‘Bonded Heart’ is the title of my latest historical romance to be released as an ebook and in paperback by Accent Press. I had planned to call the book ‘Wild Justice.’ But someone else beat me to it so I needed to come up with an alternative; something that worked on different levels; relevant to the story and the two main characters. The book features the work of a Justice, Branoc Casvellan. Often handed down from father to son, the post was considered a civic duty and was the only law available to poorer people before the formation of police forces in the 1830s. As an escape from the demands of his legal work and responsibility for a large estate, Casvellan breeds Arabian horses.
In those days business agreed on a handshake was considered as binding as any contract. A gentleman’s word was his bond. Legally imported wines, spirits and tobacco were held in a bonded warehouse until the duty had been paid. This added considerably to the price, putting these goods beyond the reach of all but the wealthy. So smuggling thrived and corrupt Justices turned a blind eye in return for payment in brandy, tobacco, wine and lace. Some even financed smugglers’ boats and took a cut of the profits.
Branoc Casvellan and Roz Trevaskis are already acquainted through her appearances in his chambers to pay the fines incurred by her mother. Both are already fighting attraction. Roz knows it’s hopeless. Casvellan is appalled to find himself drawn to the illegitimate daughter of a drunken whore. But when his younger brother falls ill with smallpox and needs nursing, it’s to Roz that he turns.
‘Bonded Heart’ will be released soon.