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Secrets of a Heart by Samantha Garman
London, 1815. At the age of nineteen, Blaine Whitmore loses everything dear to him in a brutal assault on his family line. Left with nothing, he finds himself aboard a merchant ship sailing far from home. Years pass as a boy becomes a man, and yet no amount of time or distance will help Blaine forget all that he has lost. After ten years sailing the high seas, he is finally ready to restore the Whitmore name.
Felicity Canton is as lovely as she is penniless, and has been left to care for her three sisters while attempting to maintain a crumbling estate. With no hope for escape from her predicament, she is resigned to a peasant’s fate. She never anticipates attracting the attention of her wealthy and mysterious new neighbor, nor does she expect him to be her savior.
As Blaine searches for truth and doles out vengeance, he becomes increasingly captivated and distracted by Felicity’s beauty and inner strength. Does he dare confide in her the secrets of his heart? Will his future be as bleak as his past, or will he finally have a chance at happiness?
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“I thought I managed to escape without anyone seeing me,” she said in lieu of formal greeting.
“I saw you leave just as my carriage was pulling into your driveway,” he explained. “Why are you here alone?”
“Mr. Fletcher is giving a grand tour of our home to strangers, in hopes that they buy it.” Her tone was acerbic.
His gaze softened, but she thrust out her chin, daring him to offer her sympathy. She changed the subject, unable to dwell on the idea that her childhood home, one that had been in the family for generations, would be sold. “To what do I owe the pleasure of your company?”
“So proper?” Gray asked, moving away from the tree and coming toward her.
“I feel out of sorts today.”
Gray reached out to touch her cheek. “I came to hand deliver an invitation to the masquerade.”
“Oh.” Her brown eyes dropped to his lips. Moving closer, he wrapped his arms around her. “Is this your way of trying to distract me from my woes?” she asked with a smile.
“Is it working?”
“Too soon to tell,” she replied wickedly.
Samantha Garman on Negative Reviews
No one likes to be critiqued and most of us don’t handle it that well. When I receive a negative review, I can’t help but take it personally. This is usually how it goes: I find the bad review and immediately, my heart starts to race, I begin to sweat in sheer panic and I’m worried that the bad review will stop book sales and people will listen and agree with the negative review. I read the review a few times, usually out loud to some very trusted people. I complain, I rant that the review is wrong, and I curse my creativity and its incessant demand that I make stuff for other people’s enjoyment. I drink a bit, get riled again, but eventually I calm down. And then I look at the review again. Is there anything of merit in the review or is it actually just an opinion? Is someone upset because she didn’t like the plot, or characters, or is she legitimately complaining about something I can do better? I know I can’t please people all of the time, but there’s a difference between a negative review and a rant. And I never take to social media to vent my frustration. (Though I do love reading about ballsy authors who address stuff like this on Facebook. Its nice to know I’m not alone in receiving a negative critique). I’ve actually gotten to the point where I like a few negative reviews and here’s why: it means someone was honest enough to tell me how she felt, and she wants to share it with others. Hopefully, the negative review will inspire someone to buy my book and then she’ll make up her own mind. But that’s the thing about opinions, everyone has one (usually more than one) and most of the time, it’s completely subjective. So I learn what I can and then move on—usually with a bottle of wine. It all comes out in the wash anyway.
About the Author
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