by Philippa Lodge
GENRE: Historical Romance
Emmanuel, Chevalier de Cantière, youngest son of a baron, is happiest raising horses far from his complicated family. When news comes his mother is deathly ill, he races to her side only to find she has apparently recovered and moved on, leaving behind her companion, Catherine.
Catherine de Fouet blends into the background, saving up so she’ll never have to wait on waspish, scheming old ladies like the baronesse again. She has no interest in a resentful gentleman, estranged from his mother, no matter how broad his shoulders or intriguing the wounded soul behind his handsome face. She just needs someone to escort her back to Versailles.
But Catherine is suspected of poisoning the baronesse. She rebuffs a pushy courtier who tries to use blackmail to make her his mistress, and her reputation hangs by a thread.
The chevalier wants more than anything to protect this woman whose prickly exterior hides sweetness and passion. They need his family to help him through court intrigues—almost as much as they need each other.
She sweeps up and smiles to her right, where her beaming family tries—and fails—to look nonchalant. Her handsome father gestures to a chair next to her mother’s, and she goes to it, sweeps around, and sinks slowly to the edge of her—
A young man in an ill-fitting justaucorps, long blond hair tied back with a dark ribbon, stood in the doorway, his face scrunched in bad-tempered confusion. “Are you the companion?”
He strode into the room, glancing toward the landscape painting Catherine had just curtsied to. He looked familiar. His face was much like the baron’s, but with a sour expression.
Catherine sat and looked down at her hands, folding herself back into her invisible shell in the matter of a second before glancing up at him. “Yes, I am the companion.”
“You’re better, then. I’ll take you to my mother on Monday. Leave Monday, anyway. I don’t suppose you can ride to Paris? We could make the trip in a day.” He fidgeted with the justaucorps, tugging at the coat’s buttons and sleeves. It was two inches too short to be in fashion.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Philippa Lodge has a hundred stories in her head and a social media addiction. She writes historical romance set in Louis XIV’s France (sometimes with the king himself!); New Adult romantic women’s fiction-type stories set in small-town, small-college, modern America; and contemporary romance with nerdy beta heroes and cranky heroines whose pasts can be healed with the love of a good man. She lives with one husband, two cats, and three kids in the inland valley of California.
Outside the US:
Philippa will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.