GIVEAWAY NOW ENDED
Melissa Woods and Maria Fenech!
We’re back with four fabulous authors over four days and a book giveaway a day!
What does a house or a home mean to a character in a book?
All my guest authors this week are ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association) 2014 Award finalists for Romantic Suspense fiction - and for good reason.
In today's post there's a giveaway of an Amazon kindle copy of
THE FRENCH PRIZE and SUMMER AND THE GROOMSMAN
Today our guest is Cathryn Hein, bestselling author of Rural Romance and Romantic Adventure fiction
Raimund Blancard, sexy soldier hero of The French Prize.
Character bio: In his 30s, Raimund Blancard is brooding sexy French army officer assigned to the Foreign Legion. He’s tall, broad-shouldered and supremely fit, with short dark hair stained with a mysterious streak of pure white just above his right ear that intrigues the heroine, Olivia, no end. He’s also the most emotionless man she’s ever met but that stoic facade hides a heart in deep turmoil.
Raimund has lost everyone he loves to the secret of Durendal and family vow or not, he is determined to destroy the relic that has caused him so much pain.
Situated in the heart of the sleepy village of Rognes, the house is of typical terracotta-roofed Provencal style, narrow and covering three levels. Owned by Raimund, it is home to his elderly godparents, Edouard and Christiane Rosec, but holds a special place in Raimund’s life. It is where he, his brother and father dug the tunnels that hide the family’s extraordinary archives.
There’s a lovely terrace on the second level, scented by Christiane’s herb garden, noisily chirruped over at night by cicadas, and offering a beautiful view of the village. The perfect place for some romance, if Raimund can find it in himself to embrace it.
What makes a house a home for Raimund?
Raimund likes to think it’s the archives and the memories he has of working with his brother and father in happier times that makes the Rognes home such a haven, but really it’s Edouard’s love, humour and wine, and Christiane’s cooking, motherly fussing and occasional bullying (which he needs!). Although Raimund owns property all over France, this is his place of safety.
It’s where he takes Olivia when she’s in danger, knowing she will be in warm and welcoming hands, and the place he protects with exhausting intensity. Here, Raimund can loosen up from being the stoic soldier with the world on his shoulders to being a man for whom love might truly be possible.
The French Prize book blurb
Extract from The French Prize by Cathryn Hein
Olivia stepped out onto the terrace. Raimund leaned against the stone parapet looking out towards the hill above Rognes, where the ruins of the old town still stood. The night was warm and scented, the sky purple against the horizon, coloured by the sun’s last glow. Cicadas chirped their mating calls, and in the surrounding trees, birds screeched and cackled as they fought for perches.
‘Edouard and Christiane are at the vignerons’ cooperative,’ he said. ‘Christiane has left some hachis parmentier in the oven and there is a salade in the refrigerator if you are hungry. Edouard has opened a bottle of his special wine for you.’
Delicious though hachis parmentier would be, at that moment, food was the last thing Olivia wanted. The wine, while enticing, could wait.
He raised his head to the sky. ‘It is a beautiful night.’
She joined him and leaned her backside against the low wall. The drop to the ground was long, but in typical French fashion, there was no guard.
‘Very.’ She inhaled. ‘It smells delicious here.’
‘It is the smell of Provence.’ He angled a little to face her. ‘And the sound. The cicadas are very noisy.’
‘It’s funny, but you don’t really notice them until they stop. Then it’s like someone’s just turned off a jackhammer.’ She smiled. ‘We have them in Australia, too. Along with blowflies, mosquitoes and God knows how many other insects. If we were standing outside like this at home, we’d be eaten alive.’
‘You miss your country?’
‘Yes and no.’ She picked a leaf from a riotous pot of basil and held it to her nose. ‘I like Oxford. I like its air of academia and its beautiful buildings and the students rushing around, but the weather’s terrible. Here is better. It’s warm and sunny, and the food and wine are fabulous.’
‘You like France?’ He said it as though it surprised him.
She breathed in again, eyes closing. ‘Adore it.’
‘Perhaps you could move here. The university would be pleased to have someone of your reputation on their staff,’ he said.
She tossed the basil leaf over her shoulder and picked a twig of rosemary. Immediately, the air filled with its pungent scent. She didn’t want to look at him in case he saw the longing in her eyes, in case he read the desire brewing behind them. The archives, La Tasse and Durendal, and a respected position with a notable university—all her dreams in once place, her ideal life.
Except that’s all they were—dreams. After all, she’d promised to never reveal the archives’ existence, La Tasse’s secret was buried beneath stone, and Durendal’s final resting place might never be discovered. Besides, if the sword was found her usefulness would be spent. Raimund would discard her without thought. Back to Oxford. Her hands, and life, empty.
Better not to dream too hard right now.
More books by Cathryn Hein
Discover more about Cathryn Hein and her books on her website CathrynHein.com
Say hi to Cathryn on her Facebook page CathrynHeinAuthor
Huge thanks to Cathryn for participating in my A house is a home when... series.
I love to share great books with my readers.
LEAVE A COMMENT for Cathryn and you’re in the draw to WIN a copy of
The French Prize (Australia only) and Summer and the Groomsman (International) for Amazon kindle.
Giveaways drawn Sunday 22 Nov, midnight AEST.
GIVEAWAY NOW ENDED
Winners are: Melissa Woods and Maria Fenech!
Jennie, in the company of Cathryn xx