Pure of Heart
by Auria Jourdain GENRE: Historical Romance
A ghost child left to die in a French forest, Contesse Blanchefort seeks her long-buried past after her adoptive father dies at the Bastille. Embarking on a quest across England with a pagan woman and a rogue Gypsy, Contesse falls ill in London, and her companions are forced to seek help. With overwhelming compassion, physician’s apprentice Eric McEwan nurses Contesse back to health, but discovers that her exotic accent and pale features set his heart ablaze...her mere touch brands his soul. Passion blooms as the two discover their love for one another—with disastrous consequences.
Upon his expulsion from Cambridge, Eric must battle his domineering grandfather’s wrath. When family tragedy strikes, he must return to his provincial home and confront his abusive past. Carrying on with her quest, Contesse struggles to free herself from her childhood as sinister details are revealed. Without Eric, she’s lost. But love is strong...can they conquer their demons to find one another again?
Eric and Talon's voices wafted away as Contesse stepped out into a small clearing where the goldenrod, dead nettle, and pink heather bloomed all around her. The warm sun tickled her face, and she pulled her cloak tight to protect her skin. Sitting gingerly upon the grass, she perked up as the thunderous sounds of the river rumbled nearby. With a gasp, she turned to look, her mind whirling. Rubbing her eyes, a ghostly likeness of herself as a young child walked among the reeds, and she suddenly leapt back to a time she’d long forgotten...
Wrapped in a long, rainbow colored cloak to cover her delicate skin, the child stooped over to pick the goldenrod. Rubbing it between her fingers, the girl smiled and placed it carefully in an elongated, open basket hung on her arm. Intent on her work, she didn’t see the two young children running toward her, laughing and pointing. “Devil's Spawn! Devil's Spawn!" the girls mocked. “You don’t belong here!” The little girl sat in the grass and cried, bent over with a sprig of goldenrod in her hand.
Standing, Contesse went to the river bank to comfort the poor girl, but she had disappeared. A mockingbird called from high in the treetops, and Contesse frowned. Gazing down in surprise, she gripped a yellow flower tightly in her fist. Holding it to her nose, she inhaled the spicy fragrance that lingered upon her fingers.
History buff, Francophile, and hopeless romantic that demands an HEA—it’s the perfect mixture for writing romance! With fond childhood memories of reading on quiet afternoons, I loved the "happily ever after" sweet teen romances, but I quickly plunged into the world of historical romance—my get-away-from-real-life transporter. Add in a degree in Political Studies with six years of French, and twenty years later, I’m living my dream. With three published novels, 7 finished, and several more in my head, I have years of work ahead of me!