Getting By (A Knight’s Tale I) by Claudia Y. Burgoa is a new-adult contemporary romance novel, published February 18, 2014.
When Emma Anderson arrived at San Francisco International Airport, she regretted accepting the distinction of being the maid of honor to Gaby’s—her childhood friend—wedding. It had been years since the last time she set foot in Menlo Park, where her parents had been killed. The rug where she had been shoving her feelings since that day looked bumpier than a camel’s hump. Who could blame her; if she hadn’t been selfish they’d still be around. Ever since that fateful day, Emma has been perfecting the knack of Getting By.
Cade’s wedding in Menlo Park—a city close to San Francisco—might be the perfect place for Jake Knight to shake the memories of his ex, Emma Anderson for good. Single, available women galore for an entire week was the perfect medication, one he intended to take three times a day for an entire week to return to his player days. It was a plan the former spy thought flawless until he came face to face with the maid of honor. Jake’s perfect retreat turns into a flight, fight or hide week of celebrations.
This is the first book in the 4 book series. The second book will be released later this year.
“You sure about being here?” She nodded, answering my question. Then I slipped one of the migraine pills in her hand and opened a bottle of water. I noticed that Mom and Dad had walked over to Gaby, who waited for them on the corner of the street. After gulping her medicine and water, she handed the bottle over to me. “Text me if you need me to pick you up earlier, Pretty Girl.” She nodded again and I kissed her temples. “Liam, can you walk her to the shop, please?”
Mitch couldn’t hold his tongue any longer, and spoke up, saying, “What was that about?” I glared at him. “Mom being too quiet is scary, right? You want to throw her at her own game? Am I next to be extremely nice with Emma, as if she was my girl?” I grinned, he got me. “Pointers for it to work. Try to change your concerned look, stop drooling and perhaps Mom might believe you.” I narrowed my eyes. “Yeah, it was that obvious since we hit the hotel restaurant at eight this morning, Jay. You were too couple-like. Let’s run you through the breakfast highlights.
“You spotted the girl and ran to her whispering in her ear, giving her a stupid smile I’ve never seen you wear before.” I smirked, remembering the fork, and snorted. Ignoring me, he continued, “At breakfast you two were sitting too close for comfort. Not even Mom and Dad were that close. The best part wasn’t the medicine errand you ran for her. No.” No? I put a hand on the back of my neck and continued listening to the play by play that made me look like a moron in love. “The freaky part, where everyone dropped their jaw at the table, was when Emma reached toward your plate and grabbed strips of your bacon.” I shrugged, what was wrong with it? “Not once, but several times. No one is allowed to touch your food, Jake. Ever since we were little, you hated it. Yet, Emma touched your food, and while she was doing it, you were a millimeter from kissing her. You two are too comfortable with each other, and the daunting part, Jake, is that the two of you fit so well that you don’t realize how wrong everything looked for the ones that don’t know about your relationship.”
“Or for the ones that know you two broke up,” Liam added. I didn’t notice when he came back. “The parental units are suspicious, Jake. Come clean and put some space between you and Emma before Mom chooses the wedding location and makes Dad buy the two of you a house next door to theirs.”
“Did you have to deal with the TMI all the time, Li?” Mitch shivered after Liam nodded with a blank stare. “I never checked to see if the girl I slept with used the pill or not. Add to that the hot factor that she carries condoms in her magic bag.”
“It’s different when you’re with a girl for more than one n—” I rubbed the back of my neck. “Can we not talk about my girl?” I gulped after uttering the last two words and began to think about some form of rehabilitation to move on.
Claudia lives in Colorado with her family and three dogs. While managing life, she works as a CFO at a small IT Company. She’s a dreamer who enjoys music, laughter and a good story. Claudia writes romance, sci-fi, and fantasy. She has published two novels: Where Life Takes You and Getting By. Claudia is currently working on Standing By, the second book in the Knight series. For 2014, Claudia plans to released three, perhaps four novels.
Amidst murder and betrayal, destiny and hearts collide when scandal forces a viscount and a gypsy noblewoman to marry in this Regency romance, sprinkled with suspense, humor, and inspiration.
Half Romani, half English noblewoman, Evangeline Caruthers is the last woman in England Ian Hamilton, the Viscount Warrick, could ever love—an immoral wanton responsible for his brother’s and father’s deaths. She thinks he’s a foul-tempered blackguard, who after setting out to cause her downfall, finds himself forced to marry her—snared in the trap of his own making.
