Beloved, best selling author Jane Ashford is back with her first new Regency romance in over ten years!
Who says second chances aren’t possible?
On Sale: February 1, 2013
Featuring: Charlotte Rutherford Wylde; Sir Alec Wylde
When Charlotte Wylde loses a husband she never loved, she becomes entangled in a family she never knew he had. Ashford’s intriguing new historical, Once Again a Bride, has been included on Publishers Weekly‘s Spring 2013 Top Ten List (romance category)! You can discover this enthralling book now—and then preorder reissues of Ashford’s beloved backlist titles—Man of Honour (available September 2013), The Three Graces (available October 2013) and The Marriage Wager (available November 2013). Don’t miss another chance to find out why Ashford’s stories leave Regency romance fans swooning!
Praise for ONCE AGAIN A BRIDE
“A near-perfect example of everything that makes this genre an escapist joy to read: unsought love triumphs despite difficult circumstances, unpleasantness is resolved and mysteries cleared, and good people get the happy lives they deserve.” —Publishers Weekly STARRED Review
“Ashford spices up the plot of her latest Regency historical with an intriguing thread of mystery while at the same time realistically tempering the story with details about the social and political unrest of the time.” —Booklist
“Well-rendered, relatable characters, superb writing, an excellent sense of time and place, and gentle wit make this a romance that shouldn’t be missed.”—Library Journal
“A delightfully fast-paced read about second chances and love’s redeeming power.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
(Excerpt from ONCE AGAIN A BRIDE)
Alec handed his card to a very young housemaid at his uncle’s former residence. She left him standing in the street for several minutes. “Madame is not at home,” she told him shakily when she returned.
A lifetime of good manners sizzled and went up in smoke. “Nonsense.” He pushed past the girl, sending her running as if he were an invading army. After a quick look around the empty first floor, he marched upstairs. In what he remembered as the drawing room, he found a dining table and chairs. In the room opposite, he finally discovered Charlotte. She wore an apron over a shabby gown and held a filthy dust cloth.
“Why are you doing the maid’s work?” he asked, then wished he’d held his tongue.
Charlotte threw down the cloth as if it were a dead rat. She clutched the apron, began pulling it off. “How dare you…?”
Heavy footsteps on the stair heralded a white-haired giant. “Everything all right, ma’am?” he said.
Alec was disoriented. He knew this man. Where had he…? “Trask? What are you doing here?”
“The missus and I work here.” He looked at Charlotte. “Ma’am? Is all well?”
Alec’s head spun. It appeared that his former head gardener stood ready to eject him from the house. “I thought you were retired,” was all he found to say.
“It’s fine, Trask, thank you,” said Charlotte. When he’d gone, she added. “What do you want?”
What did he not want, Alec wondered? Seeing her again, lovely even in such a homely setting, had scattered his wits. He found himself transfixed by her coppery eyes, her lips which had met his so fervently… He groped for his set speech. “I came to apologize, of course. I told Hanks that he is insane and dismissed him. He took me unawares with his ridiculous…”
“And what if other people think as he did?” “No one would…”
“You believed it. For a moment.” “I did not!”
“I saw it in your eyes.” Her voice wavered, and Alec felt it like a blow to his chest. She swallowed. “Get Hanks back. Let him watch this house, examine my background, follow me through the streets if he likes. He will find nothing wrong!”
“I know that. You have to understand; my first thought is always to protect my sisters…”
“No, no, of course not. I admit my mistake. I am very sorry for it.” Charlotte said nothing. “There are… elements of our family history that make me… overprotective, I suppose.” Charlotte tossed her apron over a chair. She was looking everywhere but at him. Increasingly uncomfortable, Alec continued, “My grandparents’ household, where we lived until I was six years old, was… a place of turmoil and acrimony. My sisters and brother, being younger, were spared much of the experience, and I vowed that their lives would be… peaceful.”
“Peaceful,” Charlotte repeated.
He could not read her tone. But… was she staring at his lips? Nonsense; she couldn’t be. “Of course my father had been even more… disturbed by the disaster of his parents’ ‘love match.’ His whole life was made a misery by them. I learned from his example. He strove always for the reasonable path. He chose a wife for her compatible background and equable disposition; they were quite contented…” He had completely lost the thread of this conversation, Alec thought. He was saying too much, and what had it to do with apologizing?
“So you don’t believe in love?” Charlotte asked. Her eyes were still focused on the floor.
Read more about the beloved Jane Ashford at www.janeashford.com