Title Fortune’s Folly
Author Cat Dubie
Genre Women’s Historical Fiction
Publisher Solstice Publishing
In 1867, Eden Fitzgerald marries, not for love or money, but to persuade her influential in-laws to obtain her father’s release from a contrived prison sentence. Cleverly evading those who believe she, like her father, is a smuggler and Fenian collaborator, Eden does what she can, what she must to achieve her goal. When legal methods are exhausted, she dons a mask, carries a pistol and, using her wiles, wits, even her seductive beauty, robs wealthy citizens to amass enough money to arrange her father’s escape.
Her life grows ever more complicated by the lustful attentions of several men who profess to love her, and the one man she loves but dares not trust. As her crimes worsen, culminating in what may be treason, and her enemies grow more dangerous and determined to apprehend her, she must run for her own freedom.
Fog rose from the river and drifted through the streets. The night was cool and silent but for the muffled sonority of a fog horn and the occasional distant clip-clop of horses’ hooves.
The courier, clutching a package to his chest, crept along the walkway. He paused every few steps and cupped his ear.
So close she could smell his fear, Eden kept a steady pace behind him. Another corner and they would be alongside large buildings, empty at night. A corner streetlamp provided scant illumination in the thickening fog.
Four quick steps and she poked the pistol barrel into his back. “M’sieur, please turn.” He swung about, his face a pale blur, his mouth quivering. “Give me your package.”
“N—no,” he croaked. “Not this one, Ma’mselle.”
“Do not refuse.” Her voice was sharp. “Now, or it is the end of you.”
His heart thumped, fierce and loud. Or could that be footsteps?
“Oh, please, no, I beg you—”
She grasped the package and wrestled him for it. He seemed desperate; she was determined. When she struck him on the side of his head with the pistol butt, his breath came out in a rush and he dropped like a bundle of rags.
Oh God, what have I done? The package under her arm, she squatted beside him and felt his chest. She bit back a sob. He was unconscious, yes, but breathing well. And no blood. She straightened and whirled, only to stumble into another, taller figure.
He held her by the shoulders. “What is your hurry, Ma’mselle?”
She struggled against his unyielding grip. The pistol fell and vanished into the fog. Her heart drummed. She had walked into a trap!
“Little thief,” Laurent said. One fist clasping her upper arm, he yanked the package away and swept the hood off her head.
Frozen by dread, by his hard grip, she took slow, steady breaths. There had to be a way—
“And this.” He batted her hand away and untied her cloak, letting it slide to the ground. She flinched. “Your beauty dazzled Colchard.” A moment of silence. “Yes, you are fine to look at.” He reached for her mask, his fingertips brushing her cheek.
She’d throw herself into his arms. He’d have to catch her. And—
He lost his balance and took quick backward steps, dropping the package. Someone swung an arm around Laurent’s neck and dragged him away. They disappeared in the fog, emerging a moment later. Laurent looked in full combat with his attacker. Eden winced at each dull thud and growl.
She groped for the pistol, retrieved the package and wrapped it in her cloak. A jarring crack, a low groan, and all sounds of scuffle ceased.
If she slipped away it didn’t matter who had been victorious. She sidled toward faint light in the distance. The mists parted. A single figure emerged. It was not Laurent.
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Available also in print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625268920
I’m one of the authors participating in the Dog Days of Summer Reading Giveaway and you can win an e-copy of one of my books.
Runs August 1 - 31 and is open internationally.
Winner will be drawn September 1, 2019.
Cat Dubie’s love of words began early. With a crayon in hand she first drew stories, with a pencil she wrote them. As for reading, she was the girl who always had her nose in a book, the one who read with a flashlight under the covers or, when the moon was full, sat by a window for hours laughing, crying, loving characters whose adventurous lives wouldn’t let her sleep.
She has traveled the world in books. She has traveled back to the dawn of time and far into the future in books. Her keen interest in history determined the nature of her books, and the first Historical romance novel she read, settled the genre.
After working for various levels of government, she retired and now lives in the beautiful province of British Columbia, where she indulges in her need for creating stories about romance, adventure, passion, mystery, love ...
Social Media Links:
Twitter @CatDubie https://twitter.com/catdubie