New Release | Claims of the Heart by USA Today Bestseller @AlinaKField #regency #romance #newrelease
Title Claims of the Heart
Author Alina K. Field
Genre Regency Romance
Since a perilous fall, Lucie Macbeth has been seeing more than a settled future as the heiress to a Scottish barony. The visions plaguing her include a man—one far above her class and breeding, and English to boot. He’s engaged to a duke’s granddaughter as well, and thus wholly inappropriate. Though she can’t marry him, and she won’t become any man’s leman, when the Sight warns her of danger to him her conscience, and her heart tell her she can’t walk away.
Since his return from Waterloo, Major Lord Rudgwick has been rusticating in the country teaching himself how to live as a man with only one hand and pondering how to end the engagement he contracted before his world turned upside down. But then a letter arrives from an old army comrade, requesting Rudgwick’s aid for his daughter, Lucie Macbeth, the woman he met one year earlier, the woman whose claims on his heart he can’t deny.
Lucie fixed her gaze upon the stage through the first two acts, though the comedy poked at her temper. The scandal mongering in particular reminded her of all she must make herself ignore whilst setting a foot into London society, and wasn’t that ridiculous? Her parents’ divorce had occurred over twenty years ago. Navigating society had been easier in Brussels, where impending battle had broken down some of the social barriers.
“This is a silly story,” Lady Fiona murmured.
She made herself smile, and then laugh. The play was delightfully mocking, and she’d so far enjoyed the company. Lord Jeremy Bolton was another handsome young man, and his conversation had been refreshingly cordial. “And grateful I am to be here and to see it.”
“All’s well that ends well.”
Her gaze caught the opposite box where Rudgwick sat in the front row with his fiancée and Lord Jeremy. The duke and Lady Rudgwick sat behind them.
Rudgwick’s gaze strayed from the stage and met hers. Her vision narrowed and focused, a fog descending upon the rest of the theater. At the back of the box the curtain moved, and a shadow appeared—a man. She blinked, and he stepped into the box on stealthy feet.
Her chest tightened, fear pounding against her ribs. She wanted to shout, but all she could manage was a gasp. She wanted to jump to her feet, but she was frozen in place.
In a flash like a whirlwind, the shadow rolled forward, tangled with Rudgwick, and then pushed him over the balcony. Her heart locked itself around a cry. Her eyes fluttered. The floor of the box fell away.
Pain shot through her wrist with a sharp pinch, and she opened her eyes wide. Rudgwick was still seated. His dark gaze still drilled into her.
“Lucie.” Lady Fiona’s whisper cut through her confusion. “We are almost at the interval. Shall we order refreshments?”
Oh, Hades. She’d all but cried out. But for Lady Fiona’s quick thinking, she would have. “Aye, my lady. I would like that.”
As her breath calmed, the stage curtain closed, the rich hangings swaying in time to invisible pulls on a hidden rope.
Rudgwick was still seated, still watching her. That had definitely been a vision, quite different than the usual one involving Major Lord Rudgwick.
Who had the shadow been? A man, for certain, and one dressed as a gentleman to boot. He’d put her in mind of her late cousin, Giles Banquo. But Banquo was dead. Her cousin Malcolm and his wife Marielle had watched him die and had seen his body into the grave.
She agreed to Lord Grallon’s offer to fetch ratafia and laughed politely over Lady Walby’s critique of the actors.
Visions…the Sight. Dear God. Papa had lived with this knowing, or almost-but-not-quite knowing. He’d seen danger for Mother, and not taken action until it was almost too late.
But… danger to Rudgwick? What did she know really? The attacker’s face, his hair color, none of those could she guess. What she did know, almost certainly, was that whoever the man was, he meant to harm Rudgwick.
Lifting her gaze, she saw that Rudgwick had stood and was helping his lady to her feet. He glanced back at Lucie, as if unable to look away for very long.
Fear niggled at her, and her neck prickled insistently. He could fend for himself, but he ought to be warned, and not in a letter that someone like the duke might pick up and read. Nor would she convey it through Hyde.
Somehow, she must warn him, without inviting a stay for herself at Bethlehem Hospital.
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USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature but prefers the happier world of romance fiction. Her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., but after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California where she shares a midcentury home with a gold-eyed terrier and only occasionally misses snow.
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alina-K.-Field/e/B00DZHWOKY
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