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Monday, June 13, 2011

Fiction Sampler: The Duke's Redemption by Carla Capshaw

Award winning Inspirational Historical Romance author earned a Bachelors degree in International Studies from the University of South Florida, and a Master of Theology from International Theological Seminary.  Over the years, she has been blessed to visit forty-eight states and twenty-five countries, including a year spent teaching English in the People’s Republic of China.

"Ms. Capshaw’s ability to bring her readers into the time periods that she writes about is staggering. " - Eye on Romance reviews

The Duke's Redemption
Danger and intrigue follow Elise Cooper wherever she goes. Surviving on her wits and her faith, Elise, code named the Fox, is the most elusive patriot spy in South Carolina.  When a double agent threatens to turn Elise over to the British, she fights for her life and makes a narrow escape...

But when Drake Amberly, fifth duke of Hawk Haven, learns of his brother's death and the failed investigation to find the spy who shot him, he heads for America determined to see the murderous brigand brought to justice.  Once in Charles Town, he follows the Fox's trail to Brixton Hall Plantation where he meets Elise Cooper.  As Drake tracks the Fox, he and Elise fall deeply in love. Once they wed, everything seems idyllic, until a trap he sets for the Fox exposes his beloved as his sworn enemy, forcing him to choose between his quest for vengeance or the traitorous wife whose love and faith may prove to be his downfall or The Duke's Redemption.

Excerpt from Chapter Two
Charles Town, South Carolina, 1781

The fine hairs on Elise’s arms and the back of her neck stood at attention, alerting her to the odd sensation of being watched. 

She glanced around the ballroom, trying to appear nonchalant.  Her breath caught in her throat when she noticed the man observing her.  He was dark, she noted, handsome in a fierce sort of way.  His sculpted lips turned in a half smile, but it was the long scar along his jaw that intrigued her.

Tall and broad shouldered, the stranger cut a fine figure in black waistcoat and breeches.  His stark white shirt and elegant, but simple stock stood in sharp contrast with his golden skin.  He wore his black hair tied at the nape, one of only a few men in the room bold enough to refuse a wig.  
His gaze captured hers.  His magnetic eyes bore into her, seeming within a moment to discern her darkest secrets.  He rattled her nerves, made her instantly more aware of herself in a manner that was most disconcerting.   To a woman used to being in the midst of trouble, he seemed the essence of it. 

She decided then to steer clear of him, for in one glance she knew his ilk: pure danger in masculine form. 

Zechariah patted her hand.  “Elise?  Are you ill?” 

She blinked and looked down into her spymaster's round face.  “I’m fine.  Why do you ask?”

“You’ve nearly drawn blood.”

Her gaze fell to where her fingernails dug into his linen-clad arm.  She released him immediately. 

Zechariah fiddled with the froth of lace at his wrist.  “Get hold of yourself, girl.  You'll never accomplish what you must if you're more skittish than a colt." 

Elise narrowed her eyes and bit back a sharp retort.  She kept her expression cheerful so as not to give away the game to onlookers, but she resented his tone.  She despised his hold on her life.  But he’d offered the escape she’d prayed for as part of the bargain she'd made to free her sister.  For now, she could do little but accept his sharp ways.  Others believed she was his ward, when in actuality he was her warden.

"I'm neither skittish nor incapable of performing my task.  The man by the mantle, the dark one, he startled me is all.  I turned to see him staring a hole in my back."

Zechariah observed the man covertly.  "That, my dear, is Drake Amberly, the man you’re to investigate.  You’d do well to encourage his interest.  If he were to become besotted with you, it would make your task much easier."

Elise bristled with indignation.  Her instincts warned Amberly was the one man in the Colonies she should avoid at all costs.  “I have a troublesome feeling about him.”

“Perhaps meeting him will alleviate the sensation.”  His tone cloaked a rod of iron.  “Allow me to introduce you.” 

She took a deep breath and let it out slowly.  The unease she’d labored under for much of the day increased.  Her palms grew moist.  The closer she walked toward Amberly, the faster her heart raced.   

When they came abreast of the man, Zechariah extended his beefy paw in greeting.  He spoke loudly, competing with the party’s din of music, dancers and conversation.  “Amberly, I’m pleased to see you’ve joined us.  I hope the journey from Charles Town was not too taxing."

“Not at all.  The river was smooth, the boat swift.  I arrived before an hour passed.”

“Excellent, I’m glad to hear it.”  Zechariah rocked on his heels, his hands clamped behind his back.  “I trust the maid saw you settled?”

“Most comfortably, thank you.  Your hospitality is much appreciated.” 

Even as he spoke with Zechariah, Amberly’s eyes returned to her face again and again.  Heat rose to her cheeks for no reason at all.  She hoped the powder and rouge she’d applied before the party disguised her reaction.

“We’re pleased to have you here.”  Zechariah turned to her.  “Amberly, I’d like you to meet my ward, Miss Elise Cooper.   Elise, this is Mr. Drake Amberly, direct from London.   He’ll be staying with us for the next few weeks.”

No one told her he’d be a long-term guest.  She offered her hand politely, schooling her features to prevent her dismay from reflecting on her face.  His large, tanned hand engulfed her much smaller one.  He bowed and kissed the back of her knuckles.  His scent of spice and soap teased her senses.  She shivered, aware her response to him was profoundly peculiar.  Only the force of her will kept her planted before him. 

