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When Gavin of Ashgrove is proclaimed a bastard and disinherited, he turns to Aldred, the knight he fostered with as a boy. Gavin falls in love with Elizabeth, the warrior's much younger wife, as the dying Aldred plots Elizabeth's future with King Edward.
Scroll down to read an excerpt.
COMING March 2015: Ballad Beauty, a western historical romance featuring a Texas Ranger and a Boston schoolmarm on the road trip of a lifetime.
COMING June 2015: Leave Yesterday Behind, my first contemporary romantic suspense, featuring a serial killer stalking a famous New York actress back to her childhood home in Louisiana.
Watch this site for information on current and upcoming releases. Don't forget to check out Write Up My Alley, Lauren's blog about her writing journey, fun facts from history, and life in general.
An Excerpt From A Bit of Heaven on Earth:
Gavin cut across the bailey and stepped inside the stables. All was quiet. Every man, down to the smallest stable hand, must be celebrating tonight. It made him feel old and alone. He lit a lantern and took but a few steps when he heard his name.
"Gavin!" The urgent whisper carried through the stable. It could be but one person. His heart beat rapidly as he turned.
"Elizabeth." She stood in the doorway, a silhouette against the night sky behind her. The ache that seemed a part of his every waking minute pushed heavily against his heart.
"I saw you leave." She moved toward him and placed a hand upon his arm. "I've missed you." He heard the wistfulness in her voice.
"And I, you," he replied. "We must talk. I've come to a decision."
She placed a finger against his lips. "No talk tonight. I see something in your eyes, Gavin. I know I will not like what you have to say."
He wrapped a hand about hers and brushed his lips against its velvet softness. "No, Elizabeth. We might not have another moment like this one again."
"I know. 'Tis why I forbid any further talk. This is what I have wanted to do for days."
She touched a hand to his face. Just her simple caress caused him to burn with desire. He bent and covered her mouth with his. His arms came about her and drew her near.
Oh, how she fit so well against him, as if God made her just for him. He loved this woman more than life itself. But this could go on no longer.
Gavin broke the kiss. He swallowed hard and forced the words out.
"I am leaving. I shall accompany the men who depart for France in ten days' time."
"No!" she gasped, gripping her hands round his arms, her nails digging in. "I cannot let you go."
"You must," he told her. "Soon the king will give his orders. We both know you will be expected to marry Robert. Uniting Kentwood and Fondren is a perfect plan, one Edward will favor. And I cannot watch from a distance, my love. I still love Robert like a brother, but I cannot see you by his side. I would sooner kill him than see him intimate with you, and where would that leave us? You, a widow, and I, hanging from the gibbet, for murdering a nobleman."
Tears swam in her eyes and she shook her head. "No."
Gavin cupped her face in his hands. "'Tis goodbye we must say, Elizabeth. I must leave your life. Robert is a prince among men. He will care for you and protect you. You will have a good life with him."
He pressed his lips to hers. This kiss would be what he remembered over a lifetime. He swore he would make the most of it.