by Arlem Hawks
ISBN: 9781629727929 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781629739526 (ebook)
ASIN: B08RLRZ65Q (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B08Q5MW1SG (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Release Date: January 12, 2021
A Regency romance on the high seas. Two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.
As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”
Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. While trying to adjust to a new crew, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.
Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband are quickly slipping away.
Georgana quickly loses her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care, but needing to maintain her disguise as a cabin boy, she is convinced nothing can come of her affection.
Georgana’s Secret is about two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.
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Read an excerpt:
“Good, George. Good!” Dominic motioned for the lad to pause his punching. Half a dozen days of practicing had not turned George into a fighter, but he was learning quickly. The wardroom was warm and stuffy that morning, and already Dominic had lost his cravat and coat. Now he unbuttoned his waistcoat and added it to the pile. He pulled at his loose shirt, letting cooler air dry the sweat.
He didn’t know how George kept going with his jacket securely buttoned.
“Now, I don’t want you to think about hitting my hand this time.” Dominic raised his hand again. A thin layer of grease coated his palm from the lad’s fist. He’d never known a boy to worry over dry skin unless it started to crack, but young Mr. Taylor was an odd one.
The boy cocked his head.
“When you swing, I want you to try to punch the wall.” He motioned behind him with his head.
George obediently walked toward the back of the wardroom, glancing at Dominic out of the corners of his eyes. Dominic laughed, grabbing his arm to stop him. “No, stay where you are.”
“But I can’t reach the wall.”
Dominic repositioned the boy. Maybe a different explanation would work better. “Hit my hand, but instead of aiming for the surface of my hand, imagine going through it. A cannonball doesn’t stop at the hull, it pounds straight through.”
“Unless it misses.” Was that a grin on George’s face? Dominic blinked, and it was gone.
“Those are French guns.” The fleeting spark in the boy’s eyes gave him hope. “Don’t be a French cannon. Be a sound English cannon.”
George chewed the corner of his bottom lip and stared at Dominic’s hand. His fist shot forward. Dominic’s hand smarted when the boy made contact. The punch was harder than any of his previous ones.
“Much better. Again.”
A stocky form stomped through the door, and George snapped into a salute. “More practice, Peyton?” Jarvis asked. His watch clearly hadn’t cured the foul mood he woke up in. The second lieutenant didn’t wait for an answer before entering his room and slamming the door.
They wouldn’t see him for several hours, Dominic bet.
George continued hitting Dominic’s hand until it began to ache. Dominic’s chest swelled with pride. Already the timid cabin boy was showing more determination.
A cabin door opened, and this time it was the young chaplain. George paused to glance at the orange-haired clergyman, who nodded in greeting.
“Will you be attending services today, sir?” the chaplain asked, adjusting his spectacles.
Ah, right. Sunday. Dominic scooped up his discarded clothes. “Of course, Mr. Doswell. I just need to fetch my prayer book.” And dress himself properly.
Captain Woodall always wore his dress coat for services, and Dominic tried to remember to do the same. He still hadn’t managed to form a friendship with the captain, something he’d never failed to do on his previous assignments. The captain had set firm boundaries with the crew, even with his officers. As far as Dominic could tell, no one had been able to penetrate those walls.
Except George, of course. Dominic wondered at that. They were barely relations.
George followed him to the door of his cabin. Dominic threw his things onto his cot and knelt by his trunk.
“Will we practice again tomorrow?” the boy asked.
“If you want to.” Dominic glanced sideways at him. “Do you want to?”
The boy nodded, face still red from the exertion of their lesson.
“I will see you after forenoon watch.” George was enjoying it, then. That pleased Dominic. The lad was as quiet as ever, but now he regularly looked Dominic in the eye, and he had even told a joke.
Excerpt from Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks.
Copyright © 2021 by Arlem Hawks. Published by Shadow Mountain Publishing.
Meet The Author
Arlem Hawks began making up stories before she could write. Living all over the Western United States and traveling around the world gave her a love of cultures and people and the stories they have to tell. With her travels came an interest in history, especially the history of her English heritage. When she isn’t writing, Arlem is baking her characters’ favorite foods, sewing Regency dresses, learning how to play the tin whistle, and water coloring. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two children. Having previously published four historical romance novellas, Georgana’s Secret is her debut novel.
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This excerpt and tour brought to you courtesy of AustenProse.com