Forsaking All Other
by Catherine Meyrick
Publication Date: April 1, 2018
eBook & Print; 291 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Love is no game for women; the price is far too high.
Bess Stoughton, waiting woman to the well-connected Lady Allingbourne, has discovered that her father is arranging for her to marry an elderly neighbour. Normally obedient Bess rebels and wrests from her father a year’s grace to find a husband more to her liking.
Edmund Wyard, a taciturn and scarred veteran of England’s campaign in Ireland, is attempting to ignore the pressure from his family to find a suitable wife as he prepares to join the Earl of Leicester’s army in the Netherlands.
Although Bess and Edmund are drawn to each other, they are aware that they can have nothing more than friendship. Bess knows that Edmund’s wealth and family connections place him beyond her reach. And Edmund, with his well-honed sense of duty, has never considered that he could follow his own wishes. Until now.
With England on the brink of war and fear of Catholic plots extending even into Lady Allingbourne’s household, time is running out for both of them.
You can read the first chapter here.
The beautiful cover for the novel was designed by Jennifer Quinlan of Historical Fiction Book Covers.
Bess started as the bedroom door slammed open.
Nicholas Askew stood in the doorway glowering, ‘Your behaviour today was a scandal.’
‘I thought I behaved most civilly in the circumstances.’
‘You did little to disguise the contempt you apparently felt for our host.’
‘I doubt he noticed it, so taken up is he with his own fantasies.’ She grimaced, ‘He kissed me.’
‘What man is not entitled to kiss the girl he is courting?’ There was puzzlement in his scowl. ‘That is no reason to show lack of respect to him.’
‘I did not show lack of respect. I merely attempted to avoid his company, once I knew what he wanted.’
‘There are others interested and, if you are not careful, he may withdraw his offer.’His scowl deepened. ‘I do not know what ails you, girl. It is a good offer.’
‘The man is ancient, his breath is foul, he is unclean and he makes my flesh crawl.’
‘Rubbish! You cannot afford to be particular.’
Bess bridled, ‘What do you mean by that?’
‘A widow of two years and not a single offer in that time.’
‘And why is that?’ Bess took a sharp breath, her nostrils narrowed. ‘An unmarried woman brings a dowry to her marriage, a widow her jointure. The Stoughtons have cheated us. They took the dowry you offered but refuse to pay the jointure that is my right now Myles is dead. I have nothing to live on yet you have not lifted a finger to help me. If I had my jointure, I would have more hope of a decent offer.’
‘Bah! I do not have the money to throw at useless legal cases. I have six other daughters to provide dowries for.’
‘As my only male relative it is your duty to ensure I receive the income that is rightfully mine.’
Askew’s face was mottled red. ‘You lecture me on duty?’ A nerve flickered at the corner of his eye.
‘Why not? I know enough about duty—I did my duty when I married according to your wishes. I am a grown woman now, a widow, should I not have some say in the running of my life?’ She rushed on, ‘Yet you have begun negotiations with Master Litchfield without attempting to discover what my wishes are.’
‘You know now,’ he snarled.
‘And you know now that I despise the man and will not marry him.’ Bess lifted her chin. ‘I see no point in staying here any longer, I will be returning to Lady Allingbourne on the morrow.’
‘Hornebolt has work to do here. I’ll not have him wandering the countryside on ladies’ fancies. Life with Lady Allingbourne has given you airs—you consider yourself better than the rest of us. No,’ he crossed his arms, his pointed beard jutting out, ‘you will remain here and be ruled by your father like a dutiful daughter. You can help your mother with the children until you are married to Dick Litchfield.’
‘I swear I will never marry that vile man,’ Bess spat back. ‘I will stand in church and say that I do not take him, tell the whole congregation that I have been forced.’
Askew glared at her, his fists clenched. Bess braced herself but he turned on his heel, slamming the door behind him.
As Bess heard the key scrape in the lock, she shouted after him, ‘She is not my mother.’
About the Author
Catherine Meyrick is a writer of historical fiction with a particular love of Elizabethan England.
Her stories weave fictional characters into the gaps within the historical record – tales of ordinary people who are very much men and women of their time, yet in so many ways not unlike ourselves.
Although she grew up in regional Victoria, Australia, she has lived all her adult life in Melbourne.
She has worked as a nurse, a tax assessor and finally a librarian. She has a Master of Arts in history and is also a family history obsessive.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, June 4
Review at Broken Teepee
Excerpt at Teaser Addicts Book Blog
Tuesday, June 5
Review at Impressions In Ink
Review at Books and Glamour
Wednesday, June 6
Review & Excerpt at Laura’s Interests
Thursday, June 7
Review at Donna’s Book Blog
Interview at Let Them Read Books
Friday, June 8
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Saturday, June 9
Review at Cup of Sensibility
Sunday, June 10
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All
Monday, June 11
Review at What Cathy Read Next
Tuesday, June 12
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Wednesday, June 13
Excerpt at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
Thursday, June 14
Interview at Books and Glamour
Feature at Faery Tales Are Real
Friday, June 15
Review at WS Momma Readers Nook
Saturday, June 16
Feature at Passages to the Past
Monday, June 18
Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 paperback copies of Forsaking All Other! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
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