- N. N. Light
The Lady and Her Quill by @ruthacasie is a Book Series Starter pick #historicalromance #giveaway
The Lady and Her Quill – Book 1 of The Ladies of Sommer by the Sea
Ruth A. Casie
Regency Romance, Historical Romance
Her mind kept telling her to stop loving him, but her heart couldn’t let him go.
Renowned author Lady Alicia Hartley has lost her muse after a bad review. She blames it all on the author JC Melrose. A chance encounter with a handsome, witty Justin Caulfield has her heart racing, and her muse seemingly back. Is he her savior or her worst nightmare?
The recently retired Captain Justin Caulfield is facing his own demons. As gifted author JC Melrose, his stories honor men who died at the hand of one man. His only focus is to avenge their deaths, that is, until he meets and falls in love with Lady Alicia.
The two authors take on a writing challenge based on a story of stolen gold taken from the newspaper headlines all to determine the better writer. While researching the story, Lady Alicia is captured by the thieves’ ringleader. Can Lady Alicia turn this mystery into an award-winning story? Can Justin save his real-life heroine? Can they both overcome their own challenges for a happily ever after?
Justin paced the library as Elkington read Barrington’s message.
“You’re as wound up as a caged animal. Sit down before you wear out the Aubusson. What has you so disturbed? It’s not this.” He held up the message.
“Your sister-in-law.” He stood looking out the window but saw nothing but disaster. How did he get in such a pickle?
“I thought so. She’s a fine woman. Although I’m surprised. I’m afraid she did not speak kindly of you before you met her. She has this idea that you’re destroying her writing career. I dared not tell her you were a friend.” Elkington unsuccessfully tried to stifle a light laugh. “I’m glad that problem is resolved.”
“You don’t understand.” Justin pivoted. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. He faced the enemy in situations he was sure he would die and luckily survived. Yet he never felt so vulnerable as he did now.
Elkington stared at him. His smile faded turning first to concern, then into anger.
“My god, what happened?”
“She has no idea that I’m...” The words stuck in his throat. “J. C. Melrose. I’ve tried to tell her several times, when we met, at the cathedral, the castle. She skillfully diverted the conversation each time.”
“That’s a relief,” Elkington mumbled and tossed Barrington’s letter onto the table. “You mean she interrupts you and takes over the conversation.”
“I didn’t think I was her only victim.” Justin rubbed the back of his neck.
“Believe me. You’re not.”
“Alicia took me into her confidence and showed me the cave in spite of her fears and shared why it provoked such a deep emotion. Her tale was so vivid that I was held captive and imagined myself in the cave. I was as panicked and fearful as she had been. I thought my uncle exaggerated her ability. He was correct. Alicia Hartley is a master storyteller.”
“Alicia addresses everything with passion and determination.” Elkington stared at him.
“I’ve always faced my problems, even the difficult ones. But this, I have no idea what to do. This I will tell you. I will not walk into that reading tomorrow as J. C. Melrose. I won’t humiliate her like that.”
“Your choice is simple. You can take the coward’s way out and not go—”
“That’s not an option.” Justin spit the words out.
“I didn’t think so. Then you know what you must do.” Elkington said.
“She will hate me. I may lose her forever.” He stared at his friend and tried to swallow around the hot knot in his throat.
“No, it won’t be easy, and she will be angry. You will just have to work hard to win her back. I know. Her sister is the same.” Elkington put his arm on his shoulder. “Do you want me to send Alicia in.”
Justin nodded to Elkington. He had barely left when Alicia glided into the room. He took on his well-tested military mask, the one that radiated an air of calm and self-confidence to others. Inwardly he dreaded speaking to her. He took a deep breath and tried to relax.
“You wanted to speak with me?” She sat on the settee and clasped her hands in her lap. Her eyes gleamed with expectation making his task all the worse.
He had practiced telling her in his room, on the ship, even walking with her. At the moment he couldn’t recall anything he planned. He sat next to her and took her hand.
“I have something to tell you. I’ve tried several times, but the conversation gets diverted and we’re on another topic.”
“Oh, I do interrupt. If I—”
“No. That’s not the issue. I’ve been trying to tell you that I use my mother’s maiden name when I write. I thought it would be uncomfortable to use Caulfield with my uncle the publisher.”
He waited for her to ask him what his pen name was, but she didn’t. Did she suspect he was J. C. Melrose and waited for him to confess? He looked into her eyes. No, she was innocent and at that moment he didn’t know whose heart he was breaking hers or his.
“I write under the name of Justin Caulfield Melrose.” He said it and let his name hang in the air along with his heart.
Her eyes widened. She said and did nothing.
“J. C. Melrose,” she said.
“Yes.” The single word was as horrid as a bullet to his chest.
She pulled her hand away, stood, and marched out of the library slamming the door behind her.
Not a tear. Not a word. But he saw the pain and anger in her eyes or was it hate.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
This is a Kindle Unlimited book - https://bit.ly/TheLadyandHerQuill
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59237514-the-lady-and-her-quill
What makes your featured book a must-read?
“Alicia and Justin are both successful authors, her a romance novelist and he writer or wars and battles, but both their stories lack a strong person of the other gender and an anonymous review plus Justin’s uncle throws them together.
I totally loved both Justin and Alicia, they are both strong and determined characters with their own strengths and weaknesses, but this made them seem so much more real and human. They completely stepped off the page for me and the danger, drama, and intrigue that they both have to work through made them even more compelling and had me wishing to know more and to keep following their lives even after the book ended.” 5 Star review from Anna’s Book Blog
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Ruth A Casie is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes historical adventures from the shores of medieval Scotland to the cobblestone streets of Regency London. Within the pages you’ll discover ‘edge-of-your-seat’ suspense, mind boggling drama, and heart melting emotions featuring strong women and the men who deserve them. Grab your favorite cup of tea, or an ale if you prefer, and join her heroes and heroines as they race across the pages to find their happily ever after. Ruth hopes her stories are your next favorite adventures!
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