Heart of Stone by Faye Hill
Congratulations to Faye Hill and her new release, Heart of Stone
Isabella Miley was trapped. Her brother and protector was dead – murdered on a slave traders ship. And now the man she feared most, Samuel Buchanan, had papers placing her in servitude to him. She needed to get the signet ring and ruby necklace she’d hidden away if she were to be able to prove who she was. When Samuel threatened to make her his wife and offer her out as payment to all the debt collectors that were calling, she ran for her life and straight into the arms of Ruben Stoneheart. Before she could ask for his help she found herself dragged back to Samuel and into bondage.
Ruben wanted a peaceful life, far away from the blackbirding slave trade he had once been involved in. He had watched too many people die on those ships and all for a man’s own greed and want of a ruby necklace.
This wasn’t the life he wanted. He wanted peace. A wife. Family.
When the Irish beauty Isabella ran into his arms down on the docks, she stirred feelings in him unlike anything else. Never could he have imagined her to be as passionate as she was mysterious – or to be the wife of his once business partner Samuel Buchanan.
Curious how such a wondrous woman could end up entangled with a brute like Samuel, Ruben went delving into her past, eager to know more about this woman he was quickly losing his heart to. What he found was a slave contract with her name on it.
Hurt that she would hide such a thing from him, he confronts her with an ultimatum – Samuel or him.
Isabella’s fear demands that she must stay with Samuel until she could get back her freedom, but her heart is willing to risk it all on Ruben – a man rumoured to have a heart of stone.
He shrugged. “People will always gossip, Bella.”
She pulled her hand away. “Why did you call me that?”
“I didn’t mean to overstep my place, but I had to say it,” he explained. Reaching to her, his fingers ran along the soft, pale skin of her cheek. “Bella means beauty, something you most definitely are.”
She lowered her face from his, but not before he saw the blush filling her cheeks again.
“Please stay, Isabella,” he invited her again.
“I really must go,” she said, hesitantly leaning into him and kissing him on the cheek near his lips. “Thank you again, Ru,” she uttered softly before turning and stepping away from him.
She had just reached the door when she glanced back at him. “Bellymena.”
“What?” he asked, confused by what she had just said.
She smiled. “You asked where I grew up in Ireland. I grew up in Bellymena.”
Watching her leave his office, Ruben knew he wanted more than anything to see this woman again. There was something about her that was so hypnotic.
Driven by the need to know she was now safe from the men chasing her, he followed her from his office and back into the alleys that led to town.
Losing sight of her momentarily, his steps quickened. Hearing a scream up ahead, he ran toward it. As he rounded the corner, he saw her being captured by two burly men; men he had seen act as deckhands on his father’s blackbirding ships.
“You’re a slippery little thing, aren’t you?” he heard a familiar voice say as a third man approached a very terrified-looking Bella.
His gaze going to the man who had spoken, his gut clenched.
“Let me go, Samuel,” she yelled. “Please let me go.”
Hiding in the shadows of the alley, Ruben watched as the old sailor walked toward her. He couldn’t believe the woman he had just been with was connected to the same man he was trying to prove a criminal. Samuel stopped in front of Isabella, his hands going to her chin, and Ruben found himself wondering exactly what kind of relationship lay between these two. As the older man’s lips connected to her, he couldn’t ignore her struggle to be free.
“I will never let you go,” Samuel said when his lips finally left hers. “Without your brother here to protect you, you are mine to do with as I please.”
Thinking now was the time he should again jump to this woman’s rescue, Ruben started to step around the corner toward those holding her captive. He’d only taken a few steps when a carriage pulled up and Samuel threw her inside before turning to his henchmen.
“Find Ruben and convince him to give me that ruby necklace. Now!” he ordered before instructing the driver to take off quickly.
Cursing himself a coward for not going to Bella’s rescue earlier, he kicked the earth beneath his feet. Everywhere he turned it seemed Samuel was there, his deception bleeding into every inch of his life.
Even Isabella. But how was she connected to this evil man?
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Faye Hall's passion driven, mystery filled books are set in small townships of North Queensland, Australia during the late 1800's.
Each of her novels bring something symbolically Australian to her readers, from Aboriginal herbal remedies, to certain gemstones naturally only found in this part of the world.
Each of her books tell of a passionate connection between the hero and heroine, surrounded and threatened by deceit, scandal, theft and sometimes even murder.
These romances swerve from the traditional romances as Faye aims to give her readers so much more intrigue, whilst also revealing the hidden histories of rural townships of North Queensland.
Faye finds her inspiration from the histories of not only the township she grew up in, but the many surrounding it. She also bases most of her characters on people she has met in her life.
Faye was able to live her own passion driven romance, marrying the love of her life after a whirlwind romance in 2013. Together they are raising their 9 children in a remote country town in northern Queensland, Australia.
9/16/2017 11:49:25 am
Congrats on your release!
9/16/2017 12:18:03 pm
Great excerpt. Congrats on the new release!
9/16/2017 04:00:25 pm
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