Thursday, 3 July 2008
The Rakehell Loveday
This is the hardback cover of The Loveday Trials. It depicts the fortune huntress Meriel whose shotgun wedding ensured her marriage to St John. The house is a representation of Boscabel the estate purchased by Adam.
In this extract from the novel it shows the devil-may-care cousin Japhet, as yet an unreformed rakehell. He is the eldest son of the Rev Joshua Loveday. The books have their share of romances but I also love writing the action and adventure scenes. Japhet has provided many of these.
'You be a lusty lover, my fine gentleman,' Kitty chuckled, 'but it be wicked to tempt me from my marriage vows.'
'You are too much a woman to be so long neglected,' Japhe whispered against her ear as they rolled across the rumpled bed. The candle had burned low, casting a yellowing light over their naked figures.
'I shall miss you when your husband returns.' Japhet kissed her with returning desire. 'He's due back any day now and this could be our last night together.'
'Then we best make it a night to remember.' Suddenly Kitty tensed. 'I heard something. Someone's on the stairs.'
Japhet heard a heavy footfall. He rolled Kitty aside, bounded from the bed and had time only to snatch up his breeches before the door was flung wide. A broad-shouldered, bearded man filled the portal.
'Damn you for a whore,' Captain David Veryan bellowed and pulled a cat-o'-nine-tails from his belt.
Kitty's husband rounded on Japhet, who, clutching his breeches in front of him, having had no time to don them,was edging towards the window.
'You'll not escape, you scoundrel,' Veryan growled.
The whip whistled in the air, the lead-tipped thongs slashing across Japhet's buttocks, drawing blood. A second blow caught his shoulder and snaked cruelly around his ribs, the flesh torn from the bone. Japhet wrapped his breeches around his arm and raised it to fend off the next vicious lash strokes. The whip raked across his shoulders as Japhet hurled himself at the man.
His flesh was raw and stinging and he could feel the blood mingling with his sweat as he kicked out at the captain. Unfortunately, his sword was on the floor across the room.He managed to heave the bigger man off balance, and darted towards his weapon. Another lashing of the whip peeled a strip of flesh from his chest.
'From what I've heard of you, Loveday, you've 'ad this coming a long time.'
Japhet evaded the next blows, but his hair and sweat were dripping into his eyes and the candle flame was flickering wildly, making it hard to see his opponent clearly. The captain raised his hand to strike again and Japhet grabbed his wrist, twisting his body in a wrestling hold to throw the heavier man over his shoulder to hit the floor.As the boards shook from the crashing weight, Japhet dived towards his sword belt and drew the blade.
Kitty screamed. 'No.Japhet! Don't kill 'im! He be a good man. We wronged 'im.'
Japhet had no intention of killing the captain in an uneven fight but he knew his own life was in danger if he lost the upper hand.
Review: 'A story of family relationships that transcends time, and heralds the emergence of an exciting new storyteller' North Cornwall Advertiser