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His Shadowed Heart
Hazel Statham
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After the death of his wife, the Earl of Waverly, believing his heart irreparably damaged, enters into a marriage of convenience.

Amidst conspiracy, can Caroline, his young wife, prove his salvation and bring joy into his life or will nefarious deeds destroy their chance of happiness?

“I see not the necessity,” Richard Moreton, Earl of Waverly said, his irritation with his sister increasing. She had been in his house for five days and still she would insist on pressing the point. A point he had no intention of considering, and his patience was wearing thin. She had made scarcely veiled comments from the moment of her arrival, but this morning, she had overstepped the mark and he was determined to hear no more on the subject.

Lady Victoria Stanton, a tall, elegant matron of middle years, with dark hair and perceptive blue eyes, chose to ignore the disquieting light in her brother’s eyes and replaced her coffee cup none too gently in the saucer. Her aristocratic features showed her displeasure at what she perceived as his stubbornness, and she determined to pursue her point.

“Then you are a bigger fool than I gave you credit for,” she snapped. “I can’t believe a man of your intelligence is unable to see the advantage of remarrying. If only for the child’s sake, you should make some effort to find a wife.”

Finally, he could stand no more of her meddling in his affairs and threw his napkin onto the breakfast table. He pushed back his chair and rose quickly, his imposing frame taut with anger as he strode to the window to stand sightlessly gazing out over the mews, his hands balled into fists at his side.

Victoria turned in her chair; even though she spoke to his averted countenance, she was reluctant to relinquish her cause. “You are now thirty-four, Richard, and Julia is three. It’s high time you thought of marrying again. It’s not right that she should grow up in a male environment. She needs a mother, not just the influence of her nurse.”

The earl sighed with exasperation, his dark countenance appearing even darker. “My dear sister, there is absolutely no need for you to be so concerned on our behalf. I assure you, we do very well. She will have a governess when the time is right. I have no thoughts of remarriage. Indeed, I have no desire whatsoever for a wife. Julia and I fare very well as we are.”

Her ladyship gave a heavy sigh, revealing her frustration at her brother’s constant refusal of what she saw as a perfectly reasonable desire to see him remarried. “Why must you be so obstinate? You have an obligation--a duty. I will never forgive you if you fail to produce an heir and allow Cousin Gerald to lay claim to the title and estates. It simply will not do. You are handsome enough, and your fortune is quite respectable. You have had half of society’s beauties throwing their cap in your direction these two years or more. Have you not seen one to take your fancy?”

When he gave no response, and thinking she knew the cause, Victoria spoke a little more kindly. “My dear Richard, you cannot mourn Elizabeth’s going forever. You have a life to lead and it grieves me to see you so unhappy.”

Still he gave no response, only to look briefly over his shoulder and cast her a look of dislike before resuming his unseeing contemplation.

Piqued, she continued, “If it wasn’t for that scowl you so habitually wear you would do very well. I vow, you can be quite charming when you have a mind to, but that frown you seem to constantly favor, even puts me to fright at times.”

He turned. “If it does, it isn’t evident.” The scowl deepened, shadowing a pair of storm-grey eyes that at one time had been described as fine but now showed a coldness in their depths. His well-formed mouth was compressed with anger. Indeed, he was rarely known to smile, only Julia having the power to lighten his mood. Those who possessed a romantic turn of mind vowed that his austere air proved his devotion to his departed wife who had tragically lost her life in prematurely giving birth to their daughter. They perceived him as the loyal and grieving husband who had never recovered from her death.

Hazel lives in Staffordshire, England. She started writing at fifteen and has written on and off ever since. She has always been fascinated by history and writes mainly in the Regency and Georgian eras, although she has been known to occasionally stray into Medieval times.

When she was a child, she often told herself stories and this just progressed to committing them to paper to entertain family and friends. However, there have been gaps in her writing years where marriage and employment intervened, but now that she no long works, she is able to return to her first love and devote her time to writing. She had her first two novels published in 2005.

