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The “Hart” of Romance
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Excerpt from my latest book,  Entice Me

Marcus glanced once at his beautiful ward, cursing his circumstances in silence.

He remembered every word of the doctor who’d first worked on his broken ribs. After enduring the pain of an examination almost equal to the smash of the iron bar his captors had used, he’d taken a breath when the doctor assured him he would now start to mend. It was then he heard the words that haunted him.

“Well, you’ll make older bones than those barbarians had expected, but you’ll never be a truly healthy man. That tricky heart of yours might carry you away at any time, or it might not. Oh well, it will be a easier way to die than that planned by your captors.”

The doctor had been talking cheerfully as he continued the bandaging. Marcus had grabbed his arm with his good hand.

“What do you mean, sir? Exactly, if you please.”

The doctor started. Was it possible he’d thought Marcus too dazed with pain to hear him?

“Nothing much, sir. Nothing much at all. Did I mention you have a slight heart murmur? Just ignore it and concentrate on getting well. There, those bandages should hold your frame tightly and ease the pain a little while you’re healing. You have a strong constitution to have endured all you have. Now rest, Major.”

He’d gathered up his instruments and scurried away.

Marcus had shut his eyes, knowing he needed all his strength to heal. He concentrated on Valanna’s face as he’d last seen it. Laughing and glowing with beauty.

He knew now he could never pursue her. Or any woman. Not knowing he could die suddenly and without warning. The thought haunted him. Although it might be years before he died, it might be weeks. Or even hours. His first priority was to see to Valanna’s happiness. It would be a bittersweet pleasure to ascertain what would best do, and then make sure of her future.

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Forbidden Pursuit by Jean Hart Stewart




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