Hi friends! We’ve got Heather Snow with us today! She’s sharing an exclusive excerpt with us today in ALBTALBS world! Whee! In fact, she’s got an exclusive excerpt, and a bit of an explanation as to the rest of her series too!
The Chemist, the Criminologist and the Counselor…
I’m thrilled to be here on Teaser Tuesday to share a bit about my debut historical romance series. It has been great fun for me to write my Miss Smartypants heroines, and I hope readers love them as much as I do.
The series features science-savvy heroines, the men who love them, and the mysteries they have to solve. When I first set out writing, I had only the idea for the first novel, Sweet Enemy, in mind. I’d gotten it while attending a fascinating museum exhibit detailing a scientific event that occurred during the Regency period, which started a “What if?” mystery in my mind. I couldn’t get it out of my head, so I started to create characters that would fit the story line.
I also thought a lot about how I could make my book stand out…how could I twist things to make it fresh and yet still deliver a great tale? That’s when I decided to make my heroine the scientist. In most books I’d read, if anyone got to be a scientist-type, it was always the hero. And blast it all, why should the men always get to be the interesting ones? Plus, having a chemistry degree myself, I thought I could lend my voice well to her character.
People responded so well to my refreshing heroine, that I decided to write an entire series revolving around women who used their minds to make a difference in their worlds—and of course, the men who were strong enough to encourage and support them! I am happy to share an excerpt from my February 2012 debut, Sweet Enemy, as well as blurbs for Sweet Deception, which just came out in August, and Sweet Madness, due to release Spring 2013.
A Veiled Seduction Novel ~ Book One
Beakers and ball gowns don’t mix, so when lady chemist, Miss Liliana Claremont, goes undercover as a husband-hunter to investigate Lord Geoffrey Wentworth, the earl whose family she suspects murdered her father, romance isn’t part of her formula. But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can’t control…
One of the most fun things about writing Sweet Enemy is that it occurs at a house party—a familiar scene in many a Regency romance novel. And yet, we get to look at it through the eyes of an analytical female who is as lost in this world as the rest of the debutantes would be in Liliana’s laboratory.
In this particular excerpt, taken from the middle of the book, Liliana has been roped into being championed by our hero, Geoffrey, as he competes for the honor of escorting her for the remainder of the day in a medieval style sporting competition amongst the gentlemen—a trial arranged by Geoffrey’s mother in an effort to find him a bride, much to his disgust. (But that is a tale for another time.)
Liliana, however, has been trying to avoid any and all Wentworths. She is trying to remain unnoticed as she investigates their role in her father’s death while the other guests are distracted by the events. Unfortunately for her, she’s been unable to avoid Geoffrey’s interest. So, in an effort to lose his regard, she’s spent the past two events criticizing his performance—calling him out for shoddy footwork in a sword-fighting competition and for unsportsmanlike behavior when he won a horse race, given he’d spent twelve years in cavalry, whereas his competitors were simply London gentlemen. As this scene opens, Liliana has just been taken to task by her Aunt for sabotaging her own chances at winning his hand…
Geoffrey Wentworth, a war hero and rising political star, never wanted to be the Earl, but when his brother dies, he knows his duty–take up the responsibility for his family’s estates. His mother’s definition of duty differs from his, however, and can be summed up in one word–heirs. When Geoffrey rushes home to answer her urgent summons, he finds himself host to a house full of women, all vying to become the next Countess of Stratford. But his love is Parliament, where he wields his influence and reputation to better the lives of ex-soldiers, until a tempting houseguest and a secret from his past threaten his freedom…and his heart.
Liliana Claremont, a brilliant chemist, doesn’t want to be any man’s wife, much less a countess. If she had tuppence for every time she’d been told her place was filling the nursery, not experimenting in the laboratory, she could buy the Tower Bridge. However, when she receives a coveted invitation to the Earl’s house party, she trades in her beakers for ball gowns and gladly takes on the guise of husband hunter–for the chance to uncover what the Earl had to do with the murder of her father.
Liliana believes the best way to get the answers she needs is to keep her enemy close, though romance is not part of her formula. But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can’t control…
Aunt shook her head in disgust. “Only my brother could sire such a head strong, imprudent girl,” she muttered. She raised herself to her full height, well beneath Liliana’s nose. “I command you to stop this nonsensical behavior and apologize to the earl.”Anger rose in Liliana’s chest. She’d listened to Aunt Eliza criticize her father most of her life. Besides, she would not apologize for being herself. Well, certainly she’d overplayed it. She wasn’t typically rude, but she did, nearly always, speak her mind. Stratford’s footwork had been deplorable and holding a horse race when one is clearly more experienced than others was quite unfair. She’d said nothing that wasn’t true.
