The Captain and The Countess
Historical Romance, Mystery and Suspense
Why does heart-rending pain lurk in the back of the wealthy Countess of Sinclair’s eyes?
Captain Howard’s life changes forever from the moment he meets Kate, the intriguing Countess and resolves to banish her pain.
Although the air sizzles when widowed Kate, victim of an abusive marriage meets Edward Howard, a captain in Queen Anne’s navy, she has no intention of ever marrying again.
However, when Kate becomes better acquainted with the Captain she realises he is the only man who understands her grief and can help her to untangle her past.
Abbreviated Excerpt from Chapter One
Edward, the Right Honourable Captain Howard, dressed in blue and white, which some of the officers in Queen Anne’s navy favoured, made his way across the elegant, many-windowed drawing room through a crowd of expensively garbed callers.
“Lady Sinclair,” someone murmured.
Edward turned. He gazed without blinking at the acclaimed beauty, whose sobriquet was “The Fatal Widow”.
The countess remained in the doorway, her cool blue eyes speculative.
Edward whistled low. Could her shocking reputation be no more than tittle-tattle? His artist’s eyes observed her. Rumour did not lie about her Saxon beauty.
Her ladyship was not a slave to fashion. She did not wear a wig, and her hair was not curled and stiffened with sugar water. Instead, her flaxen plaits were wound around the crown of her head to form a coronet. The style suited her. So did the latest Paris fashion, an outrageous wisp of a lace cap, which replaced the tall, fan-shaped fontage most ladies continued to wear perched on their heads.
Did the countess have the devil-may-care attitude gossips attributed to her? If she did, it explained why some respectable members of society shunned her. Indeed, if Lady Sinclair were not the granddaughter of his godmother’s deceased friend, she might not be received in this house.
The lady’s fair charms did not entirely explain what drew many gallants to her side. After all, there were several younger beauties present around whom the gentlemen did not flock so avidly.
He advanced toward the countess, conscious of the sound of his footsteps on the wooden floor, the muted noise of coaches and drays through the closed windows and, from the fireplace, the crackle of burning logs, which relieved the chill of early spring.
The buzz of conversation resumed. Her ladyship scrutinised him. Did she approve of his appearance? A smile curved her heart-shaped mouth. He repressed his amusement. Edward suspected the widow’s rosy lips owed more to artifice than nature.
“How do you do, sir,” she said when he stood before her. “I think we have not met previously.” Her eyes assessed him dispassionately. “My name is Sinclair, Katherine Sinclair. I dislike formality. You may call me Kate.”
“Captain Howard at your service, Countess.” Shocked but amused by boldness more suited to a tavern wench than a great lady, Edward paid homage with a low bow before he spoke again. “Despite your permission, I am not presumptuous enough to call you Kate, yet I shall say that, had we already met, I would remember you.”
“You are gallant, sir, but you are young to have achieved so high a rank in Her Majesty’s navy.”
“An unexpected promotion earned in battle, which the navy did not subsequently commute.”
“You are to be congratulated on what I can only assume were acts of bravery.”
“Thank you, Countess.”
The depths of her ladyship’s sapphire cross and earrings blazed, matching his sudden fierce desire.
Kate, some four inches shorter than Edward, looked up at him.
He leaned forward. The customary greeting of a kiss on her lips lingered longer than etiquette dictated. Her eyes widened…
About Rosemary Morris
There is a gigantic canvas for a historical novelist to choose from. Multi-published author, Rosemary Morris has set her novels in the reign of Charles II’s niece, Queen Anne Stuart, who reigned from 1702 to 1714, and the ever popular Regency era. She has also written a mediaeval novel set in in the reign of Edward II.
Rosemary Morris chose those periods because each of them affected the course of history. If the Duke of Marlborough had not won The War of Spanish Succession, and The Duke of Wellington had not defeated Napoleon at The Battle of Waterloo, the history of Britain and that of Europe would be different. Defeat would also have had far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world. If Edward II had won the Battle of Bannockburn, it is feasible that Edward II would have conquered Scotland and, perhaps, as it is claimed, he would not have been murdered.
The more Rosemary Morris reads about her chosen eras the more fascinated she becomes, and the more aware of the gulf between the past and present. Rosemary believes those who lived in the past shared the same emotions as we do, but their attitudes and way of life were in many ways very different to ours. One of the most striking examples is the social position of women and children in in bygone ages.
Rosemary Morris presents characters, who are of their time, not men, women and children dressed in costume who behave like 21st century people.
Research of Rosemary’s chosen eras sparks her imagination. The seeds of her novels are sown, and from them sprout the characters and events which will shape their lives.
Rosemary Morris was born in Sidcup Kent. As a child, when she was not making up stories, her head was ‘always in a book.’
While working in a travel agency, Rosemary met her Hindu husband. He encouraged her to continue her education at Westminster College. In 1961 Rosemary and her husband, now a barrister, moved to his birthplace, Kenya, where she lived from 1961 until 1982. After an attempted coup d’état, she and four of her children lived in an ashram in France.
Back in England, Rosemary wrote historical fiction and joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Historical Novel Society and Watford Writers and on line groups.
Apart from writing, Rosemary enjoys classical Indian literature, reading, visiting places of historical interest, vegetarian cooking, growing organic fruit, herbs and vegetables and creative crafts.
Her bookshelves are so crammed with historical non-fiction, which she uses to research her novels, that if she buys a new book she has to consider getting rid of one.
Time spent with her five children and their families, most of whom live near her, is precious.
Social Media Links
Website www.rosemarymorris.co.uk (Please note the website is being updated.)
Books We Love http://bookswelove.net/authors/morris-rosemary/