Alexander, Earl of Thorne, thought he finally had found the woman of his dreams. But when Sarah fled just weeks after their wedding, his world came crashing down. Five years later, he has given up hope of ever finding her, until a freak accident strands him in a remote Yorkshire village where she is hiding. Sarah dared to hope she was finally safe. But when her husband is thrust back into her life, she fears her dark secrets—and the fact that she has a son—will come to light. Though her heart longs to reclaim the love they once shared, Sarah rejects Alexander’s offers of reconciliation. But fate is not so easily thwarted… Forced from their home by a flood, Sarah and her child have no choice but to accept Alexander’s hospitality in her former home. Yet with each passing day, the risk of discovery grows, threatening to drive Sarah from Alexander’s life forever. Is their love strong enough to triumph over the secrets of the past? Or will life’s cruel forces finally tear them apart?
Yorkshire, June, 1815
Why now? Dear God, why now? After almost five years of schooling his body and mind from wanting her, the mere sight of her slight form across the crowded marketplace had brought back all the old emotions he’d worked so desperately to subdue, and he reeled with the impact.
He’d thought the stance of the young woman familiar, as he had on numerous occasions, only to be disappointed, but when she moved into full view by the bakery stall, he immediately realized that it truly was his wife. Sarah, his senses cried, sweet, faithless Sarah. They had been wed but four weeks when she disappeared from his home and life. To find her now in a remote Yorkshire village defied all sense.
His impulse was to confront her immediately, but as he moved to tether his horse to the rail outside the smithy, the blacksmith came out to take the beast from him.
“Lost his shoe has he, sir?” the man asked, casting an appreciative, eye over the large chestnut. “Fine animal, if I might say so…”
Thrusting the reins into the smithy’s hands, Alexander Markham, Earl of Thorne snapped, “Nearside fore,” effectively cutting short the blacksmith’s appraisal of his mount, and turning on his heel, left the man to stare after him as he made his way into the throng of people in the marketplace.
Despite his advantage of height, he could see no sign of his wife. She had moved from the stall – but to where? Becoming frustrated with the press of people that milled around him, he strode toward the centre where the ground rose to provide a vantage point, but to no avail. Sarah was nowhere in view and he began to doubt his own perception. Had it just been wishful thinking that caused him to transpose Sarah’s features onto a stranger? Surely not! His mind was not so feeble. He would not doubt his own senses. Nonetheless, the fact remained that she was no longer in view.
Several of the crowd cast curious glances at the tall, dark stranger. He was not a handsome man, his features were too strong for conventional beauty, but on several occasions he had been described as striking. His athletic form defined him as a man of action, one who was not prey to the excesses offered to those inclined. In his youth he had tasted all the pleasures that were offered to a young nobleman on the town but now, at the age of two and thirty, his tastes were more refined and he confined his energies to his estates and the horses he bred, only visiting the city when duty dictated.
It was on one such occasion, six years ago, that he had first been introduced to Sarah who, after completing her schooling, was living with her grandfather. Her parents lived abroad. Her father, The Honorable Henry Trenton, a second son, held a high office with the East India Company in the province of Bengal, but she, along with her older brother had, at an early age, been sent to England for the benefits of an English upbringing. Her maternal grandfather, Lord Edgerton, had invited Alexander to dine at his town house so that they could discuss the new spring stock and it was here that he had first met Sarah.
TO WIN A COPY OF FOR LOVE OF SARAH, ENTER AT RAFFLECOPTER BELOW AND ANSWER THE QUESTION IN COMMENTS:
Why has Alexander had to stop at the village?
About the Author
Hazel Statham began writing at the age of fifteen, finally committing to paper the stories she spun as a child. Writing has been her passion ever since, although marriage, motherhood, and career left time for little else. Once she retired, however, she was able to devote herself to writing full-time, publishing her first novel in 2007. A longtime student of history, she writes mainly in the Regency and Georgian eras, though she has been known to dabble in the medieval as well.
Hazel’s other ruling passion is animals and, until recently, she volunteered as treasurer for an association that raised funds for animal charities. She has several animals of her own and her beautiful Labrador, Mollie, appears in this book masquerading as a Pointer!
She lives in Staffordshire, England, with her husband Terry and Mollie whilst her daughter, son-in-law and beautiful grandson live nearby.