“I shall not,” Liliana said. “A gentleman such as Stratford has dozens of girls bowing and scraping to him, trying to win his hand. I believe he’s the sort of man who likes a challenge.”
The moment the words left her mouth, Liliana frowned. They made more sense than she’d expected, and she had the strangest feeling they might be true. Heavens. What if her incendiary words had done the equivalent of throwing down a gauntlet? No! That would be disastrous.
Aunt opened her mouth in rebuttal, but Liliana stayed her. “Nevertheless, Aunt, I shall take some bit of your advice,” she appeased. After all, the damage had surely been done. “I shall treat Stratford with the utmost respect and solicitude for the rest of the afternoon.”
Aunt gave her a disgusted look, then retreated into the crowd.
Liliana removed the bouquet from her chair and dropped it atop the other one on the grass beside her. She sat, troubled. Perhaps Stratford did like a challenge, but he couldn’t possibly want her and her sharp tongue anymore, if he ever did.
Her eyes sought Stratford. The third event had been set up. Targets were affixed to old barrels several yards out. Archery perhaps?
She spotted Stratford off to her right, standing with the other gentlemen. They looked to be checking pistols. A shooting competition, then.
Well, at least she wouldn’t be subjected to another display of masculine grace and form. Goodness, it had been near impossible to keep her eyes from Stratford all afternoon. Yes, his footwork had not been up to snuff for a swordsman, but as a man—he was quite the specimen. He exuded strength and purpose. Even now, she noted the concentrated intensity with which he cleaned his weapon. If he turned that intensity upon a woman in the bedroom . . .
Liliana felt herself blush and snatched up her equation. She couldn’t explain this awful attraction, so she did what she always did. Focused her mind on cold science. Yet this time, it didn’t suffice. After scratching through three mistakes in her formula, she set the paper down.
Stratford was such a contradiction. At first, she’d been certain he was on to her. Yet then he’d surprised her with the thoughtful bouquet of globe thistle. When he’d presented her with it, he’d seemed like a true suitor, anxious for her praise. And he’d deserved it. Not only had he fought well, but she’d seen the pain in his eyes. He’d struggled through and come out the victor. She’d felt rotten insulting him so.
Had he truly just been trying to impress her? A warm sensation flowed through her before she squelched it. It hardly mattered if he had.
Still, it wouldn’t hurt to act the proper lady for the rest of the afternoon. If Aunt had noticed her slights, others had as well. That wouldn’t do. Should Stratford win the last event, she’d compliment him. Not effusively, mind you. Just more . . . nicely. She’d draw no more attention to herself. And then, if it turned out he wasn’t onto her after all, she could slip back into obscurity and complete her search.
The murmuring of the crowd quieted as the men lined up. Liliana sat up straight and fixed her eyes on the field. She would watch this match with interest.
Several feet separated each contestant from his neighbors. Servants stood behind with horns of gunpowder and extra ammunition. Stratford stood nearest to the crowd, giving Liliana a perfect view.
The trumpets sounded and each man raised an arm. Balls shot from twelve pistols with a deafening boom. The yellow-dressed girl gave a little shriek. Liliana rolled her eyes.
She watched Stratford as he meticulously reloaded, pouring his powder precisely. He was close enough that she could see the ripple of muscle on his forearm below his rolled-up sleeve as he took careful aim and pulled the trigger. Another shot exploded from the muzzle.
Again she watched his precision, a trait that she, as a chemist, truly appreciated. Oh yes, concentrated intensity. Her blush returned and she looked away.
After five shots, the men lay down their arms, and servants darted out to retrieve the targets. The targets were taken to a table near the tent, where a panel of judges pored over them before once again declaring Stratford the winner.
This time, Liliana stood and clapped with everyone else. She smiled prettily, waiting to congratulate him.
But the man who stalked toward her with a bouquet held haphazardly upside down in one hand and a target in the other was no sweet suitor. He was fourteen stone of cross male, and he looked to be spoiling for a fight.
“Congratulations—,” Liliana began, but Stratford tossed the bouquet toward her. Not hard, but clearly without care. She caught the lovely bunch of yellow roses and tucked them in the crook of her arm, as if he’d handed them to her gently.
