inhaled a deep breath and looked down into the churning water as the Chevalier Noir cut through it like a spear. Excitement coursed through her veins as it had many times before, and she wondered if she would ever tire of this life.
Violette could not imagine it to be so.
“Do not hesitate,” she whispered to herself as she saw her future looming before her and all she had to do was seize it. “Do not hesitate, Duret, for the world belongs to the daring.”
Comment on the giveaway question below to win 1 out of 5 e-copies of
“Condemned & Admired – The Earl’s Cunning Wife”. Additionally, at the end
of the book tour all winners will have the chance to win 1 out of 3 copies of the tie-in novella “Trapped & Liberated – The Privateer’s Bold Beloved”.
Ms. Wolf is curious…..Have you ever wanted to sail the seas?