The Courageous Heart - Can Love
Think back to your first real love. It was so exciting to fall that hard and that deep for the first time. Remember how amazing a simple kiss could feel? Or how a summer day could feel like paradise? Remember that glorious feeling that you would be in love that deeply and that purely forever?
What happened to that first love? Maybe you were lucky enough to marry that person and live happily ever after. Or maybe Fate got its ugly hands on that first flush of love and broke your heart. Maybe that beloved one turned out to have feet of clay and that first love turned into the worst betrayal you’ve ever experienced. How do you recover from disappointment like that and move on?
That’s exactly the situation my heroine, Joanna, finds herself in at the beginning of The Courageous Heart. She’s lost so much. Worse than that, she lost it at the hands of the man she thought she would spend the rest of her life with. Fate has not been kind to her.
I know how Joanna feels in a lot of ways. I’ve had more than my fair share of heartache and death in my lifetime. In fact, in a bitter twist of irony that could come right out of a novel itself, as I was writing The Courageous Heart my older brother, Kelly, died suddenly and traumatically of cancer that had been undiagnosed until the very end. If you’ve read the previous book in this series, The Faithful Heart, you’ll know just how significant that was to me.
So there I was, suffering a sudden, heartbreaking loss, when my heroine Joanna found herself in a similar situation. What do you do when you find yourself suddenly alone and haunted by the pain of loss? What do you do if the man who caused that pain is the one man you could never control or forget? What if you had to rely on him to help you and your friends out of an impossible situation?
I think we’ve all been in those situations where we feel like the person we loved the most let us down. It sucks! But what if they reached the point where they knew and regretted their mistakes? What if they tried to right their wrongs? Would you believe them? Would you trust them? Or would you turn your back on them and try to tackle your problems on your own?
The Courageous Heart deals with these questions amidst the backdrop of the bloody court politics of King Richard the Lionheart’s brief time in England after the Third Crusade. It’s a story of love, betrayal and redemption that marks the conclusion of the Noble Hearts trilogy. Here’s a taste of what’s in store….
“Well, miss Joanna,” David said. “You are welcome to stay at The Stag Hunt for as long as you’d like. Provided we have room, that is. These are busy times for innkeepers in London.”
“Thank you, sir, but we won’t be staying,” Joanna replied. “My master and mistress need me.”
“Where are you planning to go?” Ethan challenged her. “You can’t go back to the Tower.”
How dare he tell her what to do at a time like this! “We’ll go anywhere that you aren’t.”
Her barb had an immediate effect. “Madeline is ill.” Ethan crossed his arms, misery stirred to anger. “The others are imprisoned. Tower guards are looking for you. Just where do you think you’ll be safer than right here?”
“Don’t you dare order me around like a servant, Ethan Windale!” Joanna railed. David’s eyebrows rose.
“What does it matter?” Ethan barked in reply. “You never listened to a word I said anyhow!” “
I never listened because you never spoke a word of sense in your life!”
“You wouldn’t know sense if it rode up to you on a white horse with banners flying!”
“The only banner I’ve ever seen flying was that garish monstrosity you forced Toby to carry when you left me!” Joanna choked on her words. “When you left Windale,” she corrected herself. Her heart burst in her chest, spreading shards of glass through her gut.
“Too bad you weren’t there to see the one I had with me when I came back!” Ethan battled on. “But you weren’t there when I came back, were you? You were scrubbing Crispin’s floors and tidying his shelves.”
“So you went running straight into the arms of another woman, didn’t you! And we all know how that worked out!”
“Aubrey was there for me!”
“And where were you when she needed you? You-”
“Children, children!” David raised his hands, ending the war of words.
Joanna and Ethan stood glaring at each other and panting. Joanna was hotter now than she had been running through the streets of London. Meg screamed in her arms with all the anger Joanna felt.
“I think it would be best if Dunkirke helped Jacob finish storing our wares,” David continued, “and if you, my dear, enjoyed a relaxing cup of ale at the complete opposite end of my property.”
Haven’t read the first two books in the series, The Loyal Heart and The Faithful Heart? Well what are you waiting for!
One lucky reader who comments on my blog will be randomly selected to win an e-copy of any of the books in the Noble Hearts trilogy. If you haven’t read The Loyal Heart, I recommend you start there. But if you have, I’ll gladly send you The Faithful Heart or The Courageous Heart. Good luck!"