The Heiresses in Love Series, a Victorian Romance saga
Upon Your Return
(key words: Victorian, historical romance, France, romance, maritime, war)
Fara Bellamont has been back in society for a year after leaving Cluny Abbey, where her uncle sent her long ago. When he chooses a suitor for her for marriage, she fears that she will be forced to marry a stranger and live a miserable life.
But, Fara finds herself thrust into an adventure of a lifetime when unforeseen circumstances cause her to place her trust in a strange man for protection. His intervention not only saves her, but puts her in an even more compromising position.
Grant Hill, a trading captain, is enchanted by the young heiress not only because of her beauty, but because she is hardly conventional. Underneath her ladylike exterior lies a tigress. Grant cannot help but offer his protection as she is in need and he is far from immune from her charms.
Fara just never bargained on the passion that she feels for Grant Hill. As events unfold, she must decide whether her desires and the dictates of her heart should trump the rules of society...
Upon Your Return
She smiled. It was so like him to make light of a bad situation. She remembered she still hadn't acknowledged that he knew her. Perhaps he did not recognize her? “I would like to thank you, Monsieur, for your intervention.”
“There is no need. I did what any man would have done.”
“Not every man would aid just any woman. I should not have accepted his offer to dance. Before I had a chance to stop him, he dragged me in here. I should not have trusted him.”
“Don't punish yourself over it. But, it's true that some strangers can have ulterior motives.”
“But, not all?”
“No, I suppose occasionally someone means well.”
“Would you fit into that category? One that has no ulterior motives?”
“Perhaps when I first came into the alcove…”
His eyes beneath his mask seemed to bore into her very soul. In a way, she knew she was toying with Grant, that he probably thought she didn't know it was him, and was appalled that she would flirt with simply any man. What was he feeling? Her heart raced in a strange, exhilarating way, and her breaths were more shallow. If he did know it was her, did he care?
“But, not now?” she teased.
“Now I just might have ulterior motives…”
The alcove curtain was closed so there was no reason to fear being seen. A part of her didn't care if they were caught without her having a chaperone. The fact that she wasn't supposed to be here because of her mourning period added to the risk. It was enticing. She closed the distance between them by approaching him, placing her hands on his chest. “I want to thank you.”
“I told you it wasn't necessary.” His voice sounded suddenly husky.
“I think it is.” Their lips were inches apart and they stood that way for what seemed an eternity. When Fara thought she would go mad with the waiting, he lowered his lips to hers, softly questing. Their mouths lingered, lost in sensation and the essence of one another until finally he pulled away. Through their masks and the silence of the alcove, there was an element Fara couldn't quite pinpoint. Temptation perhaps? She wanted to give in to the unspoken need, but it would be idiocy to act on it.
Grant whispered, “Mademoiselle Bellamont, you are a tease.”
He had accused her of it before, but now she could only sigh. “You would know if I was teasing, Capitaine.”
“How can anyone resist such a picture?” he said in accented English. There was a bright quality to his eyes that she wondered about, but he reached his hand out to her.
She took his offered hand. Her breath caught when he lifted her hand to his lips in the ancient gesture of respect. Even through the fine material of the glove, she could feel the brush of his lips over the surface of her hand. His eyes were trained on hers, and she could not look away. There was no denying the man had done it well. But, what was more compelling was the fact that his steady gaze made her want to press her lips to his. She briefly entertained it, despite the fact that it was so wrong of her. How much that would shock him. He was utterly proper most of the time. But, she sensed an untamed quality to Gabriel as well, that perhaps he was not driven by propriety always, that he might be compelled by something else at times.
She imagined leaning forward, raising her mouth in invitation, waiting for him to kiss her. Would he do that? She could not be sure. In her dreams he would lower his mouth to hers, move his lips moderately over hers until she opened to him. He would band his arm around her back to draw her closer, so close that she couldn’t remember who she was. There was only Gabriel.
