Today, I'm pleased as punch to present Taryn Raye, a fellow Kentucky writer--and a sweetheart of a gal--who's just published her first historical romance novel titled Castaway Hearts. I hope you'll help me give her a warm welcome to the romance publishing world. She'd sure love to hear from you, so come on in and say howdy!
Castaway Hearts blurb:
Ten years since the tragic loss of his young wife and infant son, Dawson Randolph is convinced love and marriage is a fool’s game and resents being pardon to his brother’s hidden engagement. Damned by his instant attraction and his own growing desire, Dawson vows to befriend her against his better judgment. Determined to bring her happiness in a time of fear and uncertainty, Dawson puts aside his animosity to become her confidant, only to realize Catherine holds the key to his heart. When tragedy strikes at sea, Catherine’s guilt pushes Dawson to the fringes of her life as madness consumes her.
Can his love save her before she drowns in her own grief? Or is he doomed to love her from a distance, always in the shadow of her love for his dead brother?
“Would you like to get down and walk a bit?” His voice whispered deep and thick from his throat. Catherine wasn’t sure of the changes, but the alteration in his tone of voice and his manner made her heart pitter-patter in anticipation of what may come.
Another kiss, perhaps?
Dread and hope battled in her stomach.
Do I really want that?
Catherine nodded her assent, her heart disappointed at her own wishful thoughts as they both slid down from the horse’s back. Dawson led Gypsy by the reins with one hand and took Catherine’s hand in the other. Pitch-black sky hovered over the beach and a few twinkling stars danced above, white gemstones, decorating the heavens. As the moon waned, it left the world in deep shadowy stillness.
Catherine didn’t jerk away when Dawson’s fingers entwined with hers. Instead, she enjoyed the companionable silence between them, the water lapping at the beach. Their boots crunched across the sand, and she felt a chill as a stiff breeze gusted by.
“Watch out for pieces of driftwood. I wouldn’t want you to trip.” Dawson whispered, his words gentle, his thumb drawing a lazy circle across the top of hers. A different kind of shiver rippled through her, but she steered her thoughts back to enjoying this time with her friend.
It was an unexpected comfort and a welcome reprieve from the arguments they shared with familiarity since they first met. Catherine broke the silence as they turned around and headed back up the beach toward the house.
“Are we becoming friends now?” Her heart paused, as she waited, hoping for assurance of the change.
Dawson squeezed her fingers and jostled her hand tenderly, “I believe so.”
When they returned to the house, Dawson let go of her hand, the simple act leaving her chilled again. He tied Gypsy at the hitching post and walked Catherine to the bottom of the balcony stairs on the other side of the house.
She took three steps up before she turned around and smiled down at Dawson.
“Goodnight, and thank you,” Catherine words were hushed as she rested her hand on the wooden banister.
“Thank you,” Dawson covered her hand with the weight of his, warming her all over. His lips tilted into a thoughtful smile. “Goodnight, my Catherine, I hope you have pleasant dreams.”
Catherine nodded at the idea and then paused.
“You won’t tell, promise—”
His thumb grazed the top of her hand again as he leaned closer. Catherine’s breath caught in her throat.
Was he going to kiss her?
“I promise,” Dawson’s lips were so close to her ear she heard him lick them and could feel his breath, warm against the nape of her neck. “It’s ours.”
“This is just for you and me.”
Without another word, Dawson disappeared in the shadows and Catherine entered the house, slipping under her bedcovers with a contented sigh. An atrocious day had transformed into a fine night and she found a new hope had taken up residence in her heart. There would be new and better tomorrows ahead.