The first installment in debut author Hallie Alexander’s steamy Sons of Neptune series introduces readers to a band of heroic rebels at the brink of the American Revolution.
Henrietta Smith was fifteen when she stole a kiss from Marcus Hardwicke. Over a decade later, she’s still waiting to be kissed back…
Henrietta learned the hard way that when you get what you pay for you might end up with a British soldier quartering in your home threatening your friends, an enormous dog tracking mud through your house and stealing the chickens, and Marcus Hardwicke disrupting your uncomplicated life by trying to improve it. And to think she just wanted her roof fixed.
Marcus, wickedly handsome carpenter and rebel rogue, fell off Henrietta’s leaking roof. He can’t leave until his broken ankle heals, giving him plenty of time to consider his past mistakes, including Henrietta's indelible kiss from a lifetime ago. But Henrietta could lose more than her home if she doesn’t encrypt British secrets, and the latest puts Marcus in the crosshairs.
Henrietta flopped into the chair her uncle vacated. “I need to get married.” Marriage would solve her housing and financial problems and get her far away from Uncle Caldwell.
“Sorry, Hetty Betty. Can’t walk down the aisle right now.” Marcus winked.
The scents of pine and moss filled her nose as the memory of kissing him rushed back. He’d allegedly kissed many girls, his taste running from maids to their charges. He couldn’t possibly have had a reason to reject her. And yet he did. He was a year older than she, twenty-nine now, and never married. She doubted he intended to, not with his charm and chiseled jaw. Why would he want to?
“I didn’t mean you. Someone kind and undemanding. My husband is dead and his family is still controlling me.” Her mouth twitched. “Not that you’re not kind.”
Marcus stared at her like she’d grown another head. “Those are the worst reasons I’ve ever heard for getting married.”
“Can’t be helped. I have no other options.” She picked up her forgotten sewing and worked the needle through the fabric. Both her parents were dead. Her one brother, Caleb, lived in Boston with a prolific wife who popped out a baby Smith annually. There were nine nieces and nephews by now. Nine too many for Henrietta to bear to be around.
“You could go live with one of your friends. Offer to care for their children or grandchildren.”
Henrietta pricked her finger. A bead of blood balled at the tip. She sucked it clean, soothing it. He wouldn’t understand if she told him. “I can’t.” Shame made her duck her head. This was why she needed to marry. She didn’t want to be around anyone well-intentioned, nor did she want to be around anyone cruel. Someone who didn’t invest would be lovely.
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More About the Author
Hallie’s 2020 debut, A Widow’s Guide to Scandal, published by Soul Mate Publishing, was a finalist in the 2019 Cleveland Rocks Romance Contest. She writes steamy, feminist historical romances set in America. Her feisty heroines become the heroes of their own story as their swoon-worthy partners work to deserve their love. Expect lush history and swoony kisses. And, if there is an element of humor and hijinks, or a fraying in the fabric of the patriarchy? Even better.
When Hallie isn’t writing, she enjoys playing with her doodle dogs, cooking with her children, and taking long walks with her husband near their North Carolina home. Connect with her here: