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But things in Everton take a drastic turn when a storm brings foreigners to the village docks.
On the night Santiago Mendes arrives, he comes with a broken ship, a broken leg, and a broken spirit that Briony finds herself profoundly drawn to. Her scarred heart slowly starts to open, and although Briony suspects he may be hiding something, she cannot help but dream of the possibility of love.
That is, until another stranger appears in town, intent on repaying a childhood debt. A dangerously handsome stranger who shows Briony that she’s even more different than she could have imagined. And that her past is far darker than she realized.
Magic, romance, and political intrigue collide as the secrets surrounding one Scottish woman begin to unravel. Secrets that she may not be ready to face.
Read an Excerpt
Screams drew Briony from her state of shock. They pierced the darkness as terribly as the lightning hitting the ground.
Except ’tis na just hitting the ground anymore! She gasped at the sight of flames rising from the town below. Her neighbors were flying through the streets in a panic, and Briony could see why: the tailor shop and the McGuffs’ house were alight!
Fergus! Briony forgot about Niall and charged down the hill with nary a care for her own well-being. All she could focus on was the thought of the little boy potentially trapped and scared. She reached the burning house and stepped inside. “Hello! Fergus?! Is anyone in here?”
Most of the fire was above her, hungrily swallowing the thatched roof. The smoke was so thick within the confined space that Briony struggled to breathe. Only a few licks of flame had reached the floor, and they were quickly spreading toward the McGuffs’ table.
“H-Here!” came a voice. Whoever it belonged to was too hoarse to identify. Briony covered her mouth with her hand and made her way forward, edging around the blazing table.
Briony hastened into the back bedroom, her eyes flicking between the open window and two beds before landing on their target: Penelope McGuff. The woman was on the ground, facedown. The rest of the family was nowhere in sight.
“Mistress McGuff!” Briony dropped to her knees and grabbed the woman’s hand, but Penelope didn’t stir.
About the Author:
In 2016, Claire became a full-time middle school English teacher in a public school. In her second year of teaching, she also taught social studies. After becoming pregnant in 2018, Claire decided to shift careers and become an online ESL teacher so that she could also take care of her newborn at home.
She now lives in Statesville, NC, with her husband, two children, and three cats. She is also an active member of Christ Community Church Mooresville, where she often serves as a Bible study and small group leader.
Claire plans to continue creating exciting historical fantasy novels and potentially branching out into other genres as well.
Website Link: https://secretdruleacottage.wixsite.com/clairekohlerbooks
Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/Claire-Kohler-Books-100151582291586
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