Marie Lavender historical romance/family saga novel, Upon Your Love, book three of the Heiresses in Love Series,
releases on February 28th.
This is a Victorian era romance and the final book of the series.
Upon Your Love
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. Was the past a fairy tale instead of reality?
Chloe Hill, loving wife and young mother, questions her faith when her husband sets an ultimatum she cannot meet. Will she be able to keep her marriage from falling apart?
Adrienne Bellamont Hill, born of a valiant captain and a fiery redhead, is untamed to her core and will bow to no man. Then Christian du Plessis enters her life with an offer she can’t refuse. Discovering the man behind the polished gentleman, she is drawn to him in many ways. Holding out for love is a family tradition, but can she resist the temptation of passion?
Christian finds this young woman to be a fascinating challenge, and 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.
But danger lurks, threatening to destroy everything…
Can these two strong-willed individuals unite in the cause before time runs out?
Upon Your Love
Christian scanned the wall and came to rest on a woman whose face was obscured by the way she stood. She was turned slightly away, in conversation with another girl. She had long, dark wavy hair and a nice form. When she turned back towards him, he caught his breath at the stunning figure she posed. Her eyes were a violet color; he could tell because the gas lights in the room caught them like fine gemstones. She was also fairly tall for a woman. Her skin was a fine, light golden shade, which didn’t detract from her beauty at all. Most of her contemporaries avoided direct sunlight. It was clear that her skin tone was natural, perhaps with a hint of being blessed by the sun’s rays. He wondered what sort of woman would place herself in the elements while the other women in her circle managed to elude such avenues.
His gaze continued to travel over her strange perfection. Her décolletage dipped to the tops of her full breasts, hinting at pleasure, and she was dressed in a long gown of pale blue. The shape of the gown gave off the suggestion of ample curves beneath. What kind, he could only guess. He imagined the costume was an heirloom because most women’s fashions these days weren’t so revealing. “Who is that?” he pointed.
“Mademoiselle Bellamont Hill.”
“I haven’t seen her before.”
“It is past her season. She hasn’t been to a function in a couple of years, I believe. Something about a mourning period.”
“But, isn’t she from around here?”
“Yes, in a way. Her family travels often. Her father is a captain, and so is her brother. When she is here, she lives with her mother and aunt.”
“Why hasn’t she married?”
Pierce shrugged. “It could be any number of reasons. Why? Do you want me to ask her to dance?”
“No, not her. Perhaps her companion would be interested.” He referred to the blonde woman at Mademoiselle Hill’s side. Christian didn’t allow himself to wonder why he thought the other girl would not suit his friend.
Pierce agreed, and they both started in that direction. When they approached the ladies, Christian took the first woman’s hand, brushing his lips over it. He observed that her skin was incredibly soft and had a tantalizing sweet scent. He curbed the urge to explore it further.
She gasped, a flush staining her cheeks. “Monsieur?”
“Forgive me for the abrupt entrance. I am Christian du Plessis. It is a pleasure to meet you, Mademoiselle.”
She smiled. “Thank you. I am Adrienne Nicolette Bellamont Hill.” She looked over at her companion. If she noticed the impropriety of not being introduced by a common acquaintance, she did not say. “This is my good friend, Elena Wyndham. She’s visiting from England.”
Though he’d blinked as she gave her full name, he managed, “Oh? It is so good to have your acquaintance. Ladies, this is my ami, Pierce Laroque.”
“Hello, Pierce,” both girls chimed and shook his hand alternately.
Pierce looked flustered as he murmured a greeting.
“I hope you’ll take good care of my friend here. He is rather shy with women. Perhaps you might make him feel welcome,” he whispered, leaning in close to Elena with a smile.
She gave him a conspiratorial smile, and then turned to Pierce. “Might you dance with me, Monsieur? I can’t stand here and simply watch this gaiety.”
Pierce readily agreed and escorted Elena to the dance floor just as the music for another waltz began.
The woman named Adrienne frowned, looking up at Christian. “What was that? What are you up to?”
“Just a little matchmaking,” he shrugged.
“Perhaps your friend wouldn’t be pleased with your interference.”
Christian took her hand and tucked it in the crook of his arm. “Shall we walk?” At her nod, he led her in a stroll around the edges of the room. As they ambled along, the heavenly scent of blended flowers and honey drifted into his nose. He struggled with the desire to lean closer so that he could breathe more of her in. “I’m sure he would welcome it. Pierce is rather reserved, and not at all used to conversing with women.”
She nodded. “He asked for your help then.”
His mouth twisted. Pierce would never have asked; he was far too honorable a man for that, which was why he’d volunteered. “In a manner of speaking, yes.”
“I suppose I cannot reprimand you for assisting a friend,” she sighed. “For a moment, I simply thought you had ulterior motives.”
“To pair myself off with you?”
She lifted a brow. “You can’t blame me for the assumption.”
“No, I cannot. Don’t take this the wrong way, Mademoiselle Hill. You are very tempting, and I am more drawn to you than I should be. But, my purpose in coming here tonight wasn’t self-serving. It was to help Pierce find a wife.”
She stumbled a little, and he clasped her arm in time. “A wife? Surely you cannot be serious.”
“But, Elena wouldn’t... she would never—”
“No? And why not? Pierce is a good man.”