She has been married to her husband Terry since 1969 and they have a grown daughter and beautiful grandson. Apart from reading and writing historical novels, her other ruling passion is animals and until recently, she was treasurer for an organisation that raised money for animal charities.

She currently shares her home with a lovely yellow Labrador named Lucy, who is her constant companion. Lucy is a real sweetie, but it’s not always easy working at the computer with a large Labrador trying to get on your knee!

Hazel hopes you enjoy reading her novels as much as she enjoys writing them and is always delighted to hear from her readers.

Dominic: This is a sweet story. There is humor as the two characters interact and a friendship grows. The interactions between the two characters is well written, and you will find yourself caught up in the emotions of the story. You can feel what it was like as a woman during this time in history when you could not make any decisions for yourself. How scared Jack must have felt not to be able to survive out on her own. How sweet first love is as Jack falls for the charming Dominic. History will be played out in front of you as you read. The clothes, the balls, the carriages will bring it all alive through the author's description. This story has a very interesting plot and when trouble once again comes into Jack's life, you will be very surprised at how everything is resolved. I recommend Dominic as a sweet historical romance. Colorful characters, beautifully descriptive settings, and an interesting plotline makes this one of the best historical romances I have read. -- The Romance Studio, Overall rating Sensuality Rating: Sweet

Dominic: This sweet romance is quite addictive. Hazel Statham uses language which is appropriate to the period. As a reader, I initially found it difficult to breeze through, but the tone of the book is quickly established by the use of these old-fashioned terms. The characters are pleasing and unique. Naïve Sophie is the perfect partner for an arrogant young man who seems to have everything. She brings forward his very human, vulnerable aspects. Through misunderstandings the romance becomes complex, leading into a dramatic conclusion. If you have been searching for a warm-hearted regency romance with an authentic accent, you should read Hazel Statham’s Dominic. -- Fallen Angel Reviews, Five Angels

Dominic is a wonderful story of the scandalous rake who becomes a tutor to a beautiful innocent young woman, Jack, who teaches him about the unconditional love of his lifetime. Hazel Statham gives her readers a story of compassion that will tear at your heart strings as you anxiously read each page. -- Romance Junkies, Blue Ribbon Rating 4.5

Dominic: This is an old fashioned novel in the style of Georgette Heyer. It is billed as Regency and is that style, but is really set in the Georgian era. The characters are likable and real, and the author breathes new life into an old genre. --Coffee Time Romance, 4 Cups.

Dominic, the Earl of Vale is surprised to arrive at his apartments to find a young boy. The fact that the boy has been beaten leads Dominic to believe that he has already been looking for trouble. However, once inside Dominic discovers that that young boy, Jack, is not a boy at all. Realizing that he is dealing with a young lady, Dominic decides to offer his protection, but when morning comes the girl is gone. Leaving no trace as to where she has gone or who she actually is, as she never told him her true name. Dominic is a well-written fascinatingly fun love story that readers will find a pure delight. Ms. Statham is a magnificent author who always gives a true love story that is truly a joy to read from beginning till end. -- MySelf.com

My Dearest Friend is an intricately woven tapestry of life and death and shows us the inner workings of the nobility. The story starts off well and continues to build momentum to the last page. -- Robyn Once Upon a Romance 4.25 rating

Hazel Statham’s His Shadowed Heart is a delicious Regency Romance. I am reminded of the style of Georgette Heyer. As in most Regency Romance, the handsome eligible bachelor marries for convenience. His wife is quiet and demure. They grow to love each other overcoming obstacles to form a lasting relationship. While the formula is the same, the plot is not diminished. The obvious attraction and emotional tension between Richard and Caroline is delightful. Fans of Regency Romance will enjoy His Shadowed Heart. -- 5 Star, In the style of Georgette Heyer…Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for ReviewYourBook.com 06/08

Fiction Books :: Romance Books :: Historical Books

ISBN: 1597057568
ISBN(13-digit): 9781597057561
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 222
Paper Weight (lb): 9.5

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