Intense, lushly lashed eyes caught and held hers.  “The pleasure is all mine, Miss Cooper.  I am most fortunate to make your acquaintance.”

His voice was deep and smooth except for a few clipped words that reminded her of the English upper class.  The observation brought her halfway back to her senses.  She had to remember her orders, not allow herself to be waylaid by a handsome face.  

She giggled, resorting to her role as a featherbrain.  Experience had taught her a man let his guard down around a woman he considered a simpleton.  “I’m charmed, Mr. Amberly.  A girl could lose her head with a man as handsome as you in the room.”

“Why thank you, Miss Cooper.  I’m flattered.”

He seemed more amused than complimented.  She tapped him playfully with her fan and gifted him with a flirtatious grin.  “Surely not.  I’ve seen the other ladies swarming you tonight.  Most likely you’ve grown weary of praise.”  She motioned toward the dancers behind her.  “Forgive my boldness, but would you be so kind, sir?  I truly love to dance.  Since my escort is the guest of honor, he’s obliged to take a turn with the other ladies tonight.  I fear I’ll be left to sit with the matrons if one of you fine gentlemen doesn’t take pity on me.”

“It would be my honor, Miss Cooper.  However, I never acquired the skill of dancing.  May I interest you in some refreshment instead?”

“You never learned to dance?  How unusual,” she remarked, her eyes as wide and innocent as a babe’s.  

“Dancing isn’t a sport in large demand on a ship.”
She smiled coyly.  His refusal to dance might work to her advantage.  Perhaps she could get him alone, away from the crowd and music that would disrupt conversation and her ability to uncover more about him.  “I so wanted to dance, but I suppose a glass of refreshment will do.  Why don’t you fetch us a drink?  I’ll gather my shawl and meet you in the garden.  It’s such a pretty night.  I see no reason to waste it indoors.”

Amberly grinned. “A superb idea, Miss Cooper.  To the garden it is.”

For a chance to win a copy of The Duke's Redemption, please leave a comment with your email address. Winner will be drawn next Monday.


  1. Great to see Carla here - both of you;) I bought this book last year because of the lovely cover and really enjoyed the storyline and characters. Looking forward to seeing more books by Carla!

  2. I really enjoyed this book! Will have to locate my review address and get that up. So nice to see this posted. Thank you, Carla!

  3. Wow! What a plot! Enjoyed the excerpt.

  4. This looks like an exceptional novel - right up my alley! I'm looking forward to reading this sometime very soon.

  5. Oh Faye and Carla, You cannot miss this one! When I read this, I was shocked. I sent a Facebook message to Carla Capshaw. Had no idea that the LIH would have such a great book in its line up. We used to live in Charleston and with it being a colonial, it was right up my alley.

  6. Hi,
    This looks like a wonderful read. Please enter me in the drawing. I would love to win this book!
    Linda Cacaci

  7. Since I live in SC, all you have to do is mention historical SC fiction and I'm there!! Love the cover AND the excerpt. Please enter me, and this time pick me! LOL You gals are doing such a great job on this blog (Carla, Carrie, and all the rest). I know it's alot of work on top of everything else you have to do, and I just want to commend you on a job well done!!

  8. I forgot to leave my email (Carrie has it) but, oh

  9. I love the story idea here... talk about some tension! Thanks for entering me in the drawing.

    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  10. Oh Carla, I love the idea that the problems really start after they are married! Lot more to lose and really adds to the tension! I'd love an opportunity to win this.

  11. Hi Carrie,

    I have been having trouble posting comment on this type comment form for several weeks. I have downloaded Chrome but still can't post. I have been trying to post a comment on your post for 45 minutes and I give up. lol This old brain is tired of trying.

    Pls post this for me. Thanks

    I love intrigue, suspense and romance mixed into the story and can't wait to read The Duke's Redemption by Carla.

    I live in Georgia so all stories with southern setting are at the top of my Wish List.
    Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks

    aka; misskallie2000

  12. Oh my, suspense, excitement, romance, tension and a well written script. All the things I enjoy in reading. I belonged to LHI for years, don't know why I'm not still a member. Their books always entertain me and I pass them along for another's entertainment. Carla's story agrees with my reading appetite - and I really dig historical fiction. Thanks for this giveaway and the chance to win a copy for Kindle or in book form. I sure hope I win!

    A Sister in Christ,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  13. Wow, this book sounds great and I love the cover. I've only read a few books set in this time period so it will be good to read another.

    Sylvia M.


  14. Carrie has an interview with Carla Capshaw at her blog Overcoming Through Time and she's giving away a Kindle edition of The Duke's Redemption. So head on over there, too, to read the wonderful post and a chance to win!

  15. Wow!!! I wanted MORE!!! This book sounds so yummy! I am so excited about the giveaway! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  16. I've read this book on my Kindle. It is as steamy a romance as you can read without graphic imuendos. Love the passion and courage in both heroine and hero. It proves that love can conquer hate and that true forgiveness heals. Would love a hard copy. Well done, Carla! Susan

  17. And Faye is the winner, using to do a random number generator. Congrats, Faye! You will enjoy this book!


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