She took a quick step back when the target was thrust into her face.
Five shots clustered very near the bull’s-eye.
Liliana cleared her throat. “Well done, my lord.”
Stratford lowered the target and glared. “Is that all you have to say?”
“Well, yes, I—”
“Because I can assure you, Miss Claremont, most of my shooting experience has been from the back of a moving horse,” Stratford claimed. “With a rifle, not a pistol.”
Liliana didn’t know what to say, so she nodded.
“So my victory meets your ideals of sportsmanship?”
Liliana nodded again, astounded. Her plan had worked better than she’d thought.
“Did my stance meet your approval?” he challenged. “Not leaning too far forward or back?”
“Your stance was perfect,” she said slowly.
He raised himself to his full height and looked down on her, cocking a raven brow. “So even you, with your uninformed petty little standards, could find nothing wrong with my performance?”
Liliana narrowed her eyes. Uninformed? Petty? She’d had quite enough of his display. Yes, she’d been rude, but he was being a boor.
She stepped toward him, raising herself as well—she was no shrinking violet. “Since you asked,” she said, simply because she couldn’t help herself, “you didn’t hit the center, not even once.”
She could actually see the blood rising up Stratford’s neck to his face before he exploded.
“No one hits the center with a flintlock!” he exclaimed, throwing his hands up in the air. “It takes so long for the powder to ignite, it throws off one’s aim!”
Stratford’s fist clenched and he gave her such a fierce stare, Liliana feared to take so much as a breath. Not that she sensed he’d do violence to her person, but she’d never seen someone so angry.
Then he collected himself, a mask of indifference slipping over his features. When he spoke, his voice was nonchalant. “But then, what would a woman know of a man’s pursuits?” He capped his mocking words with a shrug of his own and turned away.
Liliana sucked in a breath. Laughter tittered around her, but it hardly registered through the swiftly rising haze of fury. “A man’s pursuits?” she asked, her voice sounding low and dangerous to her ears. Her entire life she’d been told to keep her nose out of men’s pursuits. As if men alone had a brain worth educating. As if only men were capable of understanding complex scientific theory or making any worthy contribution to the world besides babies.
Well, not today. Liliana took a bold step forward. “I’d wager, my lord,” she scoffed, “that this woman can not only make that weapon fire faster, but increase its accuracy measurably.”
Stratford stopped and turned back to face her, both brows raised. People around them hushed in expectation. Liliana heard Aunt Eliza’s groan from the crowd.
“And how do you propose to do that?” Stratford asked, sounding more surprised than scornful.
“That is none of your concern,” she snapped. “Do you take my wager or not?”
Stratford’s cobalt eyes narrowed slightly, thoughtful. “That depends, Miss Claremont,” he said after a moment. “How would you propose we test your claims? Will you shoot against me?”
Liliana’s stomach clenched. She’d never fired a weapon in her life. She had little chance at hitting a target.
“Because while we can verify accuracy easily enough, the only way to test whether a gun fires more quickly than another is to shoot them at the same time,” he pointed out reasonably, with a smile that said he knew very well she couldn’t shoot.
Liliana clenched her jaw. “I have no experience,” she admitted.
Stratford nodded. “Well then, unless someone steps forward as your proxy, I don’t see how I could take your wager, tempting though it may be.”
Liliana’s heart fell as the silence dragged on. Of course no one would challenge Stratford on her behalf. She closed her eyes. Not only had she made a fool of herself, but she’d made sure there was plenty of attention on her now. Her only consolation was that after this embarrassment, people would expect her to stay away in shame. That would clear up her time so she could search the house.
She only hoped she’d be allowed to stay.
“I will shoot on the lady’s behalf,” came a rich baritone. Liliana’s eyes flew open and she turned. The crowd parted, and a dashing man stepped forward and came to her side. “As I’ve missed the afternoon games, I’d enjoy getting in a bit of sport.”
Relief flooded Liliana, though she couldn’t place her rescuer. She didn’t think she’d ever seen him before. Definitely not since she’d been at Somerton Park.
Like Stratford’s, his hair was as dark as night, but that’s where the similarities ended. His glittering green eyes were framed by long black lashes and had an exotic slant that reminded Liliana of a gypsy.