“So? What woman would agree to marry a man after one night?”
“Stranger things have happened, I’m sure.”
Her beautiful, dark brows drew together and even her apparent perplexity appealed to him.
“But, why must he find a wife tonight?”
“Perhaps he will be disinherited if he does not.”
“Disinherited? By whom?”
She shook her head. “That’s terrible. What kind of father does that to his son?”
“Indeed. What kind?”
She stopped walking, suddenly. “You really aren’t jesting, are you?”
“So, why tell me all of this?” Adrienne cocked her head.
“I suppose I thought I could trust you. Can I?”
“Oui, of course.”
He nodded, satisfied. “Perhaps you could put in a kind word for my friend.”
“With Elena? But I hardly know Pierce.”
“I will tell you all you need to know.”
She frowned once more. “Elena won’t agree to marry him.”
“Perhaps not, but we are rather desperate. That’s not easy to understand, I’m sure.”
“Of course, I understand the haste, but Elena wouldn’t. And she’s not about to upend her whole life for a man she barely knows. I mean, she’s not from here.”
“I realize that. Perhaps some allowances can be made. I know Pierce would be willing to travel often for his wife.”
Adrienne sighed. “I can’t believe we’re even discussing this. Elena would never forgive me.” She appeared to study him overlong, and he couldn’t help thinking that he’d never seen such bold behavior from a woman. Still, he strongly suspected it wasn’t due to any coquettish intentions. “How long does he truly have?”
“Less than a month. His father is not a patient man.”
Adrienne chewed on her thumbnail, and he imagined she didn’t even realize she’d done it. “There’s no guarantee Elena would even enjoy his company or agree to marriage.”
Christian eyed the couple on the dance floor. “That’s strange. They appear to be getting along famously.”
She seemed to notice it too. Elena was dancing with Pierce, and they were smiling and laughing together. The woman beside him arched an elegant brow as she gazed up at him.
“Are you sure you don’t have ulterior motives?”
“I am certain of it, Mademoiselle.”
Adrienne shook her head. “It’s not fair for either of them to have that kind of pressure.”
“No, it’s not, but little can be done about it.”
She nodded. “All right. I’ll help you.”
A weird elation swept through him, and a wide smile broke across his face.
“But… only on one condition.”
He held his breath for a moment. He’d been around enough women to know that “but” was a word to dread. “And that would be?”
“Elena has to care about him before agreeing to anything.”
“Fine. I am certain Pierce wouldn’t have it otherwise if he had a choice about it.”
There was a moment of comfortable silence between them.
“Will a proposal be enough notice for Pierce’s father?”
He frowned. “I hope so. If not, he loses everything.”
The young woman shuddered. “I can’t even imagine it,” she sighed. “I’ll make one more vow, though.”
He lifted a brow. “What’s that?”
“If Elena isn’t willing for some reason, I will help you find Pierce a wife. I promise,” she smiled.
He nodded. “Again, I thank you. I am in your debt. I know we’re barely acquainted and I don’t deserve your kindness, but I am moved by it nonetheless. You are a rare woman, Adrienne Bellamont Hill, and any man would be lucky to have you.”
Her eyes were wide when she looked at him, blinking. “Thank you.”
And he meant it. He knew matchmaking was more of a woman’s game, but his terms were hardly attractive and that presented a plethora of difficulties. He was lucky she would even consider it. His gaze went back to their mutual friends, and he knew they’d made the right choice. The flush on Mademoiselle Wyndham’s cheeks could have been from embarrassment, but he was sure it came from pleasure because her smile was guileless, genuine. He was relieved for even though Pierce had to marry so quickly, he would never wish to pair him with a manipulative woman.
“I shall not, you know.”
He glanced back at the goddess beside him and cocked his head to the side, sure he’d missed a part of the conversation somehow.
“I’m sorry. What?”
“I won’t have a man.”
She shook her head. “I am destined to be a spinster.”
He chuckled. For some odd reason, he found her outrageous and charming at the same time.
“Oh, Mademoiselle, somehow I find that spinsterhood wouldn’t suit you at all.”
Her cheek dimpled, her lovely face more becoming. Those full lips twisted and he was sure she would have laughed if she was free from the crowd at the party. That she found his comment humorous was a boon to his pride, but he’d only been honest. He detected something untamed in Adrienne Hill, and he longed to find out why. Of course, she seemed proper for the most part, but he couldn’t escape the sense that there was so much more to her, a lot she didn’t show the world. For some strange reason, he wanted to see it all.
Heiresses in Love Series Links:
UPON YOUR RETURN
Universal Amazon: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00I0D9LQ8
CreateSpace link: https://www.createspace.com/4284739
book trailer: http://youtu.be/tpwAq8YFdv8
UPON YOUR HONOR
SmartURL (UNIVERSAL): http://smarturl.it/uponyourhonor
Universal Amazon: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00JTKTODG
CreateSpace link: https://www.createspace.com/4762748
book trailer: http://youtu.be/dLOteuscV04
UPON YOUR LOVE
(to be sent when available)
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2kJ2wKW
Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 23 other books. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title - winner of the "Broken Heart" themed contest and the "I Love You" themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers' Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers' Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. 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 10 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 a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 24 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender