Category : Romance

LoveQuest by Pamela Jean Horter-Moore

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LoveQuest is a romantic fantasy

by Pamela Jean Horter-Moore

 

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…a god’s love for a mortal woman….

Aphrodite, the goddess of Beauty, has blessed the mortal girl Psyche with a lovely face that captivates the admiration of all who seeher. Psyche, however, offends the goddess by thinking more of winning her malicious sisters’ approval than of the gifts the goddess has given her.

Although the oracle of Apollo promised Psyche a marvelous marriage to someone “not human,” Aphrodite resolves to destroy her happiness by asking her son Eros, the god of Love, to punish Psyche with a life of lovelessness.

Aphrodite’s plans go wrong when Eros accidentally wounds himself with his own arrow while attempting to carry out his mother’s will, falling in love with the woman his mother hates.

Knowing that his mother doesn’t approve and torn between the two women he loves most, Eros pursues Psyche by deceiving his mother and concealing his identify from Psyche.

Perplexed by Eros’ invisibility and his passion for her, Psyche is tempted by her jealous sisters to sabotage her romance.

Psyche must choose between betrayal and fidelity and suffer the consequences of her decision, just as Eros must connive to win her love and the approval of his mother. Both of them must be put to the test in order to find their heart’s desire.




A Word from the Author

Author Pamela Horter pictureI’ve never really considered myself a romantic, but I’ve poured all my most romantic notions into LoveQuest.

Greek mythology has always intrigued me, and few stories can equal the romance of Eros and Psyche. Here is Eros, the god of Love, the perfect youth and the perfect lover, the divine representation of erotic passion, pursuing the flawed and vacillating mortal Psyche, who cannot live up to his love for her. A hero larger than life, ardent, sensitive, and attentive, Eros represents the summit of what a woman might desire in a mate.

However, Eros is not free. The dutiful son of Aphrodite, the goddess of Beauty, he is bound by the constraints of his mother’s authority over him. Eros is at the crossroads of manhood, struggling with his obedience to his mother and his desire to seek life on his own terms.

Psyche likewise has her challenges. She has offended Aphrodite by depreciating her gift of beauty and instead seeking mediocrity and the acceptance of her malicious sisters. As a result, she has now become the object of Aphrodite’s wrath. Aphrodite insists that Eros punish Psyche for her sin.
Carrying out his mother’s punishment, Eros accidentally wounds himself with his own arrow and falls in love with Psyche, knowing that his mother hates her and will never consent to the romance.

Not wanting to choose between the two women he loves, Eros decides to deceive both of them with an awkward ruse that allows him to possess Psyche while at the same time duping his mother. Such a ruse can’t last forever; Aphrodite is not easily fooled, and Psyche is so confused by her lover’s secret identity that she yearns for her old life and the familiarity of her sisters’ torment. Neither Eros nor Psyche will find their heart’s desire until they overcome the falsehoods that are obstructing their happiness.

More than a love story, the tale of Eros and Psyche is an allegory of the soul in search of its heart’s desire, and a fable of betrayal and the redeeming power of love.

(Pamela Jean Horter-Moore, October 2017)

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Love on a Winter’s Tide by Rosie Chapel

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Love on a Winter’s Tide

by Rosie Chapel

 

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Lady Helena Trevallier is, to outward appearances, a quintessential young lady of Society. She wanders the museums and art galleries, enjoys horse rides or brisk constitutionals — weather permitting — around the city’s many parks. She flits here and there, rather like an exotic butterfly and has several men trailing in her wake, in the hope she might favour them with a dance or better still allow them to escort her to one of the many social gatherings.

Unusually for a young woman of the elite, Helena is in no hurry to marry, unwilling to allow a man to dictate her life, for she has a secret. A secret which, had her social set known anything about might see them throwing up their hands in horror and one which any prospective suitor would surely demand she curtail. Every day, Helena disappears into a world few acknowledge, to help the poor, the downtrodden and the abused.

Hugh Drummond, a wealthy shipping magnate, moves in quite different circles. He rarely mixes with Society and is happy spending his days working on his beloved ships. He takes great pains to avoid the extravagant events to which he occasionally receives invitations, for mamas looking to marry off their daughters usually stalk them and, a state of wedded bliss is something in which Hugh has no interest. He is too busy managing the shipping line and has no need of a wife whose only joy is dancing and frivolity. If — and it was a huge if — he ever marries, it would be to a woman as capable as he, not some giddy society Miss.

Then, quite unexpectedly, Hugh meets Helena and despite his resolve not to fall under her spell and her determination to maintain her independence — fate, it seems, has other ideas. Attraction quickly becomes something far deeper, but dark clouds appear on the horizon, heralding a storm that may yet tear them apart.
Skullduggery abounds, testing their wits and forcing them to an agonising decision, as someone with nefarious intent threatens to destroy all they hold dear.
Stunned when they uncover the identity of the perpetrator, Hugh and Helena have no idea the lengths their adversary is prepared to go, to claim what he believes is his, and as they close in, it becomes race against time. Will they succeed in preventing a tragedy or will their love be swept away, lost forever on a winter’s tide?




A Word from the Author

Rosie Chapel authorLove on a Winter’s Tide is the third in the sequence of what will be five novels. My heroine, Lady Helena Trevallier is the youngest sister of Giles from Once Upon An Earl — in which she appeared, albeit briefly but then nagged me to give her a HEA ever since. Interestingly, this novel came together more quickly than any of my other books, why that should have been the case, I have no idea especially as I spent many hours researching the background and scenarios for both characters.