He was taller than Stratford as well—taller and leaner, with a smile that flashed quickly, unlike Stratford’s slower, warmer one. Yet he didn’t make Liliana’s breath catch in her chest as Stratford did—a fact that deeply annoyed her.
“If that meets your approval, mademoiselle?” the stranger asked, giving Liliana a slight bow.
Liliana swallowed. “I’d be delighted, sir . . . ?”
The man straightened and laughed. “Stratford, don’t you think you should introduce the lady to her new champion?”
Stratford’s face had gone stormy. “Miss Liliana Claremont, Lord Derick Aveline, heir to Viscount Scarsdale.”
“A pleasure, Miss Claremont,” Aveline said. Liliana gave him a quick curtsy. “Now, shall we begin?” Aveline held his arm out to Liliana and, after securing her hand, took a step toward the field.
“Not quite,” Stratford said, drawing Liliana’s gaze back to him. She and Aveline stopped walking. “We’ve yet to agree on the terms of the wager. What have you in mind, Miss Claremont?”
Oh, dash it all. This had become enough of a scene. She couldn’t very well ask him to hand over any information he had about her father’s death, and she wanted nothing else from him.
“I had nothing particular in mind,” she answered. Other than to prove your chauvinistic views as nonsense.
Stratford gave her a look that said wagers were a man’s pursuit as well. Drat him.
“I’ve an idea,” Aveline interrupted. “It is my understanding that Stratford chose to champion you for the day, yes, Miss Claremont?”
“And that you were to spend the rest of the evening and supper ball with him as escort?”
She hadn’t known that part. Still, she nodded.
“Well, as I am your champion now, should we win the wager, I propose that you spend the evening with me instead.”
The wager sounded innocuous enough and would get her out from beneath Stratford’s watchful eye. “That would be preferable,” she said, knowing it insulted Stratford, but she was beyond caring. “If we should lose?” She looked over at Stratford, who stood rigid, the tic of a muscle evident in his jaw.
“Then Miss Claremont spends the rest of the house party with me.”
A gasp came from somewhere behind them.
“Every breakfast, every luncheon, every supper and every activity.”
What? Good heavens, this couldn’t be happening. “I don’t really think—”
“That’s hardly equitable,” Aveline spoke over her, which annoyed her, yet he voiced the truth.
“Be that as it may, that is my demand,” Stratford said, his voice hard.
Aveline patted her hand where she gripped his forearm. “Then I must insist the same. Should we win, I shall escort Miss Claremont for the duration.”
Absolutely not. She’d never be able to search, then. She must put a stop to this.
“Done,” Stratford said, holding out his palm.
Aveline reached out and shook Stratford’s outstretched hand.
This was her wager, blast them! “Gentlem—”
Aveline squeezed her arm and lowered his head. “Don’t make this worse than it is,” he whispered.
Liliana slumped. He was right.
“I don’t know what lies between you, but if you don’t wish to spend the next two weeks with Stratford, I suggest you make certain we win,” Aveline said, and turned her toward the shooting line.
The crowd followed, silent and rapt, as if watching a carriage wreck. Servants rushed to set up two new targets.
Liliana’s stomach turned over. There was more than her feminine pride on the line now.
Dear God, she absolutely had to win this wager.
“Do you agree, gentlemen, that these weapons are of similar make and quality?” A blond gentleman, who had been introduced to Liliana as Viscount Holbrook, stood between Stratford and Aveline as each man weighed two matched pistols. After examining one, Stratford traded it to Aveline for the other.
Liliana fidgeted, shifting her weight from foot to foot as both men nodded and handed the weapons back to Holbrook.
“In the interest of fairness, Aveline, I must inquire as to your shooting ability,” Viscount Holbrook stated. Being met with silence, he clarified. “What I mean is, do you feel you are on par with Stratford?”
Liliana looked to Aveline, who had elected to remove his jacket but retained his waistcoat and neck cloth. In his buff-colored leggings and burgundy-striped vest, Aveline radiated sheer elegance, even while rolling up his puffed sleeves. Dear Lord, how could a town gentleman have a chance against a military veteran like Stratford?
Aveline regarded Holbrook with hooded eyes.
“I am a decent shot,” he answered vaguely.
A decent shot? Liliana nearly groaned. Her chances could be up in smoke before the hammer was even cocked. Aveline’s bland smile did nothing to reassure her. She prayed his relaxed attitude was the benefit of confidence and not a product of his lack of stake in the game.
“I will admit that I have yet to hit the center with a flintlock pistol, m’self,” he added, sounding unconcerned.
