Title: Fortune’s Folly
Author: Cat Dubie
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romantic Fiction
Eden Fitzgerald is no swooning maiden waiting for her prince. Alex Banning has vital duties to perform for the Crown. Irresistible forces draw them together, their attraction culminating in a blazing night of passion.
For one shining moment Eden is in love! But her infatuation sours when she learns Alex deems her father a traitorous Fenian conspirator. When her father is arrested and imprisoned, she vows to have him freed. Pregnant with Alex's child, determined never to tell him, she enters a marriage of convenience with the scion of a wealthy Canadian family.
When all legal methods of freeing her father fail, Eden plans his escape. Needing money, she turns to highway robbery and becomes the legendary Giselle, a beautiful, daring thief. Soon the hunt is on for her--agents of the Crown, Montreal police, a dangerous smuggler she cheated, a brother-in-law she betrayed. Will she be able to avoid capture?
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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What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?
I enjoy all aspects of writing romance but one favorite task is thinking of devious ways to keep the main characters apart until the final clinch.
Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:
Here’s an old standby: bubble bath for two, soft music, candles, wine…
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Cat was born in Austria, emigrated to Canada when she was four, grew up on the prairies, and now lives with her family in the beautiful province of British Columbia.
She has written creatively since she could hold a pencil. Poems, short stories, novels, reviews, essays. Her day job as a technical writer for various levels of government was the labor she did for a living so that in her free time she could indulge in her labor of love, writing romantic fiction.
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