When Vangie learns the marriage ceremony itself may have been a ruse, she flees to her gypsy relatives, declaring herself divorced from Ian under Romani law. He pursues her to the gypsy encampment, and when the handsome gypsy king offers to take Ian’s place in Vangie’s bed, jealousy stirs hot and dangerous.
At last, under a balmy starlit sky, Ian and Vangie breech the chasm separating them. Peril lurks though. Ian’s the last in his line, and his stepmother intends to dispose of the newlyweds so her daughter can inherit his estate. Only by trusting each other can they overcome scandal and murderous betrayal.
“A brilliant tale combining Regency romance with exotic Romani culture.”
Gypsy Vardo Scene
Ian placed a hand on Vangie’s shoulder. “I’m so very sorry.” Oh, how she needed a comforting touch. But not his. Never again his. She wrenched away from him. Her voice ringing with scathing condemnation, she said, “Tell me, Lord Warrick, are you terribly disappointed I’ll not have a distended belly proclaiming to the world I carry your seed before you discard me?” Vangie heard him suck in a great gulp of air. “She was lying, Vangie.” She clamped a hand over her mouth to stifle the sobs demanding release. Was she? Or was Lucinda telling the truth, and Ian the liar? When she didn’t respond he pressed, “Lucinda knew you were behind me. Her lies were contrived to cause you pain and grief.” He laid a hand on her shoulder. “We’re legally married. By all that is holy, I swear it.” What did he know of holiness? Vangie struggled to turn over, the weight of the quilt covering her adding to the burden of her grief. She pinned him with a direct look. “Tell me one thing,” she rasped. “Did you or did you not venture to London for the express purpose of causing my downfall?” “Vangie. . .” “Perhaps downfall isn’t accurate. Putting me in my place? Giving me my just due? Ruining me?” He said nothing. Had guilt rendered him speechless? She searched his face. His handsome features were etched with sorrow, and his eyes . . . was that regret? Or . . . could it be? Were those tears awash in the silvery depths? Her heart twisted painfully. Blast and damn. No. She’d not feel compassion for him. She was the victim. She would offer him no quarter, no mercy. “Well, did you?” “That was before I. . .” Pain, razor-sharp pierced her heart and left it bleeding. “It’s a simple question, Ian. Yes or no?” “It’s not that simple—” With a doggedness that surprised even her, Vangie persisted. “Yes or no?” “Sweeting, I’d been told. . .” Told? Fury whipped anew. She bit out, “Yes. Or. No?” Absolute, resolute, demanding truth’s validation, either to mend her shattered heart or annihilate it completely, Vangie would have her answer. No more a corked-brained, beguiled miss, blinded by love. Looking through the twin lenses of betrayal and deceit, she could at last see Ian clearly. His eyes pleaded with her to understand. His voice low and filled with self-condemnation, he uttered but one syllable. “Yes.”
Multi-published historical romance author Collette Cameron has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. She only teaches part-time so she has time for her greatest passion: writing. Collette’s been married for 30 years, has 3 amazing adult children, and 5 dachshunds. Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, the beach, trivia, birds, shabby chic, and Cadbury Chocolate. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels. Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.
At the betrothal ball of the man she had expected to marry herself, Lady Theresa latches on to Damian Ashby, hoping to divert attention from her own humiliating situation. Of course, she’s not seriously interested because he’s a useless London fribble, in her opinion. He is not favorably impressed with her either.
Still, she’s the daughter of an earl, and he’s the heir to her father’s title and estate, so they are destined to spend more time in each other’s company…sooner rather than later. And who knew that the two of them would develop an unlikely attraction to one another?
But can a London swell and a country lady ever make their diverse lives and interests work together?
Damian Ashby, Viscount Clinton, looked down upon the festive ballroom with a critical eye as he waited in the reception line. Greek statues and scrolled Ionic columns, along with draperies of white and gold and a profusion of candelabras wrapped in ivy, trumpeted the classical theme. A brief survey of the guests confirmed his suspicion that the Sedgelys did not socialize in the first circles of the ton. Except for his cousin, the Earl of Granville, whose heir he was and at whose behest he had deigned to attend, Damian himself appeared to be the highest ranked in attendance.
