Can the son of an English vicar and the daughter of a French Comte find love despite their differences?
Alina and friends thank you for this opportunity to share with you some of the details from my newest novella, A Harvest Blessing, coming to you October 10th in Under the Harvest Moon, a Bluestocking Belles with Friends Collection.
About A Harvest Blessing:
After Waterloo, Captain Thom Owen is uncertain what to do with himself. Then fate casts Charité du Pessac and her aunt in his path. No gentleman would abandon a damsel as brave and kind as Miss du Pessac, but how can he help her? With no clear solution in mind, Thom escorts the ladies home to his father.
Charité ‘s aunt believes her niece and the captain are engaged, and Charité fears the captain’s father will not welcome them. She is French after all, and while the captain might not object to her nationality, others—like his father—might disapprove of a marriage between former enemies.
Today I will introduce you to my main characters, Miss Charité du Pessac and Captain Thomas Paul Owen, and read on for an excerpt from this story.
My heroine, Charité Du Pessac, is the penniless daughter of a long dead French Comte. Charité grew up under the guidance of the governess who protected her when her parents were killed. To survive in wartime France, Charité did not lay claim to her heritage, but instead, using the name Miss Du Pessac, followed her guardian’s path and became a governess herself.
After Waterloo, Charité decides it is time to find what is left of her family. The search takes her to England. However, the only family she finds is a widowed aunt who is just as poor as Charité.
An encounter with a soldier, first met in passing during the war, offers some small hope of a future, if the people of his home town will accept an impoverished refugee and her elderly relative. Then her aunt jumps to the erroneous conclusion that Charité and her soldier are betrothed. Charité might like nothing better than to marry Captain Thom Owen, but she has nothing to offer him and refuses to be a burden he must carry for all of his life.
My hero is a vicar’s son with a penchant for learning. Thom Owen joined the army against his father’s wishes and rose through the ranks. After Waterloo, he is whole in body but his soul has seen too much horror.
He returns home with a false fiancée in tow. He worries that his father will reject both of them and has no certain hopes or plans for his future. How can he possibly support a wife, even if he loved her.
About Under the Harvest Moon: A Bluestocking Belles with Friends Collection
By Caroline Warfield, Jude Knight, Sherry Ewing, Cerise DeLand, Elizabeth Ellen Carter, Collette Cameron, Mary Lancaster, Alina K. Field, and Rue Allyn
As the village of Reabridge in Cheshire prepares for the first Harvest Festival following Waterloo, families are overjoyed to welcome back their loved ones from the war.
But excitement quickly turns to mystery when mere weeks before the festival, an orphaned child turns up in the town—a toddler born near Toulouse to an English mother who left clues that tie her to Reabridge.
With two prominent families feuding for generations and the central event of the Harvest Moon festival looming, tensions rise, and secrets begin to surface.
Nine award winning and bestselling authors have combined their talents to create this engaging and enchanting collection of interrelated tales. Under the Harvest Moon promises an unforgettable read for fans of Regency romance.
Available for Pre-order at .99 cents until October 10, 2023 https://books2read.com/UnderHarvestMoon
Be a Winner!
Get all the details here at the Bluestocking Belles Giveaway Page.
And now here’s a peek at A Harvest Blessing:
“What sort of man do you think of when you imagine your future husband?” Thom asked.
She turned slightly away from him, and he felt bereft. He wanted those shining, joyful eyes on his face, looking at him.
“I…I don’t know really. Some one kind, and strong in spirit. A thoughtful man who is careful of those he loves. A man much like you… in many ways.” She looked at him then. Her beautiful brown gaze locking with his.
Her words made him brave. He ignored fear and worry, seeking her fingers. “Could you imagine me in that place, not just someone like me?”
“Oh, Thom.” She placed her free hand against his cheek, rose on her toes, and pressed her lips to his for entirely too brief a moment. “I like you very much, and respect, even admire you. I consider you one of my best friends, but I don’t know if I love you.”
“I am fairly certain I love you, Charité du Pessac. But I will never pressure you. If I can only ever be your good friend, then I am content to be so.” He smiled, though his heart fair broke as he said the words.
“Thank you both for your declaration and your understanding. I’ve known so few men in my life. I didn’t have the kind of life that a Comte’s daughter might normally expect.” Her gaze lost focus.
Does she regret losing the life of a wealthy noble?
He wished he could take away all the tragedies of the past. The most he could do would be to make the future, her future, as bright and happy as possible. Whether that future was at his side or not.
“I recall you mentioned that while we travelled. Your life may have followed an unexpected path. However, you are very intelligent. Your delicacy of manner and your ability to always say just exactly the right thing are typical of every noble I’ve ever met.”
Some of those had been very good men. Hell, Barlow, his friend was stellar example. Others, however. Others used their manners and their nobility to mask ugly, thoughtless souls. Charité, his Charité, was of the first sort he was certain. Did her noble heritage place her out of his reach? Could she ever truly be his Charité?
She lowered her lashes. “You are kind to say so, but I have deliberately left that life behind. I scarce recall it. There is a reason, I go by Miss du Pessac and do not use Lady as my aunt does.”
“Don’t you want revenge for the death of your parents, or at least the return of your ancestral property? You would never want for anything if that wealth was restored to you.”
Her lips thinned. “Is that what you think? That I am so petty a person that I would spend a decade and more steeped in the hate that generates revenge and mired in the greed that would seek restoration of property and title I can scarce recall.”
“No, no. Of course, I don’t think that.”
“Good.” Arms akimbo, she stamped her foot. “If you did think that of me, I would know you for a narrow-minded idiot who labels people, himself included, and only understands behaviours that his tiny mind conceives of as appropriate to those labels.”
She grasped the door handle and walked away, throwing, “Good night to you, Captain,” over her shoulder.
The open door swung in the rising breeze until a gust slammed it shut for her, leaving him cold and alone.
About the Author
Author of historical and contemporary romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. (She claims she was a precocious little brat who read at the age of two but could hear much earlier than that.) She studied literature for far too many years before discovering that writing stories was much more fun than writing about them. One of her greatest pleasures as an author is being able to read the story before anyone else. Rue is happily married to her sweetheart of many, many years. Insatiably curious, an avid reader and traveler, she loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real-life adventures. Crazy Cat stories are especially welcome. You can contact her at Rue@RueAllyn.com. She can’t wait to hear from you.
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