The Wild Rose Press
September 3, 2012
Amazon / B&N
provided by publisher
To keep herself from the depths of poverty, Milly Shepherd needs to be appointed manager of the Red Lion Tavern. The elderly owner is in failing health and has promised her the job permanently if no one more suitable applies. Milly will fight with her entire being to make the job her own.
Joseph Jacobs needs to supplement his income to pay off his father’s creditors and save him from debtor’s prison. Though the job as manager of the local tavern looks promising, Milly is favored by both the owner and customers. Instead, Joseph swallows his pride and agrees to tend bar.
As they work together, their attraction grows, their goals cross, and both Millie and Joseph find they must face their fears …the question is whether they face them alone or together?
“No, I take it from here.” His jaw tightened. “I mean it, Milly. I don’t want you in there.”
“Why are we arguing about this? I thought we’d built a trust between us.”
His gaze darted over her face, lingered at her lips. “This has nothing to do with trust.”
“Pride. If I haven’t got that…if I’ve stooped so low as to put a woman at risk, then there’s no point in going on at all. I won’t do it, Milly. I won’t expose you to whatever is behind that door. If you can’t stay here, then go back to the tavern. I’ll see you there shortly.”
His face was set, his shoulders stiff and Milly’s irritation grew. She poked a finger into his chest. It was like iron. She swallowed. “Have you heard the saying, pride before a fall?” He nodded. “Good, because if people don’t reach out to other people, Joseph Jacobs, they fall further than ever with nobody there to catch them.”
She raised her hand. “Go. Do what you want. I’ve got more important things to worry about that a man full of so much pride, he looks fit to burst.”
Turning, Milly gripped her bag tightly in her hand and strode away. She did not look back, and she didn’t stop walking. Her stupid heart had let her down. Made her get involved in a man’s life and begin to care about him. Well, the buck stopped there. No more. If Joseph Jacobs ever needed her help again, he could take a long walk off the dock.
Blinking against the rare sting of tears, she tilted her chin and retraced her steps across town. Her shift at the tavern started in an hour’s time, but that didn’t matter; there was always plenty to be done and at least there, she was appreciated. Joseph certainly didn’t see what was right in front of his damn face.
Yet each step that took her across town weighed heavier and heavier. She’d seen where he and his father lived. It was little better than a hovel. She’d seen the newspapers stuffed around the window frames in an attempt to keep out the cold, the bare floorboards, and thick layers of soot from the fireplace spilling into the room. The landlady should be seeing to that, all of it. Bitter resentment furled in Milly’s stomach as her past flashed through her mind. She’d pulled her family from the gutter, and the future looked brighter than ever before.
Which didn’t help the nagging feeling that she could do more—wanted to do more to help Joseph. But she couldn’t. It would mean putting a hold on her own plans. All for a man she had hardly known more than two weeks.
She curled her hands into fists. This feeling inside her was new. This sense of wanting to fight for someone outside of her family. How had it gotten like this? To kiss him was bad enough, but to have this…this fear for him? That scared her more than anything.
About The Author:
Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. She started writing short stories about eight years ago but once her children were at school, she embarked on her first novel. It was published in 2007. Since then, she’s had several books published with small presses as well as securing her first contract with Harlequin Superromance in May 2012.
Represented by US agent Dawn Dowdle, of Blue Ridge Literary Agency, Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England. And in the evening? Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused…
Rachel Brimble is highly talented and hooked me from the start. She blended the perfect amount of historical English detail with characters that are filled with pain and secrets, throwing them to the reader in a story that will steal your heart. From start to finish, I was hooked on this incredibly written book, and wasn’t ready to say goodbye, when the ending came.
Milly is a character that I instantly fell in love with. She just wants to make a better life for herself, and the only way to do that is to accept the job as manager of a local tavern. It’s something she knows she’ll be good at, but, she has a problem…..she has competition over the position. Not ready to give up her dream, she fights for her position….and wins. But, she still looses in the end…..her heart.
Joseph is a wonderful character! He’s a man filled with issues from his father, but wants to make the best of it before he gets in trouble. Determined to overcome his past and move on, he seeks out employment as manager of the local tavern. That is, until he meets the beautiful Milly, a feisty woman who is seeking the position for herself. Now he has to decide what’s more important….the higher position, or his heart?
The attraction between these two was sparking! They were amazingly created and really pulled me into the story. Both had tender hearts and both knew what they wanted.
I definitely recommend this 4 Book worthy read to all who are looking for that quick, addicting read. Ms. Brimble’s writing style is unique and breathless, and she has made a life-long fan out of me. Well done, Ms. Brimble and bring on the next!
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