Title: Castle Gordon
Author: Sue Jaskula
Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense
After her husband is gunned down mere weeks before the end of WWII, Anna Castle Gordon arrives in a small Canadian town on the shores of Lake Huron, determined to carry out their planned future despite his demise. Braving harsh northern storms and unfamiliar territory seems straightforward to Anna after serving in the air force herself. When her late husband’s lecherous brother proves threatening, and her funds are withheld, Anna’s confidence wavers.
Handsome and caring, Scottish born Joseph Hendrie seems the answer to her apprehension; until a local woman’s disappearance creates Anna’s biggest challenge yet… knowing who to trust. Will she become the next victim? Is Joseph all he seems? Can she follow her dreams in a new country without his help, or does she want to?
Pain sliced up her leg when she pulled up to rest against the offensive boulder. “Damn it. Now look what you’ve done.” Stuffing her stinging hands into the pockets of her coat, she hugged it tightly around her, tipped her head back, and prayed for a miracle.
Minutes later, a hand touched her shoulder through the grey shadows. Anna’s gasp was loud in the still of the night. She jolted upward with a wince of pain and the hand retreated.
Sitting motionless, barely breathing, she wondered if the touch had been real or imagined. “Is someone there?” She swept a hand in front of her in the darkness, hoping to connect with someone sympathetic to her plight, but terrified Ian had followed her, and she now sat injured and alone at his mercy.
A thumbnail flicked a matchstick; the flame temporarily blinding, caused her to turn her face away. In the light, her profile was visible to her intruder. Porcelain skin with delicate features, and tendrils of flaming golden hair peeked out from under her hooded coat. One leg lay straight in front of her; she wore a small shoe that now touched his boot. “Yer a bonny wee lass out alone at night. What ails ye?”
Scottish accent, thank God. Anna sighed with relief when the flame doused.
“How long have ye been out here?” He lit another match and crouched to her level, bringing the flame low. He extended his free hand. Anna shook her head and closed her eyes to the stranger. “Take my hand.” He clasped her gloved fingers in his warmth.
Weakened by pain, cold and diminishing adrenaline, she stood with his help, but immediately faltered when she attempted a step. The trees spun before her, and she slumped against her rescuer.
“Well, damn,” he mumbled. Unaware of her injured leg, he lifted her under her knees, and sensed his way along the path in the dark.
Anna came to with a start and shook her head quickly at the foreign surroundings. Several pillows propped her up against the solid wood headboard of a double bed; her legs stretched out in front of her. She caught her breath with her first glimpse of the man who now administered gauze bandaging to her bare knee. “Who are you? And where are we?”
“Ye can speak then. I might ask ye the same.” He smiled but concentrated on wrapping her injury.
She winced when he secured the tape holding the bandage in place. “That should do it. I apologize for taking the liberty of removing yer pant leg. I had no other way to assess the damage.”
She raised her focus from her injured knee to his face when he glanced up in the dim light. His blue eyes held hers from under fair brows that matched the strawberry blond in his hint of beard. Darker red than his beard, his hair was almost mahogany, shorter on the sides with a long sweep on top. One errant piece now fell over his forehead. His touch had been soft but the span of his shoulders and chest showed strength with muscles that strained the fit of his white t-shirt.
“Can we have a go again wi’ introductions?” His head tilted in question and his smile widened now that he looked directly at her. “And maybe a wee bit of detail as to why ye’d be out alone alongside the lake in the middle of the night and in this weather.”
She looked down at her hands and examined the small wounds from her fall. She recognized his kindness by his soothing tone and gentle ministrations to her injuries. His expression showed compassion and she immediately felt safe, but also uncertain how much to reveal to this decadent stranger.
“Since I carried ye half a mile, blood dripping from yer knee down my arm, how about starting wi’ yer name? I’m Joseph Hendrie.” He extended his hand.
She shook it, then flinched when the cuts cracked open. “Anna Gordon.”
“A fellow Scot ye’d be?”
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The perfect escape to 1940s Kincardine, with rising stakes all the way through and perfectly swoon-worthy love interests. An independent and feisty main female character and a handsome Scottish hero, this story will keep you on your toes from the get-go.
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My career has spanned many years in a mix of criminal and civil law and hospital surgical administrative work. Along with my work and life experience, I hold a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and a Creative Writing Certificate both from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.
I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to take early retirement and pursue a career in writing, a pursuit I have entered with energy and enthusiasm. I am currently a registered member of Toronto Romance Writers, Crime Writers of Canada, and Sisters in Crime.
My husband and I have a home in Grimsby, Ontario. But I truly feel most at home at our cottage in Kincardine, Ontario near our adult children and grandchildren. On these shores of Lake Huron, with some of the best walking trails in the country, my imagination soars and my best stories come to life.
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