Holbrook nodded. “Stratford, as you will be firing the unaltered weapon, first choice is yours.” He flipped the guns in his hands and held both curved burl-wood handles toward Stratford.
Debating only a moment, Stratford chose the pistol on the left. He walked over to the firing line without saying a word, determination lining his features.
He hadn’t once looked at her since making his ridiculous demands, while she’d caught herself staring at him numerous times. She hated to admit it, but it rankled.
Holbrook drew her attention.
“Miss Claremont, do you require time and, or, er”—Holbrook flushed, likely not sure how to phrase the question—“tools to make your modifications?”
Her chest tightened the breath from her as seemingly every other eye on the estate turned to her as well. There were some, like her aunt, with faces pinched in disapproval, but many showed rampant curiosity.
It took all of her willpower not to pull a silly face at the lot of them. Did they think she’d file off half of the barrel or something? An irrational smile threatened as she visualized herself manically sawing through metal as all and sundry looked on.
“Just a few moments,” she answered, motioning a passing maid. How she wished she wore one of her own dresses. She always carried her tinderbox in the oversized pockets. Liliana sighed. Regardless, she could still win. She’d just have to substitute.
Liliana whispered to the girl, then started over to where Aveline stood, checking his munitions. He held the gun out as she approached. “How do you intend to alter this weapon?” he asked.
Liliana waved it away. “I won’t touch the gun,” she said, “just the powder. Be sure to clean the pan, flint and frizzen very well. Leave no residue—wipe it with a moist cloth, then a dry one if you have to—and load the ball as you normally would. I’ll put in the powder.”
Aveline contemplated her, his sharp green gaze assessing. Then he started brushing out the pan with quick, efficient flicks.
Liliana cut her eyes to Stratford, who methodically cleaned his own weapon.
What had prompted his rash terms? He couldn’t truly want to spend time with her . . . could he? Was it wounded pride that demanded her presence, or had he known what she was about all along? He could see winning this wager as the perfect way to keep her underfoot and unable to investigate.
His wooden expression gave no inkling.
The maid appeared and handed Liliana a wrapped handkerchief. Thin lines of confusion marred the girl’s face. Liliana didn’t blame her. All she had time for was a parlor trick at best. She wasn’t even sure it would work.
Liliana unwrapped the contents, then laid the handkerchief out on the judging table and removed her gloves. She measured a portion, crumbling a bit of the gritty crystalline substance with her thumbnail, and began crushing it with a spoon the maid had provided. What she wouldn’t give for a mortar and pestle—the finer the grain, the faster it would burn. Still, this should do.
“What’s that?” Aveline asked.
Liliana smiled. “Magic.” She finished grinding, then scooped the handkerchief up with the powder inside. She walked over to Aveline. “All right, now, fill the pan not quite a third full with the priming powder,” she instructed. The spoiled-egg odor of sulfur tickled her nose. “Be careful not to add too much.”
Aveline quirked a black brow at her but followed her command wordlessly.
“Perfect,” she whispered as he finished. “If you wouldn’t mind?” she prompted, indicating the prying eyes of the crowd around them. Aveline understood and shielded their actions from the others with a turn of his body.
“Thank you,” Liliana murmured, then took a pinch from the handkerchief and sprinkled it into the pan. She cocked her head and debated, then added half a pinch more. She plucked a pin from her hair and gently stirred the powder mix. “That should do it,” she said.
Please, please, please, this had to work.
Aveline furrowed his brow but took his place at the firing line, where Stratford already waited.
Stratford turned and looked at her then. The gaze he fixed her with melted her to the spot. She knew he intended to win, and his look promised retribution when he did.
Liliana drew in a thready breath as he turned his attention back to his target.
“Shooters ready?” Holbrook’s voice queried. The crowd quieted.
Stratford and Aveline both squared themselves to their targets.
Liliana’s heart thumped hard.
“Aim . . .”
She firmed her jaw. This was the moment. The moment where she’d be made a fool or be proven right. And likely still be considered a fool, by male and female alike. She frowned. Well, better a vindicated fool. “Aim true,” she whispered, her eyes fixed on Aveline’s back.
Two distinct shots rang out, one just before the other. Liliana resisted the urge to whoop. Though it was impossible to gauge with the naked eye, in her heart she knew Aveline’s weapon had fired quicker. If his aim was good, they should win out.
