Excerpt from THE MARQUIS OF THUNDER...
It appeared the only thing keeping the sheep from breaking free now was the huge black horse that seemed to
appear out of nowhere. He stood in the narrow road just slightly above them, his rider completely composed
despite the storm and tenuous situation. Seraphina shoved her damp, disheveled hair out of her face so she could
get a better look. Had someone come to help her? One of the men from their village, perhaps?
No, the man on the horse was no one she'd ever seen before. No one from Lesser Crossing had ever cut such a
fine--and enormous--figure. The stranger sat tall and straight on his stately mount, apparently impervious to the
weather. The horse danced nervously, but the man kept him expertly in check. Even his hat sat obediently atop
his head in elegant perfection, defying the wind. The man's cloak was as black as the horse and the multiple capes
flapped like foreboding wings behind him.
Seraphina could not make out his features, but one distinguishing element caught her eye. The man, although clad
in black on the huge midnight steed, was not a dark figure. It surprised her to note that beneath his raven top hat,
he was crowned with a shock of wild, waving hair that was every bit as yellow as her own. It was almost as if
some golden archangel had donned human attire and dropped from the heavens, assuming gentlemanly form.
Unfortunately, at this moment she didn't need an archangel or a gentleman. She needed someone who knew
something about dislodging big rocks and keeping sheep from drowning. In her limited experience, she'd never
found angels nor gentlemen to be particularly useful in either of these.
Apparently he was willing to give it a go. The man dismounted, his horse becoming noticeably more nervous with
his absence. Seraphina half expected the animal to charge off in the other direction when the man dropped the
reins and took a step toward her. It didn't bolt, which she counted as a testament to the man's horsemanship, or
perhaps his ability to install dread in anyone who might wish to disregard his will.
"Are you having some trouble there?" he called. His voice boomed over the gusting wind and bleating sheep.
"I need to get the sheep into higher pasture," she yelled, hoping her own voice might somehow carry. "But I can't
move the bar that is blocking our way. It's wedged under these rocks."
He must have understood because he glanced toward the low-lying meadow that the sheep had been in and
nodded. Her collie growled as the man advanced toward them. Seraphina murmured an admonition.
"Easy, Tess. I'll let you know when it's time to bite the fellow."
Tess dropped low to the ground, ears back, her gaze flicking warily between the man and the sheep under her
command. Seraphina had no doubt in her faithful canine. One motion from her--the slightest whistle--and Tess
would forget herding duty and become a formidable protector. But how effective could it be against such a man?
His clothes and his voice gave the appearance of social standing, but his broad shoulders and strong stride hinted
at a more physical power. The man was huge, and built as a laborer. Surely if he were so inclined, he just might
be able to do something constructive for them. If he were not so inclined, however, Seraphina could be in for
She was not quite sure what his inclinations were right now.
"A sturdy hammer might be useful for this," he said, uncomfortably near.
"It would," she agreed, standing as tall as she could and keeping eye contact with Tess. "But my hammer got
caught when those rocks tumbled, pinning it as well as the bar that I need to move."
He leaned in, so close to her she could smell the scent of his soap. His shoulders practically blocked the light and
his very nearness took her breath away. Before she could react to defend herself, he was reaching, stooping so
that his face was almost against hers. She choked on her surprise, but as quickly as his action terrified her she
realized what he was doing.
He had his hand on the shank of the hammer where it stuck out from under the pile. If she'd been in control of her
tongue she would have reminded him that it was pointless, that she'd already tried--and failed--to remove it
When the rocks in the wall had tumbled, they'd trapped it securely. His attempt would be fruitless.
But she couldn't tell him that. The words simply wouldn't form as her eyes caught on his, locked in an
uncomfortable but unbreakable union. In the icy blue depths she saw defiance, impatience, assurance, and
perhaps even a touch of mirth. Was he enjoying his needless display of supposed superiority? Yes. The hint of a
smile at the corner of his lips gave him away. He stared at her with the most annoying overconfidence.
Soon it would be her turn to smile when he tried to retrieve the hammer and found that, indeed, it was stuck. She
smiled her own hint of a smile to imagine such a proud gentleman humiliated by a simple workman's tool. He
would not be so smug then, would he?
Her imagining was short lived, though. The hammer, it seemed, was even more intimidated by him than she was.
It didn't so much as try to frustrate his arrogance. With one effortless tug, the hulking stranger pulled the traitorous
implement free of the rocks.
The hammer was his and he held it up before her. Lightning flashed through the darkening clouds. The man's
golden hair tossed in waves with the wind. Thunder rumbled with the same timbre as his voice.
He grinned when he spoke. "I'm good with hammers. Now, how can I help you, little shepherdess?"
|"The Heart of a Hero Series"
Have you ever wondered what your favorite superheroes might be like if they were from the Regency
era? And what if a group of them were recruited by General Wellesley to serve as spies during the
Napoleonic Wars? Well, several well-known authors had just that thought! Then we ran with it.
The Marquis of Thunder
(Book 6 in "The Heart of a Hero" Series)
No Rest for the Wicked by Cora Lee
Only a Hero Will Do by Alanna Lucas
Once Bitten by Aileen Fish
Lightning Strikes Twice by Jillian Chantal
No Hiding for the Guilty by Vanessa Riley
The Marquis of Thunder by Susan Gee Heino
The Good, the Bad, and the Scandalous by Cora Lee
The Archer's Paradox by Ally Broadfield
The Missing Duke by Heather King
The Mercenary Pirate by Katherine Bone
Lord Thorston is a man on a mission. Known as "the Marquis of
Thunder" by those who see only his mask, Thorston hides his true
purpose behind privilege and conceit. In truth he is service a higher
purpose. Recruited to secretly assist the crown, he finds himself in
the wilds of Nottinghamshire. He's faced with his most formidable
foe yet--his own traitorous heart.
Miss Seraphina Janesley is desperate to be rid of the marquis. She
knows there is more to this pompous wastrel than he would
have her believe. Is he truly preoccupied with folly, or is he
here to uncover her secrets? With French spies, local Luddites,
and the river rising around her, does she dare trust him? Is he
her hero, or is he her doom?
|We came up with nine full-length novels of adventure, suspense, and Regency-era daring-do. Our stories bring you
true love and happy endings, with characters who are heroes in every sense of the word. Read them all!
Find out what's so "super" about these very special heroes: