It is always such a blessing to have authors contact me to review their books. Kaitlin Covel is a debut author – her book is releasing today. She has shared this excerpt with me to share with you and I have a copy of her book that I will be reviewing later this month. I am very excited!
Atoning for Ashes
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: England Regency Era – UK – 1795 – 1837
Written for: Adults
Josie Chadwick dreams of marrying for love in Cornwall, England, but with her father's debt threatening to destroy all she holds dear, her romantic options are dwindling. When her elder sister Delia is disowned, Josie finds herself heiress of Chadwick Park, torn between dreams and duty. After sacrificing her heart to atone for Delia's sin, Josie clings to the hope she will learn to love a distant husband, whom she fears is incapable of requiting her affection.
Charles Radcliffe's heart has been scarred and hardened by rejection. He fears hurting his new bride, but his fears of betrayal and rejection are stronger, making it impossible for him to trust her love―let alone the love of her God.
As Josie and Charles face their new life together, ominous events warn of dark family secrets that could shatter them both. More than a loveless marriage is at stake if they cannot stand as one. Will they learn to trust God and each other before it's too late?
Josie’s eyes flew open to darkness as her body impacted something hard. Something coarse grazed her cheek. Terror mounted in cold ripples until it matched the cadence of her racing heart. Fear choked her until a scream ripped from her throat.
There was a muffled cry, and her body pitched sideways as though some mysterious force had gripped her in its power. A thunderous crash shook the floorboards as she fought the folds that pinioned her limbs. A man’s hands pawed at her, fingers digging into her shoulders. She fought for the strength to scream again.
She stilled at the sound of her name, familiar and fond. The man’s grasp gentled, and her trembling limbs were too weak to resist as he pulled her against his chest. Warm, steadying arms surrounded her as she detected the sound of ragged breathing. Her own chest shuddered with the effort.
“Help me,” she gasped out. “Help—”
“It’s all right. You’re going to be all right,” a tender voice murmured. It sounded familiar, but at the same time she had never heard it before. A rough jaw slid up against her skin, and wandering fingers buried themselves in her hair.
“I won’t let anything hurt you. You’re safe now.”
It hurt to breathe in the inky black oppression. The very air was poisoned.
“Light,” she pleaded against the man’s cheek. “Oh, for the love of all that is sacred, bring me light.”
Strong arms lifted her off the hard floor. She gripped the hard shoulder. His voice resonated within her soul.
“Please God, let there be a moon for her sake.”
A latch clicked, bathing her in silvery light. The stiff breeze revived her paralyzed senses with a rushing chill. Slowly, she realized where she was as she stared out at the moonlit sea through the cabin’s porthole with her husband.
Charles’s eyes caressed her in the cold light, warmth bleeding through the shadows that played across the sharp lines of his face.
“You must have had a nightmare.”
Josie’s face twisted as he clutched her closer against the warmth of his chest.
“I dreamed it again,” Josie whispered. “The nightmare. . . comes in night’s utter darkness.”