Servants ran out to retrieve the targets. Liliana stepped up to Aveline’s side, squinting as she watched the boys. She held her breath.
“Nicked it, ’e did!” came one of the boys’ shouts. “Lord Aveline. Near dead center.”
The boy looking at Stratford’s target just shrugged.
Liliana felt her face spread in a relieved smile. She closed her eyes, ridiculously proud of herself.
The results were quickly verified, and an appreciative cheer went up. Choruses of “Nice shot, Aveline” were heard mostly, but an occasional “Well done, Miss Claremont” peppered the murmurings as the majority of the crowd dispersed.
Liliana looked to Stratford. She found him staring right at her, his eyes narrowed. Not with anger, she thought, but something altogether more dangerous to her—
“Yes, well done, Miss Claremont.” Lord Aveline’s smiling face appeared before her, blocking her view. He handed the spent weapon over to Holbrook. “Usually, I aim a little low, but I put my faith in you and aimed right for the center. She fired so fast!” He grinned. “Now, you must tell me how you did it.”
“Chemistry,” Liliana answered, moving her head to look around Aveline at Stratford, but he’d disappeared. Where had he gone? She returned her attention to her champion. “I simply sped up the reaction, which propelled the ball out of the barrel at a faster rate.”
Aveline squinted his eyes and pulled his head back a touch, giving her the male version of her cousin Penelope’s “drop the scholarly tone and speak plain English, please” look. “Yes, but how? What did you add to the powder?”
Liliana laughed. “Sugar.”
“Sugar? As in tea and milk and all that?”
She nodded. “Yes. Gunpowder is generally a mix of charcoal, sulfur and saltpeter or niter, in very precise mixtures. Charcoal is the fuel, and saltpeter the oxidizing agent.”
Aveline nodded. “Yes, I know that, but where does the sugar come in?”
Liliana glanced around once more. Where was Stratford? Winning didn’t seem nearly as satisfying if one couldn’t flaunt one’s victory a little.
Still, several people had gathered around them, listening. A mixture of pride and unexpected stage fright swirled around in Liliana’s middle.
“Sugar is a carbon, much like charcoal. I simply altered the mixture a smidge, giving the powder more fuel. Since the fire caught quicker and burned hotter, the gases expanded more rapidly, increasing the speed and force with which the ball left the gun.”
“Ah,” said someone.
“Brilliant,” said another.
Liliana’s chest swelled.
Aveline chuckled. “Splendid. I shall have to add a lump or two to my powder from here on.”
A chorus of gentlemen’s laughter went round.
She glanced around for Stratford one last time and caught a flash of his tall frame slipping through the hedgerow. It seemed she’d annoyed him so greatly he couldn’t even bring himself to congratulate her. Liliana let out a puff of breath. At least she’d seen the last of him, but . . . She blinked. Was that disappointment she felt? Oh my, it was! What had gotten into her?
Lord Derick Aveline, the chivalrous man who steps up as Liliana’s savior, is actually the hero in the second book in the series, Sweet Deception, which is also available now wherever books are sold. In it, the viscount meets his match in a feisty lady criminologist.
A Veiled Seduction Novel ~ Book Two
In the dark, the greatest lover can become the most dangerous conspirator…
Lady criminologist, Miss Emma Wallingford, unknowingly finds herself tangled up in the dangerous final mission of Lord Derick Aveline, a spy who also happens to be her long-lost first love. But when deception, however sweet, is the name of the game, no one can be trusted. And every love—and every life—is at risk.
And finally, the series will be rounded out with Sweet Madness, coming April 2, 2013.
A Veiled Seduction Novel ~ Book Three
Coming April 2, 2013
There is a fine line between love and insanity…
Sweet Madness is the story of Liliana’s cousin, Penelope (another fan favorite from Sweet Enemy), who has taken up treating traumatized soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars after her husband’s tragic death. She begins working with a soldier whose case seems dire, as suffers from unpredictable bouts of mania brought on by battle fatigue. Strangely, however, he seems completely lucid otherwise, making Penelope curious to discover what is truly causing his episodes. Even though she knows firsthand the folly of loving a broken man, she cannot stop herself from trying to save him, no matter the cost.
Bio: Heather Snow is a historical romance author with a degree in Chemistry who discovered she much preferred creating chemistry on the page, rather than in the lab. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, two rambunctious boys and one very put upon cat. Find out more or connect with Heather at her website, Facebook, or twitter.