Caroline Warfield’s new historical romance, The Unexpected Wife, is in the spotlight today!
The Unexpected Wife
Charles Wheatly, Duke of Murnane, accepts an unofficial fact finding mission to the East India Company’s enclave in Canton, China on behalf of the queen. He anticipates intrigue, international tensions, and an outlet for his grief over the death of his young son. He isn’t entirely surprised when he also encounters the troublesome offspring of his mentor, the Duke of Sudbury, but the profound love he discovers for the determined young woman is unforeseen and untimely. Charles certainly doesn’t expect to also face his troubled marriage in such an exotic locale. The appearance of his estranged wife in the company of their enemy throws the entire enterprise into conflict, and tensions boil over when the woman he loves is put at risk by his wife’s scheming—and the beginnings of the First Opium War.
Zambak Hayden seethes with frustration. A woman her age has occupied the throne for over a year, yet the Duke of Sudbury’s line of succession still passes over her—his eldest—to land on a son with neither spine nor character. She follows her brother, the East India Company’s newest and least competent clerk, to Macau to protect him and to safeguard the family honor—if she also escapes the gossip and intrigues of London and the marriage mart, so much the better. She has no intention of being forced into some sort of dynastic marriage, and she may just refuse to marry at all. The greed and corruption she finds horrifies her, especially when her brother succumbs to the lure of opium. She determines to document the truth. When an old family friend arrives she assumes her father sent him. She isn’t about to bend to his dictates nor give up her quest. Her traitorous heart, however, can’t stop yearning for a man she can’t have.
As an epic historical drama unfolds around them, both Charles and Zambak must come to terms with a love that neither expected.
At the mention of Jarratt her stomach clenched, and a vile taste crept into her mouth. “What else,” she rasped.
Charles looked down. His sigh sounded deep and weary. “Elliot fears the Chinese response will eventually ensnare an English user or dealer. If they arrest someone or threaten violence he may be forced to act.”
If Thorn is as closely allied to the opium dens as Jarratt implied—and out of his senses from the narcotic—he could be… cow turds!
“Charles, I have to get to my brother. I can’t leave him in Jarratt’s circle.”
The duke’s eyes held hers until she felt him boring into her soul. He put out a comforting hand, and she gripped it to steady herself. “How exactly do you propose to do that, Zambak?” he asked.
“Jarratt said to come back. I’ll go tomorrow. He implied Thorn might be well, might be willing to come with me.”
“We’ll go tomorrow,” he corrected.
She stiffened in outrage for a moment before Jarratt’s face leered at her in memory, and she sagged toward Charles. When he cupped her cheek with one hand and searched her face, she thought for an insane moment he meant to kiss her. Absurd. Charles is a married man, and we’re friends. Only friends.
“We’ll go together, Zambak. We will get Thorn help together.”
Together. Relief flooded her. She had thought that accepting help made her weak, but the tenderness in the duke’s eyes gave her strength.
Available July 25, 2018, but you can PREORDER The Unexpected Wife here: https://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Wife-Children-Empire-Book-ebook/dp/B07FGGC918/
Additional buy links
The Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CQ9QWkqLvw
About the Author
Award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nun. She reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.
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