Helena has absolutely no desire to get married; she is far happier working at Sanctuary House – a refuge established for underprivileged women seeking respite from abusive husbands or situations. Hugh Drummond, a member of the merchant class, has worked hard to make his burgeoning shipping company profitable. Now a wealthy shipping magnate, with a growing fleet of trading vessels, Hugh – although not a member of Society – occasionally moves within their circle. He is, however, as determined as Helena not to be tricked into wedded bliss.

Then one night, at a ball, Helena meets Hugh and romance begins to bloom where least expected.
Their relationship follows an unusual path, for although it is clear their feelings run deep, neither is prepared to relinquish hard won independence. Helena has no mind to give up her work at the refuge, as she believes she is making a difference to the plight of those requiring its protection. Hugh, aware of how easily life can be snatched away in his line of business, cannot countenance marriage under such circumstances. Fate, of course, has other ideas!

Until starting this novel, I knew little about ships of the Regency (or any other) era. The different designs and models; how they were constructed, which ships were used for what purpose, strengths, weaknesses and so on. I quickly became captivated by the majesty of the shipping trade and the speed with which it was developing. This and the fiercely competition nature of the industry inspired the skulduggery abounding in Hugh’s shipyard.

On a more poignant note, my research into the underbelly of London during this era uncovered a harsh and often ignored reality. The daily struggle of those living in cramped and squalid conditions, but whose efforts allowed others to live in the lap of luxury, appeared to be something most of Society rarely contemplated. I imagine it was a volatile atmosphere, which probably exploded more frequently than is recorded. Of course, I barely scratched the surface of the adversity faced by so many, but this is where Sanctuary House fits in. That these women were given the chance to learn a variety of basic skills which could lead to opportunities previously considered impossible, seemed to be something the more socially aware members of the ton might get involved with.

(Rosie Chapel, September 2017)

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Of Ruins and Romance by Rosie Chapel

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Of Ruins and Romance

by Rosie Chapel

 

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On her penultimate day at University, Kassandra Winters inadvertently overheard herself described as “…too shy, too plain, a bit ungainly if you must know and rather on the plump side, not at all what’s needed for such things…Kassandra would be far more suited to a job in an archive office…” Worse still she was subsequently knocked flying by the exceedingly tall and drop-dead gorgeous man to whom this description had been delivered. Adding insult to injury she ran into the same man the next afternoon and, justifiably upset by what she had heard, refused to indulge his somewhat perplexing determination to engage her in the oddest conversation and gave him short shrift.

Fast-forward two years and contrary to expectations, Kassie is not hidden away in an archive office. She is in Rome; employed by one of that city’s famous International Schools, as well as a tourist agency. One day, while escorting a group of visitors around the ancient Roman port of Ostia, she bumps into the same man — the man whose seemingly random remarks still puzzle her — and he introduces himself as Gabriel St Germain. This unexpected encounter leads to a job offer, the role of assistant tour guide for a three-week tour of ancient sites in and around Rome. Unable to resist such an opportunity, and against her better judgement, Kassie agrees.

Kassie has intrigued Gabriel St Germain since he ran into her, literally, outside her professor’s office. Despite her rushing off the following day, giving him no chance to apologise for what she had heard, Kassie left a lasting impression and her face haunts his dreams. Never expecting to see her again, Gabriel is astounded when she appears right in front of him — as though destined to do so — in the middle of a ruin and, resolved not to lose her a second time, he concocts a plan to win her heart.

Gabriel’s old-fashioned courtship touches something deep inside Kassie and, although struggling to believe that someone as handsome as Gabriel could possibly be interested in her, she soon realises she has fallen irrevocably in love with him. It seems he returns her feelings and for a brief moment, Kassie allows herself to trust that they have a chance at a happily ever after. However, just as Kassie shares everything of herself with Gabriel, her world comes crashing down and those callous words uttered that fateful day return to torment her. Can Gabriel save their romance or will it fall in ruins, like the relics of antiquity that brought them together.




A Word from the Author

Rosie Chapel authorRome and its fascinating history is an enduring passion of mine, and when the voices in my head decided they would quite like a modern romance – should I see my way to writing one – the setting was a given. Thus Of Ruins and Romance was born but, as I am always drawn to the past, my contemporary setting ended up with some antiquity thrown in. It seemed logical to draw on my own experience of the Eternal City, and its surrounds, so other than one or two places, I have visited everywhere mentioned in the book. My hope is that anyone reading it, experiences the same magic I feel whenever I hear the word Rome.

This story is about Kassie, a reticent young woman who never expected a great love to be hers, and Gabriel – the man determined to prove her wrong. Their initial meeting is not particularly auspicious, and although Gabriel’s seemingly random questions occasionally rankle in Kassie’s head, for the most part she has forgotten their encounter. Two years later they meet again, and Gabriel hatches a plan to win Kassie’s heart. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and their journey hits a few bumps as well as one very large crater.

Discovering Kassie works part-time as a tour guide, affords Gabriel the perfect opportunity to arrange for three weeks in her company, hoping this will be enough to persuade her of his feelings. Thus, their romance unfolds against the backdrop of a myriad of ancient sites, including Pompeii and Herculaneum. Part of my inspiration, was the chance to visit all these incredible places without leaving the comfort of your armchair.

This novel was refreshing to write as, for once, I did not need to consider language, technology, and methods of transport or communication. I do believe however, the romance has an old fashioned quality to it, as I prefer not to use explicit terminology in any setting. Perhaps this makes me the exception rather than the rule, but it is a deliberate choice. My introduction to romance novels, when I was a teenager, was Mills and Boon and, while many consider them to be passé, I enjoy a gentle blossoming of love, leaving something to the imagination, as opposed to having it rammed down your throat (so to speak…). That’s not to say things run smoothly, Gabriel will have his work cut out for him – Kassie is no pushover, despite an undeniable attraction.

(Rosie Chapel, September 2017)

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