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A Captain's Order (Paperback)

A Captain's Order (Paperback)

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Paperback

Lady Eloise Bartholomew's trip to Australia on the shirttails of her adventurous brother ends in tragedy when he dies from a fever. But with the conventions of English society suspended on the high seas, she finds passion and excitement in the arms of a rugged ship's captain-only to be dumped back into the ton, still burning from the fire ignited in her and the loss of the only man she could ever loved.

More at home on his ship than dallying with the ton, Gabriel Lyons, now the Duke of Dale, intended never to set foot in London again. But when an elder brother dies, and the woman who claimed his heart over his love for the ocean brings him home, he knows he has to face the secrets of his past. He can only pray their love will survive the scandal that sent him away, the lies he has told her, and the duel he must fight for his honor and her hand.

PAPERBACK

Paperback

80 pages

Dimensions

5 x 8 inches (127 x 203 mm)

ISBN

9781973267621

Publication Date

November 21, 2023

Publisher

Tamara Gill

 

Read a Sample

Colony of New South Wales, 1810

Eloise sponged her brother’s brow and still he twisted and turned with a fever that wouldn’t abate. The doctor she’d summoned the night before, after Andrew had fallen ill at dinner, called it a fever brought on from an insect bite.
She swallowed hard and refused to believe the statistic he’d dealt her. All those he’d nursed had died. It wasn’t fathomable. “Andrew, try and drink a little.” She lifted his head and he moaned an awful sound that reeked of death.
Her vision of him blurred. She couldn’t lose her brother. Not so young. Not here. He should be home raising hell in the ballrooms of the ton, not dying an awful death half way around the world with little or no amenities to help him.
“Fetch the doctor again. He’s getting worse.” Eloise managed to get a little moisture between his lips before he started to shake uncontrollably. His face was red, blotchy with heat, and yet he moaned he was cold.
She prayed to god that should this be his end that it would come quickly. A good, kind soul didn’t deserve to die in such heinous conditions. “Andrew darling, talk to me. Tell me what to do.”
He didn’t answer, his breathing ragged then laboured. Panic clawed at her throat that he wouldn’t see another sunrise. Oh dear god, she couldn’t be left alone. He was all she had left. “Please, dearest. Please try.”
The bedroom door slammed open and Dr Jones walked briskly to her brother’s side. He checked him over, his heart, listened to his breathing, noted his eyes and stood back, a consoling, pitying face she didn’t want to see.
“I’m sorry Lady Eloise, but your brother will not make it. He’s showing all the signs that I have noted before with this disease. We will try and keep him as comfortable for as long as possible, but you must prepare yourself.”
A blackness threatened to consume her. “Prepare myself? Are you delusional! I don’t care what you have to do, but you can’t let my brother die. Now search through that bag of yours you carry about and pull out a miracle.”
He patted her hand that lay over Andrew’s brow. “I’m not being intentionally cruel, my lady. Your brother is dying. I’m sorry.”
She shook her head not wanting to acknowledge the truth of the words. And unfortunately, Andrew did pass and her brother was no longer.
A few hours later, Eloise sat beneath the veranda of the Governor of New South Wales’ home in Sydney town wondering how she’d come to be an orphan. Because that was, exactly what she was now. A woman of independent means in the most awful of ways.
She would have to return home to England and soon. The trip she’d looked forward to with her brother was no longer viable or wanted. This country was hard, hot and somewhere she’d always associate with grief.
Yes. It was definitely time to go home.

“Captain. Please, I will pay double for the fare back to England, or however far you can take me.”
The man looked at her as if she were daft. And maybe she was. Her voice certainly had an desperate edge even she cringed at hearing.
“We’re full. You’ll need to find another vessel.” He turned his back on her and started to shout out orders to his men.
“The ship I sailed here on left last week. There isn’t another one for months and I must return home. I have no family left here. I’ll sleep on deck if I have to, just give me passage. Please, I’m begging you.”
He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. His stance one of annoyance. He turned and took in her appearance. “Fine, but you’ll pay double and the only place for you to sleep is in a small closet that runs beside my room. I doubt sleeping in with the crew would be wise.” He nodded toward her luggage. “Are they your bags?”
“Yes. I didn’t bring a lot as I thought to have clothing made here to suit the climate. And well…”
He held up his hands. “Spare me the details. Come aboard.” He yelled out to one of his crewmen who jogged over to them. “Take…ahh.” He gestured toward her. “I’m sorry, I don’t know your name.”
“Oh, of course I should have said. I apologize. I’m Lady Eloise Bartholomew.”
The captain raised his brow and a pained expression crossed his features. “Take Lady Bartholomew to my cabin and clear out the stores room beside my room, put a cot in there for her. And Hamish, make sure the crew know she’s off limits.”
Eloise felt her eyes widen at the captain’s words. Off limits. What did that mean? Had she inadvertently placed herself in more danger here than on the mainland with animals and insects that could kill you within hours? “Thank you,” she said as she followed the other man. The captain walked off without another word and busied himself on deck, obviously busy with getting the ship ready for sail.
She wished she were returning home on better circumstances, but she was not. Only after a few weeks of arriving here, she was about to embark on another six month journey across the seas.
She groaned. How would she ever bear it…

Main Tropes

  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Pirate Romance
  • Regency Romance
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