A Night of Angels
My super secret project I couldn’t talk about until now!
I join a galaxy of superstar Dragonblade authors in this Christmas anthology.
My story, Father’s Day is a reunion story. Hero of Captive of the Corsairs Kit Hardacre meets his long-lost father, Adam who is the hero of my upcoming series The King’s Rogues.
What has kept the two men apart? What can bring them together for Christmas?
It’s out on November 27 but you can pre-order HERE, now!
Here’s an exclusive excerpt
Olivia took one look at Adam and steered him away from Sophia and the Ridgeways, taking a different turning down a path where the formal gardens gave way to a wildflower garden.
“I take it didn’t go well?”
“He got defensive when I asked him what happened after the Pendragon, and he accused me of deserting Constance when she was with child.”
“Give him time to know the truth.”
Adam tucked Olivia’s arm in his.
“I know… The whole thing is just…” Adam shrugged his shoulders, unable to find the right word to describe how he felt.
“He was ten years a captive of the corsairs.”
“I feared as much when we found out all those years ago. At least then I could tell myself he’d died at sea and been spared such a fate – and now, to know the truth…”
“In the years afterwards, he turned his pain into vengeance,” Olivia added. “That’s how he damaged his leg, according to Sophia.”
Adam was helpless to fix the past and he sure as hell didn’t know how to repair the present either. He let go of Olivia’s arm and bent down to pick up a pebble from the path. He hurled it with all the strength he had.
“My son hates me.”
“I’m sure that’s not true.”
He fixed Olivia with an exasperated look which she returned with hands raised in mock surrender. “Have it your way, but we’re all under the same roof until New Years.”
He shrugged a silent apology, which Olivia accepted by taking his hand. They strolled on in quiet reflection, down the path that followed the gully leading to the lake and the little summer house.
“Have you thought of taking him to Ponsnowyth and Kenstec House?” Olivia asked. “He’s come all this way to learn about his mother and who better to show him than the man who knew her best – who loved her as much as anyone could? If he knows, I’m sure he’ll understand. Will you promise me at least that much?”
“We will show him. Together.” said Adam, placing emphasis on the last word.
Olivia squeezed his hand in silent agreement and they continued the walk in silence. His wife had been Constance’s champion when even her father ordered every trace of her erased.
What a hard unbending man – and where did it get him in the end? Adam mused. Squire Denton’s second wife and their daughter moved to London, never to return. The squire himself passed unmourned; his legacy and influence long gone.
His pride, Kenstec House, once the centerpiece of Ponsnowyth was now uninhabited, in the ownership of a distant cousin from Canada who’d been through its doors exactly once.
Had the new owner finished the long-abandoned widow’s walk? Or had it been removed completely and the original roofline restored? Perhaps it would be interesting to go back again after all these years.
Adam looked at his wife in profile. They were dangerous times when they first met and they both nearly lost their lives up there on that widow’s walk. After fourteen years, those memories had been replaced with better ones – filled with laughter, love, home, and family. He wished the same for Kit. He wished the same for all his children.
The sound of giggles and hoots of laughter reached him first. Adam and Olivia emerged from the woods. Thirty yards away was the lake and the summer house, and marching around to it was Kit Hardacre like some kind of enchanted pied piper with Julia, Charlotte, and several of the estate’s children following him..
He paused with Olivia beside him, watching as Kit entertained the children, playing some game he didn’t recognise. There he was – his son in his natural habitat, his face youthful and animated. Adam didn’t move, afraid if he did they would be spotted and the cold bitter wall between them would re-emerge.
He watched his daughters take to this man, who ought to be a stranger to them, as thought they had known him all their lives. Perhaps there was hope for him as well.