Chloe leaned forward without meaning to, and Gabriel’s gaze dropped to her mouth. His eyes became very dark, and the rapid thud of her heart against her chest was unnerving. And it happened so swiftly she had no time to react. He drew her to him and set his lips to hers. On a confused breath, she opened her mouth. Their tongues danced gently. His kiss was so compelling and she blinked when he quickly drew away.
“Forgive me,” he whispered. “You did not ask.”She opened her mouth to protest, then thought better of it. He had no idea how wanton her thoughts had been.
The Hill family saga concludes as loyalties are questioned, faiths will be tested and undying love may come at a terrible cost…
Fara Hill, mother and faithful wife, is torn between her family at home and her urge to be at sea. Soon, she learns some disturbing truths about the past, and she must question what she has always known.
Chloe Hill, loving wife and young mother, questions her faith when her husband sets an ultimatum she cannot meet. Coupled with that is the knowledge that her marriage may be falling apart, and she has no way to stop it.
Eric Caron, protector of the family, is a strong man who never lets his friends down. When a shy, green-eyed vixen catches his eye, his life becomes a little more interesting. But, he must contend with the demons of her past before he can attain her affections.
Adrienne Bellamont Hill, born of a spirited redhead and a strong sea captain, isn’t a tame sort of woman and she will bow to no man. When Christian du Plessis comes into her life in the guise of helping their mutual friends, she isn’t prepared for the passion she feels for the man. Christian, however, arouses much more than desire from her. But, she lost her heart to one man before and she cannot allow it to happen again. And yet, the desire he incites in her is so tempting, a part of her wants to submit to him. Holding out for love is a family tradition, but can she resist the temptation of passion?
Christian Du Plessis finds this young woman to be untamed, a fascinating challenge, and he is torn between keeping his distance from her and succumbing to her charms. A fierce battle of wills ensues as he sees she is much more than he ever imagined.
All of their firm beliefs are called into question when a dangerous menace threatens the well-being of their friends and thereby Christian, who jumps in to protect them. But, Adrienne is not one to stand by and simply let things happen. She is a fierce, capable woman in a time when women know their place. Can these two strong-willed people combat the danger together or will they be separated by the death that is certain to come for both of them?
Upon Your Love
“Mademoiselle Hill, do you wish to dance?”
Startled, she looked up at the man, this stranger named Christian, his dark eyes drawing her in once more. And yet, there was something in his gaze that she recognized. She wasn’t quite sure what it was, but suddenly he didn’t feel like a stranger at all.
“Only for appearances, of course.”
“Oh. Yes, of course.” Adrienne cursed herself for being weak, for letting a handsome face scramble her brain. When he took her hand in his firm grasp and led her to the center of the room, her breath caught. He positioned them effortlessly, a hand over her back and another cupping her own hand, and before she knew it they began to spin. With every dip and turn, her gaze rested on his face, his intense eyes swallowing her whole. As his legs brushed her flowing, light blue silk skirt with a lace overlay and white ribbons adorning its seams, her chest got ever closer to his, the band of his arm pulling her tighter against his body, and she forgot her need to be independent.
Lost in his pleasant male scent, she had no power to protest when his mouth brushed gently across hers. As he lifted his head a moment later, she could only stare at him, waiting, but she had no idea what she waited for. He had stopped dancing as well.
“Forgive me for the intrusion, Mademoiselle. I simply thought…”
Her lips still tingled where he’d touched her. “You thought what?” she asked, her voice husky now.
Bestselling author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 19 other books. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial's Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader's Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.
Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published twenty books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Lavender just released Second Nature, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy, in December of 2014. Upon Your Honor, released in April of 2014, is her second historical romance. She released Magick & Moonlight, a lighthearted romantic fantasy, back in March of 2014. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series. Feel free to visit her website at http://marielavender.com/ for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
A list of her books and pen names are as follows:
Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor;Second Nature; "Lovers Like Us" (from the book anthology, Poets & Writers in Action); A Little Magick (coming in July)
Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You;Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace
Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life
Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things