And frankly, he’d rather be indulging in an intimate dinner and sensual dessert with his mistress than attending a provincial betrothal ball held for two people he’d never met.
“Charmed, I’m sure” he said disdainfully as he greeted his hosts. The pudgy Mr. Sedgely, a banker, and his horse-faced wife, second cousin to a baron, socialized on the fringes of theton, which is why he’d never encountered them previously.
The balding gentleman waiting to greet him on the next step down introduced himself as Squire Bromfield, father of the bridegroom. “So good of you to come,” he boomed, “considering I’ll be your neighbor one day. Or at least my son will, if I’ve shoved off by then.”
“Indeed,” Damian replied, shuddering inwardly at the thought of socializing with such boorish people. After he inherited, he planned to reside at Granville Manor for one week annually during the hunting season. The rest of the year it would be left under the management of a capable steward while he continued to enjoy the pleasures of civilized society in London.
He was calculating the most direct path to the card room when a young lady pounced on him.
“Why, I do believe it’s Cousin Damian! How delightful to see you again!”
She was passably pretty, he thought, although her marine-blue gown was not in the first stare of fashion. He could find no fault with her small waist and full breasts, although he personally preferred a more voluptuous figure. Her hair was too dark a blonde to be in vogue, and the simple chignon indicated that she had arranged it herself without the assistance of a maid. But it was her tantalizing eyes that drew his attention—a deep cerulean blue that reminded him of the Adriatic Sea and a pleasurable interlude on a beach with a sultry Greek barmaid during his European tour a few years ago.
She swatted his arm with her fan.
“You don’t remember me, do you, Cousin Damian? It has been an age since your visit to Granville at Christmastime. It was five or six years, perhaps, but I still had no trouble recognizing you!”
His memory yielded the image of a younger version of the girl before him. Barely out of adolescence, she’d been as provincial as the others in the tedious party.
“Lady Theresa,” he said. “How delightful to see you again!”
“Cousin Theresa,” she insisted. “Strict propriety need not be followed among relations, you know.”
“Although a high-stickler would point out our blood relationship is somewhat diluted,” he reminded her, “our grandfathers being merely cousins and all.”
She grinned. “Isn’t it fortunate there are no high-sticklers here?”
The first notes of a waltz were struck. “What luck!” she said, pulling him onto the dance floor. “Come dance with me, Cousin Damian. I do so adore waltzes!”
He could have—should have—cut her for her impertinence. If he’d been ambushed in such a manner by any other young lady at a ton ball, she’d have been dealt a severe set-down. But among a roomful of provincials, Lady Theresa, as the daughter of an earl, outranked everyone except her father and himself. And seeing as she was the one who would be displaced when he inherited her father’s estate, he decided to ignore her lapse in manners. More or less.
“How fortunate that we both have this dance available,” he said with a hint of reproof.
“Oh la,” she said. “I don’t have so many partners that I must write down their names. And you just arrived,” she said with a triumphant smile.
A country bumpkin, thought Damian in disgust. Bruiting about her own unpopularity so candidly. She would be a pariah at any civilized ball.
She danced surprisingly well for a country girl, he thought as they whirled around the room. She felt good in his arms and the scent of her hair wafted up to his nose. Lavender.
Her astonishing eyes peered up at him, sparkling with interest. Oh no, he groaned inwardly. Here it comes.
“You are easily the most refined gentleman here,” she gushed. “Your apparel outshines even Reese’s, and he is the guest of honor.” Seeing his puzzled look, she explained. “Reese Bromfield, Squire Bromfield’s son. The husband-to-be.” She nodded toward a hulky blond man dancing with a pretty redhead. “That’s Eugenia Sedgely, his fiancée.”
Was it only his imagination that her voice shook slightly when she said that last word?
About the Author
A former teacher, Susana is finally living her dream of being a full-time writer. She loves all genres of romance, but historical—Regency in particular—is her favorite. There’s just something about dashing heroes and spunky heroines waltzing in ballrooms and driving through Hyde Park that appeals to her imagination.
In real life, Susana is a lifelong resident of northwest Ohio, although she has lived in Ecuador and studied in Spain, France and Mexico. More recently, she was able to travel around England and visit many of the places she’s read about for years, and it was awesome! She is a member of the Maumee Valley and Beau Monde chapters of Romance Writers of America.