An Heiress by Midnight by @ClairBrett is a Binge-Worthy Book Festival Pick #historicalromance #givea
Title: An Heiress by Midnight
Author: Clair Brett
Genre: Historical Romance
Lady Louissa Adair was raised by her uncle to be anything but a lady, spending hours scrubbing the decks of his ill begotten ships. Now, he has tasked her with a more deadly task. If she refuses, any hope of finding her long-lost and possibly dead brother will be lost while her uncle moves up his timeline to marry her off to a most dastardly man. While doing her uncle’s bidding, a blasted Englishman running around Scotland sets upon being her champion – not that Louissa has ever needed one. If he doesn’t get them both killed, and she might just kill the fool herself, she faces an even bigger danger – losing her heart.
Lord Clive Colcord, Earl of Breakerton, had escaped to Scotland in an attempt to avoid scrutiny by his late father’s solicitors. It had been a quiet, if not boring rustication until he finds himself tasked by the local magistrate with apprehending the highwayman menacing the North Road. He doesn’t expect to discover a beguiling dark-haired beauty with more dangerous men in her life than Clive has sisters. Yet he finds himself offering aid in an attempt to protect this damsel in distress. He must help Louissa find the proof of her uncle’s crimes and find her brother before she is forced into marriage all the while not losing his own heart in the process.
July 12, 1817
A full moon graced their passage as the carriage roared along Milton road, heading towards the shore. Clive Edward Colcord the Earl of Breakerton rested his head against the squabs embracing the constant rhythm his team made on the well trodden road. He took the solitude to contemplate his current life path. Having just a fortnight ago said farewell to his best friend and his wife and child he had barely been able to enjoy the quiet. Which was more unsettling than he recalled.
Luckily, this current distraction had fallen nicely in his lap. It seems, so the eldery magistrate regailed, a highway man has been pestering late night travelers along Milton road. Being an area not well populated by young daring bucks, the magistrate delegated the task of running the braggard to ground to Clive. He couldn’t help smiling into the empty moonlight at remembering the difficulty the old dodger had once he realized he was putting the safety of Scottish people into the hands of an Englishman. Apparently, those who led the Magistrate to his doorstep didn’t bother to explain he had inherited the title from his great aunt and had actually been born and raised in the cradle of London and Sussex. The man took on the look of one of his sisters when he would add extra pepper to their roast.
As the horses thundered ahead, Clive watched the wilderness sail by. He began his trek well after nine o’clock. It seems the highway man is a night owl. The one perplexing issue was that none of the victims were able, or should he say willing, to give much useful information. They were able to state what had been taken, which in itself seemed odd, but they couldn’t even give a specific place where it had happened. This left him with no choice, but to start at the beginning of the road and ride it to the sea. The briny smell of the ocean had been becoming more and more pungent in the last few miles, which told Clive that he might have to retrace his hoof beats on another night. Perhaps this highway man only works part-time.
He leaned forward and banged the roof box to give his driver the order to turn at the next intersection when he heard the first shot. Sending the team into panic the jolt threw him back into the cushions. “Damn and Hell” He yelled. “Get them in tow Phillip.” He commanded to his driver. He knew the command did little to help, but he already felt the horses slowing.
Once the carriage rolled to a stop, Phillip’s head appeared from the roof box door. “Sorry, there, My Lord. I hope yer brains ain’t addle too badly.” He asked with concern and humor in his voice.
“No more than they were addled before. Thank you for your obvious concern.” Clive answered dryly. “Are you well? Are the horses?”
“Fine. You knows yer stock’s the best in all of Scotland no little noise will shake them for long.” Phillip replied with all the pride of an owner himself.
“Was that a gun shot?” Clive asked. He knew the answer, but felt the need to make sure.
“Eye, t’was. But, no beasty has come to rob us.”
“Well, I think perhaps we should not remain long. We might become witness to some other crime we are not investigating. Go ahead to the next intersection make for home.”
“Eye, sir.” And, Phillip was gone. It only took another moment before the team once again thundered along. It didn’t set right with Clive to hear one gun shot and then nothing. It could very well be a poacher, but at this hour he doubted it. He didn’t have much experience with high intrigue, but all his instincts were on alert.
Reaching on the floor he felt around in the dimness for his walking stick come saber. In the commotion it had slipped from the facing seat. Just as his fingers closed around the cold metal of the sheath, a second shot rang out. Luckily, Phillip apparently was in the same frame of mind as his employer and had the team under a tighter reign. The difference this time was the low raspy voice demanding him to exit the carriage.
“Its about bloody time.” Grumbled Clive as he could now hear the waves beating against the shore. He registered that fact as he carefully opened the door and stepped into the night. The moon still shone brightly, but his foe was crafty and remained in the shadows. “Good evening. Might I be of assistance? Did your carriage throw a wheel?” Clive asked with enough believability, he thought he might try his hand at acting.
“You may, sir. I am in need of but two things and as luck would have it you can assist me with both.” The inky figure answered back in that raspy tone.
“I am at your service.” Clive started toward the voice in hopes of seeing better.
“Stop!” The shadow ordered. “That will be far enough. What I need is for you to simply leave your coin purse on that rock to your right, then regain your carriage, instruct your driver to turn around and go back from hence you came.”
“Is that all?” Clive asked with humor clear in his voice. “I am sorry to have to retract my earlier offer, but I am afraid I will be unable to aquisense. I quite like my change purse where it is on my person, and I have business ahead on this road not behind.”
Amazon Kindle: https://amzn.to/2Mu1DWz
What’s the first binge-worthy book you read and why was it a must-read?
Karen Hawkins Confessions of a Scoundrel. I loved the strength of the heroine and how she challenged the hero from the start and forced him to change his closed minded view of the world. It was action packed so I couldn’t put it down.
What makes this a binge-worthy book?
“An Heiress by Midnight is loaded with surprises, suspense, many twists, intrigue, bad villains, interesting secondary character's too. I felt a connection to the H/h from the start.” ~ Amazon Reviewer
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Almost empty nester, Clair Brett, lives in NH (until she can buy a seaside escape somewhere warm) with her hardworking husband, two cats who take turns holding her down in her office chair daily to make sure Clair gets her word count in, a white spotted boxer/beagle (THE empty nest plan), and for right now the youngest Tenacious Teenager as she finds herself. Her other Fearless Firstborn daughter is serving our great country as a NH Air Guard medic and planning her college career for her RN. (nope Clair isn't proud at all)
When not writing sexy, witty, independent historical heroines, Clair enjoys watching the Red Sox on NESN (it isn't the same when they switch to a network game), cooking, pinning--everything on Pinterest, and planning vacations she may never get to go on until someone leaves her a fortune.
A former middle and high school English teacher, Clair has had a lifetime love affair with reading. Once she read Pride and Prejudice as an extra read in high school, she was hooked. Clair began pursuit of publication when she was a new mother in need of a world that didn't consist of diapers and sleepless nights.
Clair is a firm believer that a reader finds a piece of who they are or learns something about the world with every book they read. She wants her readers to be empowered and to have a refreshed belief in the goodness of people and the power of love after reading her work.
Social Media Links:
Twitter at: http://twitter.com/clairbrett
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2fhSrm4