Today it is my pleasure to have been offered the opportunity by Aria Fiction, to share in the Blog Tour for this new historical romance and as the author was born in my own home town of Swindon, Wiltshire, of course I jumped at the chance.
‘THE RUNAWAY WIFE‘ by ROSIE CLARKE
The hedonism of London in the roaring ’20’s is a world away from Annabel Tarleton’s ordinary country existence. Until a chance meeting with the charming Richard Fortescue at a society ball changes her life for ever.
Swept off her feet by the dashing Richard, and his renowned fortune, Annabel soon realises all that all that glitters isn’t gold. Her bid for freedom has come at a terrible price and she finds herself trapped inside a marriage that behind closed doors is cruel and brutal.
Annabel has no choice but to flee, and will do everything to save herself, and her unborn baby, from destitution. But the very rich and very powerful expect to get what they want – and Richard wants only one thing – Annabel…
Clicking on the book title will link you directly with the relevant Goodreads page
You can also read those all important opening lines here, at ‘Book Beginnings On Friday‘
She started writing in 1976, combining this with helping her husband run his antiques shop.
In 2004, Rosie was the well-deserved winner of the RNA Romance Award and the Betty Neels Trophy.
She still lives in Cambridgeshire, is happily married and enjoys life with her husband. She likes to walk in the Spanish sunshine and eating out at favourite restaurants in Marbella is a favourite pastime, but writing is her passion.
Rosie loves shoes, especially those impossibly high heels you can buy and has a gorgeous pair of Jimmy Choos, but can’t wear them, so they sit on the mantlepiece.
Rosie Clarke has written under various names including Anne Herries, Linda Sole and Cathy Sharp, and for a variety of publishers.
Keep up with all the latest news on Rosie’s website
Connect with Rosie on Facebook
Follow Rosie on Twitter
Chosen by Aria Fiction and Rosie Clarke, this short extract, also taken from the opening chapter of the book, is my shared feature for the Blog Tour.
Annabel’s heart missed a beat as she caught sight of him across the room, her stomach clenching with nerves. She had been so sure he wouldn’t be here this evening. He seldom attended little dances like this, because he was more often in London or at Newmarket for the racing. They had met on only one other occasion and she’d felt an instant attraction, though she wasn’t certain he was interested. He’d smiled, asked her to dance, talked about his passion for racehorses, briefly mentioned the business passed on to him by his late father, and then left her to rejoin his friends.
Tall and lean, with dark hair, and an attractive face, Richard Hansen was very wealthy. Everyone knew that he was the heir to a vast manufacturing empire. His grandfather had started with some mills in the North Country but his father had expanded the business and become both wealthy and influential. Richard had been sent to the best schools and then to Oxford, where he had somehow managed to survive without being sent down despite his reputation for being wild. Perhaps because of his charm, which seemed to embrace everyone he met and sent more than one young woman’s heart on a dizzy whirl. It was a little way he had of making you feel that you were special that drew women to him, as moths to the naked flame.
Even as Annabel watched, she saw him charming an older woman who was known for her sour disposition but who now simpered and blushed as he twisted her around his little finger. Annabel watched the woman laughing like a young girl and then flushed herself as his eyes told her he’d become aware of her gaze.
‘You’re wasting your time,’ a mischievous voice said at her ear and Annabel turned to smile at her friend Georgina Barrington. Georgie was dark haired, pretty and full of fun, a year or so younger than Annabel. Wearing a short dress with fringes that sparkled as she moved, she was a true reflection of the age. Much more than a flapper, she was intelligent and full of the joy of life. ‘Ma told me to give him a wide berth, Belle. Mr Hansen is a charmer but spoiled – and some say he’s bad, though they won’t say why.’
‘What do you mean –bad?’ Annabel asked, unwilling to accept that Richard could be less than the perfect young god he appeared and yet knowing that her friend was far from malicious. ‘He seemed pleasant enough to me when we met.’
Georgie had been her best friend since they’d met two years earlier, when the Barringtons were staying with friends in Cambridge. The family visited every few months and Georgina had written to say she would be at the Munsters’ dance that evening.
‘It’s just whispers,’ Georgie said. ‘I think he probably gets drunk and does reckless things – but Ma never tells me the whole story. You know what mothers are like.’
‘Yes, I do,’ agreed Annabel with a rueful look. ‘Your mother is better than most though, Georgie. She gives you a lot of freedom. This is 1929 but I sometimes think my mother is still living in Victorian times. She hardly lets me out without a chaperone.’
‘Lady Tarleton is a little anxious for you sometimes,’ Georgie said diplomatically and glanced across the room to her own mother. ‘She wants you to make a good marriage. Priscilla says she doesn’t care who I marry as long as I am happy. That’s partly because of Jessie, I believe. She’s wonderful, Belle.’