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Kat, here, writing from the Montana wilderness... All right, so "wilderness" might be a bit too strong. Actually we are only about 20 miles from a nice-sized town with a K-Mart, Wal*Mart, Daltons, Waldens and even a Barnes & Noble!
Still, in Montana, that's quite a distance. The good news is the scenery is spectacular, good company while I'm pounding the keyboard. As I was writing Dangerous Passions, it was easy to lose myself in the story, to concentrate on Adrian Kingland, a colonel in the British Army, and the adventure he and Elyssa Tauber find themselves caught up in.
The bad news is the tiny trailer I've been living in (nearly a year!) while we build our home. By the time you read this, the house will finally be completed. Yet as I type this article, I am chewing my nails over the color of the walls, wondering if the stone floors in the kitchen will be too cold for a Montana winter, worrying if the white smears left by the painters will ever come off the wooden beams.
In the chaos, I write of Adrian and Elyssa and try not to think what color I should stain the hardwood floors. Truly, the only time my head stops spinning is while I work. I started thinking about Adrian's story when he appeared as Matthew Seaton's friend in Innocence Undone. Though his entrance was brief, he seemed a perfect hero, and I was intrigued that he was a baron and a military man. I hope you'll watch for and enjoy it!
Adrian strode into the house as he always did, his movements forged with purpose, yet his expression held none of the tenderness she had seen in his face last night.
"Things are progressing as planned," he said brusquely. "Ravenscroft has ordered my immediate return to the archduke's army."
Her eyes squeezed shut for a heartbeat. "I thought...I thought you would be staying at least a couple more days."
He only shook his head. "Time is of the essence now. With Bonaparte so close, it's imperative I get back as quickly as I can." He glanced toward the door as if he couldn't wait to leave, his features distant and remote, as though the man she had known last night was already gone. "Why don't you walk me to the door?"
"Yes...yes, of course." Dear God, she couldn't think, couldn't believe this was happening so quickly. Adrian's big hand settled at her waist, urging her out of the room. In seconds, he was standing at the bottom of the steps, checking his saddle and equipment, turning to smile at her like the stranger he had become.
Don't go! she wanted to say. I love you! Please don't leave me! But she was afraid to say it, afraid to tell him the truth.
"Time to go, angel," he said lightly. "Take care of yourself." He started to turn away, to swing himself up in the saddle, but her softly spoken words held him back.
"Aren't you going to kiss me good-bye?"
He stared at her and the mask he wore began to crumble. Stark pain twisted his features, despair unlike any she had ever seen. She was in his arms before he had started up the steps, clinging to his neck, pressing her cheek against his, unmindful of her
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