My historical romance, THE REBEL'S PROMISE, set in the Georgian era during the Jacobite rebellion of 1745/46, will be published by Front Porch Romance in February 2013.
It is December 1745. Rosie Delacourt rescues a Jacobite rebel from certain death and a passionate attachment blossoms. But Jack is wanted for treason and must flee the country. Believing he has been killed in battle at Culloden, Rosie is forced into a distasteful betrothal. When Jack returns, he is unable to hide the anguish he feels at her betrayal … and Rosie dare not risk telling him the truth.
It was horribly cold and the December sky had grown ominously dark. The thought of a warm fireside and her dinner spurred her on. She was concentrating so hard on the task of manoeuvring her mount that she did not notice anything untoward until Cleo whinnied nervously and then stopped abruptly. Glancing around to see what had startled her, Rosie realised in shock that a man was slumped against a tree stump at the side of the track. He did not appear to be conscious and she bit her lip nervously, wondering what to do next. Her father had warned her to stop for no-one when out alone; there were some unscrupulous rogues about who employed a variety of devious strategies to ambush the unsuspecting. The impetuousness which her father regularly deplored soon conquered this momentary caution and, casting the reins aside while abjuring Cleo to hold still, Rosie dismounted and tiptoed carefully over to the prone figure.
She noticed immediately that he was young and very handsome, with dark blonde hair worn long and confined at the nape of his neck by a black velvet ribbon. The neatly manicured nails of his strong hands confirmed his status as a gentleman and his clothing, although stained with the dust of travel, was very fine. The left shoulder of his coat was black with dried blood and there was an ominous hole in the expensive cloth, which was charred at the edges.
As she studied him, his eyes fluttered open and she thought – a trifle incongruously in the circumstances – that she had never seen eyes so clear or startlingly blue. He raised a hand to her and Rosie, her soft heart touched, dropped on her knees beside him, clasping his hand in both of her own. “Please, sir, do not try to move but tell me, if you can, how I may help you?” she hoped her tone was reassuring.
© Jane Godman
© Jane Godman