for historical romance novel, The
Reluctant Bride, by Beverley Eikli.
drawn commenter during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a
comment below (and a way for Beverley to get in touch with you). And to
increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and leave comments
Emily Micklen is proud, passionate – and left with no option after the death of
her loving fiancé, Jack, but to marry the scarred, taciturn, soldier who needs
to secure a well-connected wife.
Major Angus McCartney hopes that marriage to the unobtainable beauty whose
confident gaze about the ballroom once failed to register his presence will
offer both of them a chance to put the past to rest.
Emily’s determination to be faithful to Jack’s memory is matched only by
Angus’s desire to win her with honour and action. Sent to France on a mission
of national security, Angus discovers how deeply Emily has been duped, but the
secrets he uncovers lead them both into danger. Can Angus and Emily unmask the
real conspirators before they lose everything?
and Emily, newly married, have just been visited unexpectedly by Angus’s
brother and his unsuitable consort. Emily, embarrassed by her highly pregnant
state and knowing it will cause gossip amongst Angus’s family, reacts in this
scene to her husband’s apologies for the situation Emily has just confronted.)
deliberate care Emily set down the plates once more and turned to look at her
husband through narrowed eyes.
contaminating me with a lady of dubious repute? But Angus, how much worse a
contaminant would I have been had you not married me?’ She patted her swollen
belly. ‘You’d be apologising to your brother. A fallen woman—’
speak like that.’ His wide-set eyes burned with undeserved defence of her.
‘Men’s impulses can be ungovernable, but ladies do not suffer such … urges …
… taken advantage of.’
stared at him. She sucked in a long, quavering breath as her simmering anger
came finally to the boil. Is that what he believed? That she was insensible to
passion? And that was a good thing?
would you say if I told you that my impulses were every bit as ungovernable as
Jack’s?’ She could barely control her anger sufficiently to speak. For days she
had forced her
into the background, using the same emotional device against her unwanted
husband as she had when her father insulted her, shutting out the hurt by
erecting a barrier
impenetrable as steel.
feeling surged through her, blackening her vision and causing her to sway. She
put her hand on the back of the sofa to steady herself.
stood awkwardly by the door, as if unsure whether to move closer to support
her, or beat a tactful retreat.
glared at him. ‘What if I told you that I was so consumed by passion in Jack’s
arms I would not have heeded the Blessed Virgin Mary cautioning me against the
temptations of the flesh?’ She tried to regulate her breathing, but the rage
was clawing its way further up her body, threatening to make her its puppet.
She, who never lost her temper. ‘I loved Jack. I was his slave in passion,
every bit as culpable as he. If you are so concerned for virtue, spare your
condemnation of innocent Miss Galway. You need only cast your eyes upon your
wife to be singed by my sin. There! I have confessed my true nature. Whatever
you thought of me before, you cannot but think worse of me now.’ She registered
the horror in his eyes and was glad for it. Much better that she banish any
pretence between them.
never expressed anger as poisonous as this. At first it frightened her, then it
sent exhilaration pulsing through her. Her love for Jack had been cut off at
the root. Now hatred filled her veins, making her feel alive again. ‘And so you
know, I care nothing for your opinion,’ she added.
managed to remain upright, though her vision came in waves. She could feel her
strength leaving her, but she had to spit out the truth so he’d have no
illusions as to the kind of woman he’d married. A woman no good man deserved.
married me because you needed a wife. I married you so I could keep my child.
We made a contract. My body is yours to do with as you please, but that is all
you will ever have. My thoughts, my feelings, my love will be forever out of
bounds to you.’
eight historical romances published by Pan Macmillan Momentum, Robert Hale,
Ellora’s Cave and Total-e-Bound. Recently she won UK Women’s Fiction publisher
Choc-Lit’s Search for an Australian Star competition with her
suspenseful, spy-based Regency Romance The Reluctant Bride.
for a Romance Readers of Australia Award in the Favourite Historical category —
in 2011 for A Little Deception, and in 2012 for her racy Regency
Romp, Rake’s Honour, written under her Beverley Oakley pseudonym.
romance when she was seventeen. However, drowning the heroine on the last page
was, she discovered, not in the spirit of the genre so her romance-writing
career ground to a halt and she became a journalist.
South Australia’s metropolitan daily The Advertiser to manage a luxury
safari lodge in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, Beverley discovered a new
world of romance and adventure in a thatched cottage in the middle of a mopane
forest with the handsome Norwegian bush pilot she met around a camp fire.
the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s as an airborne geophysical
survey operator during low-level sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and
Greenland’s ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia teaching in the Department
of Professional Writing & Editing at Victoria University, as well as
teaching Short Courses for the Centre of Adult Education and Macedon
Ranges Further Education.
erotic historicals as Beverley Oakley.
Australian Star competition with The Reluctant Bride.
Readers Award for her novel Rake’s Honour
in the 2011 Australian Romance Readers Awards for her novel A Little Deception.