The Wager: Christine Young
In The Wager, Amorica Hepburn was sent to London to find a husband. However, finding a man was the last item on her agenda.
If you like historical romances with suspense and adventure you will love The Wager by Christine Young.
EXCERPT: The Wager
Coast of England 1816
“It’s a bloody cursed day.” Damian Andrews swept the child into his arms and waded through the pounding surf to the beach. He braced himself against the out-going current then sloshed through the crashing waves. Salt spray clung to the wind, stinging his nostrils.
Damian turned. Beneath his ribs, his heart pounded the cadence hard and fast. He swore again as he watched the captain shout orders to his crew. The French brandy that was supposed to have arrived this night would have to wait.
Standing in the longboat, the captain of the ship that brought the brandy as well as the political refugees from the Germanies held a torch aloft–the only light in the vast darkness. “Hurry, laddie. We have human cargo tonight and the tide is changing.”
A little girl whimpered.
Damian pulled her into his arms, bent on protecting her at all cost.
“It’s all right. You will all be together soon.” The smuggling of French brandy was a cover for the cause that meant so much to him. Religious and political refugees–at times it seemed they came in droves. All were seeking a better life. A life of freedom. “Your mother is coming as well as your baby brother. You will all be safe.”
Damian looked to the captain. “The father?” he queried.
“He didn’t come with his family. He said he had one more thing to do. You must hurry.”
The child leaned into Damian, her little face nuzzling his shoulder, her silent sobs gut-wrenching. He pulled her closer, cursing at the elements as well as mankind and wishing he could find a way to shield the tiny child from all harm. He knew the feat to be impossible. The little girl touched a place in his heart and for a moment filled that broken space with light. Yes, the mother would be with her children, but why had the father stayed where his life was in peril? He had learned long ago one could come to regret rash actions. And he’d also learned one could lose all chance at love in one instant.
Lord, but he’d lost his concentration and in losing that, he could well lose his edge.
No secrets– no lies. The thought haunted him.
His life was a lie, but he would change nothing until his penance was paid. A constant drizzle soaked him to the skin. The wind sent goose bumps rising on his arms. He reached shore and handed the girl over to Aric Lakeland, a trusted friend and accomplice in this night’s work, then turned and walked back to the longboat. Her baby brother as well as her mother waited.
He had never meant to get involved. It was the greatest of ironies that he was here now. He’d been a man who loved his family and his home.
He’d been content but that seemed years ago–a life time.
It felt like centuries.
The captain spoke, his voice hushed. “Hurry, now, Master Damian.
It’s the watch. They are due to ride by here any time now. The patrols have doubled these last few weeks. I fear it’s not as safe as it used to be.” The captain handed over the baby wrapped in blankets. Damian stared at the child. The babe couldn’t be a year old. The child didn’t make a sound, not even a whimper.
This was injustice, a travesty. He looked at the mother. “Can you make it on your own?” He prayed the fragile lady standing before him had more courage than she appeared to have. She nodded and with the captain’s help, she stepped into the ocean, struggling for balance. Yet her shoulders were squared and her spine stiff.
As soon as the captain placed the babe in Damian’s arms and the three of them were headed for land, he gave orders. Two sailors rowed out to sea, moving toward the black ship that rose and fell on the distant waves
On a cliff above, the dark silhouette of a third man, Ryder McClaren, could be seen for a brief moment. He waved his arms then disappeared into the shadows once more
“Hurry,” Damian bade the mother, his hand resting on the small of her back, urging her forward.
Also by Christine Young
Are you ready for adventure, love, time travel and more? This novel has it all and will NOT let you down. Christine Young’s “Straight to Heaven” is about Alexandra McMurdie, a girl from our modern 21st Century, who stumbles into a time-traveling vortex as she’s running for her life. It is there, in the 1800s, where Alexandra doesn’t expect to find someone like James Lawrence.
All I can really and truthfully say about this novel was that I loved it. Every minute of it; every raced heartbeat as Alexandra and James connected, discovered, fought for themselves – for love. I’m a huge fan of time-traveling with a pinch of love and adventure, and Ms. Young delivers. I enjoyed the dialogue between Alex and James throughout the novel SO much. James Lawrence was probably by far, one of my favorite characters in the entire novel of “Straight to Heaven.” Ms. Young offers a developed world, well-rounded and developed characters – with an exciting and fantastically romantic plot.
This story grabbed my attention from the moment I started to read the novel, and held my attention to the very last page (and even so, left me wanting only to read more about James and Alex.) I was so sad to have the novel end, leaving behind such fantastically creative characters.
“Straight to Heaven” offers a new look to the Western States after the Civil War with the twist of time.
If this novel doesn’t send you “Straight to Heaven” – I’m not sure what will.
I HIGHLY recommend this wonderfully romantic novel to anyone who enjoys danger, adventure, and of course – a bit of Time Travel 😉
Well done, Ms. Young!
Running from demons, Alexandra McMurdie stumbles into Forbidden Ground where up is down and elements of nature are contested. Though a strong independent woman in the twenty-first century’ she is unprepared for life in the 1800s. Her first sight of the formidable James Lawrence makes her heart skip a beat, giving her cause to reconsider her desperate need to find a way home.
Born with a silver spoon, James’ life was torn apart during the War Between the States. Moving west he vows to put the life he once knew in the past. When he discovers a half-frozen woman near Gold Hill, his heart begins to thaw. His love for Alexandra and his need to keep her from a man who has pursued her through time might cost him his life as well as hers.