The war might be over, but the battle for love has just begun.
When Lady Eleanor “Nell” St. George arrives in Wales after serving as a veterinarian in the Great War, she doesn’t come alone. With her is her former captain’s beloved warhorse, which she promised to return to him—and a series of recurring nightmares that torment both her heart and her soul. She wants only to complete her task, then find refuge with her family, but when Nell meets the captain’s eldest daughter, all that changes.
Beatrice Hughes is resigned to life as the dutiful daughter. Her mother grieves for the sons she lost to war; the care of the household and remaining siblings falls to Beatrice, and she manages it with a practical efficiency. But when a beautiful stranger shows up with her father’s horse, practicality is the last thing on her mind.
Despite the differences in their social standing, Beatrice and Nell give in to their unlikely attraction, finding love where they least expect it. But not everything in the captain’s house is as it seems. When Beatrice’s mother disappears under mysterious circumstances, Nell must overcome her preconceptions to help Beatrice, however she’s able. Together they must find out what really happened that stormy night in the village, before everything Beatrice loves is lost—including Nell.
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
Her Lady’s Honor is set in Aberystwyth in Wales, a place I visited in September 2017. There is a tourist train that rides along the Rheidol Valley along an old route that used to be used by mining workers heading from Aberystwyth up to the mines at the top of the hill. It’s incredibly picturesque with lush green grass and as the train climbs up the side of the mountain, bushland closes in around the train. At the end of the line is the Devil’s Bridge station and hotel, both of which bring tourists to the main attraction. The Devil’s Bridge. It is a three layered bridge and a wonderful example of human engineering in that the older bridges weren’t demolished when the newer ones were built, and now it provides an amazing example of how bridge technology has changed over time. The lowest bridge was built in the eleventh century by local monks, and in 1753 when it became too narrow for the increased traffic, another bridge was built right over the top. By 1900, the traffic load had increased again, and an iron bridge was built over the top of the 1753 stone bridge.
When I read the legend of the original bridge, I couldn’t resist putting it into Her Lady’s Honor. The original medieval bridge is said to have been constructed by the devil himself. An old woman lost her cow, and rather than walk all the way to the bottom of the valley where the river was easier to cross, she wished for a bridge. The devil arrived and did a deal with her. He would build a bridge to cross the river if she gave him the soul of the first creature to cross the new bridge. She agreed, and when the bridge was finished, she stood at the edge as if to cross it herself. The devil encouraged her to go, but she pulled a crust of bread from her pocket and threw it over the bridge. A dog chased the bread, and the devil gained the soul of the dog. An old woman had outwitted the devil; just as Nell and Beatrice must outwit Captain Hughes in order to find their HEA.
As part of my research I found a copy of a tourist guide, Gossiping Guide to Wales, published in 1921. Even though it’s two years after Her Lady’s Honor, it was still a useful resource, and included an advertisement for the Devil’s Bridge Hotel that states “This Hotel will be found well appointed and most comfortable. Magnificent View from Hotel Windows. Ample Garage Accommodation.”
Renée Dahlia is an unabashed romance reader who loves feisty women and strong, clever men. Her books reflect this, with a sidenote of dark humour. Renée has a science degree in physics. When not distracted by the characters fighting for attention in her brain, she works in the horse-racing industry doing data analysis and writing magazine articles. When she isn’t reading or writing, Renée spends her time with her partner and four children, volunteers on the local cricket club committee, and is the Secretary of Romance Writers Australia.