Hello! Firstly, I’d like to thank Brenda for hosting me on this blog.
You're very welcome, Cherie. It's not everyday I have a guest from New Zealand. Please tell us about yourself and your book.
I’m CHERIE LE CLARE and I write historical romance and contemporary romance set in New Zealand.
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I’ve dedicated this book to Kate Sheppard, in recognition of her campaigns to improve New Zealand women's lives through the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and via the Women's Suffrage movement. Her final petition to Parliament succeeded in New Zealand women gaining the right to vote in 1893.
Kate is pictured on the NZ $10 note.
COLONIAL BRIDE is set in 1891 when social change activists were nudging New Zealand towards becoming a more egalitarian society. They’d faced an arduous, and very long sea journey, emigrating to the other side of the world, not knowing if they’d ever see some of their friends and family members again, and many hoped to better their lives without the stifling constrictions of the social class snobbery in Britain and Europe.
The hero and heroine are total opposites: Griffith (Griff) is light-hearted and impulsive; Victoria (Vita) is serious and thoughtful. He’s decisive; she’s hesitant. He knows what he wants; she only knows what she doesn’t want.
How can romance between them ever have a future?
Griff’s arms closed around her. “And your mother never forgave you?”
Vita let out a sob. How was he so perceptive?
“But I do.” He moved and she glanced up, her heart melting as he gently stroked a strand of hair from her forehead. “I do!”
Her eyes widened. “You don’t think I was being selfish?”
He planted a kiss on her cheek and whispered into her ear, “My love, you made a very brave choice.” Then he palmed her face in both hands and held her eyes with his as he said, “And it was the right one.”
Her heart thumped hard at his understanding response.
And then his expression darkened, and apprehension slid coldly down her spine. What was to come?
“Sweetheart, I’m very much afraid that you’re not quite ready for marriage.” He heaved a sigh. “Not even if I were able to prove that I’d never knowingly hurt you.”
Vita’s heart sank. “Oh, but…”
“I desire you very much…” He gave her a sad smile. “I know I once said intimacy was negotiable but my feelings for you have grown too strong now.” His eyes searched her face. “I really couldn’t bear you not reciprocating, or enjoying my attentions.”
Her eyes filled with tears. “No, don’t say that…” Her hands covered his but he slipped from her clasp, and stepped back.
“Farewell, my dear.” And as if his mind was firmly made up, he turned on his heel and strode quickly away.
Vita stared after him, her lips trembling and tears streaming down her face. She’d ruined everything. It was all her fault.
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