Spanish Flame by Patricia Bates
Ex-convict, Adam Butler, is a man hardened by betrayal and violence. When he lands in Spain, his only intention is to find a paying job so he can buy his way further west, far away from the memories of his past.
Wealthy and beautiful Evangelina Ortega yearns for the ability to marry for love even as her father is forcing her to wed a man she's never met. When she arrives at her betrothed's estate, she meets Adam Butler, a man with secrets and a checkered past.
Can the Spanish lady and the ex-con find happiness or will their love be destroyed by her father's determination to regain the family honor?
Note: This book was previously published under the title In the Hands of a Stranger, but it has been substantially revised.
Adam glanced behind him at the sound of hooves on stone and watched the elegant carriage roll to a halt in front of the main house. Black, trimmed with gold, the exterior of the coach gleamed in the rapidly sinking sun. The doors were covered in intricately gilded patterns of silver and gold, and pale curtains fluttered in the breeze.
The team that pulled it matched the rig—six midnight black horses pranced in their harness as the doorman climbed down and set a step by the door to allow the passengers to disembark. Adam watched as the door opened and a young man of maybe thirteen hopped out, followed by a young woman a couple of years older. She was dressed in gray traveling garb, and her long, full skirts dusted the ground as she walked. Around her head white lace crested and fluttered with each movement of her head.
Adam felt his breath catch when a dark-haired beauty stepped out of the carriage. The long, intricate lace veil she wore covered her elaborately styled hair but did little to hide the ebony strands. Rounded with delicate cheekbones, and a high upturned nose, her face was flawless, beautiful—unlike any other woman's he'd ever seen. Her olive complexion was so different from the aboriginal women his father had employed.
He shivered as her eyes lifted away from her older companion and met his. With the force of a kangaroo kick, attraction slammed into him. He inhaled, frozen, unable or unwilling to break eye contact. Her eyes widened a degree, and he saw her plump lips part in a soundless gasp before she ducked her head, a wave of pink staining her cheeks.
He glanced away as he walked toward the team. He wasn't the son of an affluent man here; there was no room for anything between them, not now. As Adam strode forward to hold the horses, he caught the look of disparagement, the lack of emotion in the depths of the older gentleman's eyes. Adam stared at the wealthy, distinguished man for a moment then began to unhitch the wheeler.
"You will do well," the man said, venom lacing his words, "to keep your distance. A criado has no place near royalty." The well-dressed gentleman stared down at him, condescension in his eyes.
Adam lifted his head to glare at the self-important man. "Señor, welcome to Los Santiago Hacienda."
About the Author:
Reading has been such a large part of my life. I cut my literary teeth on such authors as Louis L'Amour, Nora Roberts and Janet Dailey. For me it wasn't such a jump from reading the wonderful tales these authors spun to imagining my own.
Soon I was writing poetry, short stories and by junior high I'd written my first full length romance novel. Since then I've taken my love of history and my passion for writing and combined them into what I hope will continue to prove a successful career.
With six books contracted, four of which are currently available in print. All are available in electronic format with the last two ebooks due for a release in May and the other in the summer. I'm currently working on three projects, an erotic paranormal romance featuring a witch who loves Christmas, another Ancient Ireland novel, rich in the history of the Irish Celtic peoples, and plotting out a Cowboy Series tentatively titled "The James Gang".
Of course I've got a lot more on the go. I'm developing and growing my editing company with some amazing authors, working on polishing my concepts and plans for upcoming books within the paranormal genres, and keeping up on my writing and being a full time mom, working outside of the house…it's amazing what one can manage in a 16 hour day.