The second book in my Mockingbird Square series will be out on the 24th of May, but you can preorder it now.
In case you don’t know, Mockingbird Square is a series of interlinked novellas telling the stories of the residents of a garden square in Mayfair, London. Enraptured is the story of Olivia and Rory.
Wealthy Olivia Willoughby has led a happy and untroubled life, so far. Then, on holiday in Scotland, she meets Rory Maclean. Rory is as untamed as the landscape about them. The last of his family, he’s the owner of a falling down castle and deeply in debt, and he has two wishes. One, to marry an heiress and two, find the Sword of the Macleans, a fabled weapon which carries with it the luck of the family.
For a time Olivia and Rory embrace married life and civilisation in London, and then Olivia learns the truth. That Rory organised their ‘accidental’ meeting and married her for her money. Furious with him, and yet still loving him, she follows him home to Scotland.
In the distant north, at Rory’s castle, anything is possible. Will love conquer all, or will Olivia return to Mockingbird Square, alone.
Here is an excerpt from the book!
“As you can see,” he gestured about him, “Invermar has been stripped down to the bare bones.”
“You can build on those bones,” she reminded him.
He smiled. “It will always be chilly in the winter, and drafty all year round. Imagine smoky fires and damp stone.”
She looked at him curiously. Was he trying to put her off? Send her home for fear of getting a cold, like his mother? She lifted her chin and gave him a bold look. “I’m thinking of warm beds and snuggling up close. Long dark winters with nothing else to do but lie in my husband’s arms.”
His gaze had sharpened. She had his attention now.
“I thought,” she added, “that Scotland was supposed to be romantic.”
For some reason he’d decided to dismantle her fantasies. “Our history is a grim affair. Battles and bloodshed and treachery. You shouldn’t believe everything you read in fiction.”
His voice, low and warm, stroked her senses. If he thought to chase her away then he was wasting her time.
“Do you know that your accent is stronger now you’re away from London?”
“You’re different too. The same, but . . . different.”
“I think, in Mockingbird Square . . . It was as if you were wearing clothing that did not fit you properly. You were uncomfortable. Was that to please me?”
He hesitated. “Yes.”
“Would you go back there?” she asked him, searching his face, trying to read his thoughts while hiding her own. “Could you? I think, Rory, you are not a man to be content away from all of this.” She waved a hand as if to encompass the loch and the hills and the isolated vastness beyond the castle.
“Perhaps I could stay in London for half the year, and you could stay here for half the year?” he suggested and she could see that he was deadly serious.
“Would you do that?” she asked him softly.
They were stepping around each other, neither of them willing to speak what was in their hearts. She watched, wary now, as he stood up and came around the table to her chair. “Rory . . .” she murmured, as if to restrain him, but all he did was take her hands in his to help her to her feet. They were necessarily close together—the room was not wide—and gracefully he brought one of her hands to his lips and then the other as she watched, waiting to see what he would do next. Although she thought she already knew what that would be, if his quickened breathing was any clue.
“Let me,” he whispered, and bent his head.