I highly recommend a stout cup of coffee while watching the sun rise with the one you love!
1 Shot (Special Dark) Kahlua
1 Shot Rum, spiced
8 oz. Coffee
Mix together in glass and top off with ground cinnamon and/or whipped cream.
THE PIRATE’S DUCHESS by KATHERINE BONE
Duty forces him to take on the pirate code, but honor brings him back.
Prudence, Duchess of Blackmoor, has one desire—to be happy again. After struggling to overcome the horrifying death of her husband, she accepts an earl’s offer of marriage, confident she’s taking a step in the right direction. But demons, refuse to die, and Prudence finds herself caught in an intricate web of deceit that threatens the very foundations of all she holds dear.
Tobias, the Duke of Blackmoor, crosses the line when an assassination attempt on him fails. To restore the reputations of friends under attack by the same villain, and ensure his wife’s safety, he stages his own death, becoming The Black Regent, a notorious pirate bent on brandishing justice, never thinking he’d survive. But to his amazement, he has, and now the darkest-kept secrets are not worth losing the duchess his wife has become.
National best-selling historical romance author Katherine Bone has been passionate about history since she had the opportunity to travel to various Army bases, castles, battlegrounds, and cathedrals as an Army brat turned officer’s wife. Who knew that an Army wife’s passion for romance novels would lead to pirates? Certainly not her rogue, whose Alma Mater’s adage is “Go Army. Beat Navy!” Now enjoying the best of both worlds, Katherine lives with her rogue in the south where she writes about rogues, rebels, and rakes—aka pirates, lords, captains, duty, honor, and country—and the happily-ever-afters that every alpha male and damsel deserve.
~ Excerpt ~
Prudence stood at the threshold with her father, looking out into the chapel. The pews were radiantly lined with flowers in shades of white and green, all leading up to where Basil patiently waited. His handsome face was eclipsed, his thick dark hair illuminated by fragments of light shining through the stained glass.
Father patted her hand again and gazed down at her fondly. “Shall we do this, my dear?”
She nodded. “Yes. I am ready.”
Her father wasted no time guiding her to the altar, past faces she’d known long and well, servants devoted to her as a child and, since her husband’s death, Blackmoor’s tenants, as well as notable gentry.
“It’s been two years since the duke’s passing,” someone whispered to her left.
Prudence pressed forward, past rightful members of the ton seated near the front.
“Imagine being a widow at three and twenty,” another voice said softly.
Tobias’s face momentarily replaced Basil’s, and her slipper caught on the hem of her gown. Father’s quick reflexes kept her from falling flat on her face before Basil, God, and their guests.
He squeezed her arm reassuringly. “Do not listen to foolish hen prattle, my dear. The earl is waiting for you.”
Straightening her shoulders, she focused on Basil’s handsome face and light-blue eyes that glinted like Blackmoor silver, twinkling, promising years of fidelity and conveying assurances that all would be well. Tall, lean, and clothed in simple black and white, Basil gave her a pleasant smile that lured her to him, and warmth swept through her. He was her future now. No more sleepless nights lying awake, feeling helpless and alone. No more nightmares or thoughts of what could have been.
Her father stopped just before the altar and placed a kiss on her brow. “Your mother would be so proud of you if she were here. You are strong, my girl.”
“Thank you, Papa,” she whispered, her heart filled with gratitude.
He turned her toward Basil, who sketched a bow, then lowered his hand and helped her step up to the altar. When she finally stood beside him, he raised her hand to his lips, kissing the amethyst ring on her right hand before clicking his heels together with practiced ease.
He leaned down to whisper in her ear as he removed her veil. “No regrets?”
“I promise you’ll never have them.”
“I accept your challenge,” she replied, returning his smile.
Together, they turned to Mr. Leyes, who stood like a rotund badger in front of his den, a book held open in each hand. He nodded to Prudence and Basil, then began reading from the first book, a copy of Fordyce’s Sermons.
Throughout Leyes’s literal depiction of a woman’s character, Basil held her hand in his, gently rubbing her knuckles with his thumb as brilliant light filtered through the windows behind the vicar’s back, bathing them in prisms of color.
Leyes paused, then said, “Is anyone present who can justifiably object to the joining of this man and woman in holy wedlock?”
Someone cleared his throat, and Prudence’s breath hitched. When the vicar craned his head to find the instigator, the room fell silent. Then Leyes nodded, smiling confidently at Basil, who turned to take hold of both her hands and gazed into her eyes.
“Basil Halford, Earl of Markwick, do you take Prudence Denzell, Duchess of Blackmoor, to wed?”
The doors to the chapel slammed open.
“He does not,” came a deep, angry voice from the back.
That voice! It can’t be . . .
Prudence’s body tensed. Surely she’d heard wrong.
She turned away from the vicar and Basil to see a cloaked man standing in dark silhouette, holding a silver cane. There was something ill-omened about the way he stood and angled his head. Her heart clenched, then raced.
“What is the meaning of this?” Basil asked, anger rolling off him in waves. “How dare you interrupt our wedding?”
“No one is going to marry my wife today.”