My pub buddy Haley Whitehall has a new release coming out with Decadent Publishing this week. Soldier in Her Lap is a historical romance set in Georgia during the American Civil War. Her book comes out on April 4th (i.e. in 2 days), and I'm going to have her back for an interview on April 21st. Until then, we must content ourselves with this gorgeous cover, an intriguing blurb, and a brief excerpt.
Soldier in Her Lap
Trapped by her alcoholic, abusive father, Sophia Carpenter longs to escape her life of drudgery on her father’s dirt farm in Clark Springs, Georgia. Making matters worse, her father’s scared off every man who tried to call on her. She longs for freedom, but with the Civil War raging, even fewer men are available to fulfill her dreams—unless a soldier landed in her lap.
Conscripted into a war he never wanted to fight, Lucas Grady is tired of battle and refuses to lay his life down for a lost cause. After a musket ball tears through his leg, he deserts from the ambulance wagon rather than risk a field surgeon’s saw. He barely makes it to Sophia’s farm before collapsing.
The wounded soldier’s arrival seems like a dream come true, but first she must save him from his injuries—and her father. As forbidden attraction blooms between them, they will have to struggle to survive. Can their love overcome so many obstacles or will they become another casualty of the War Between the States?
Excitement threaded through her. Was she finally getting a man? A handsome, caring and courageous man at that. God had outdone himself when he’d answered her prayer.
“We have to keep this from Papa,” she said, her eyes widening. Mr. Grady hadn’t taken the musket with him to the barn. Her old man could come out here and shoot him at any time.
“We can for now. If that is what you wish, Miss Carpenter.”
Sophia exhaled. “That is what I want.” She shifted her weight. If they were going to court they needed to know more about each other. One question had been plaguing her since the evening she’d sewn up his leg. “I’d like to know about the battle.”
His eyebrows knitted together and he tipped his upper body back. “What would you like to know? War isn’t a ladylike subject.”
She didn’t care whether it was proper or not. Papa had never treated her like a lady. “How did you get shot?”
“Charging the Yankees,” he replied, a playful undertone to his voice.
He wasn’t much of a talker. She’d learned that very quickly. But she wanted a better answer than that. Maybe she should start with a more direct question. “What regiment are you from?”
“The 4th Georgia Infantry.”
Good. She could work off that. “So you’re from Georgia then?”
“No, ma’am. Tennessee. But I transferred to this regiment.”
“Oh. All right, but why did you end up on my doorstep instead of with your regiment?”
“Not much left of my regiment, ma’am,” he replied curtly. Color drained from his face, his eyes taking on a haunted look.
She swallowed hard. She didn’t need to bring it up the difficult subject now. They’d talk more about this later, when he was ready.
“I understand,” she whispered. “I’m sorry.”
“One good thing came out of that battle,” he said, his gaze lifting to hers. “I met you.”
Her heart flipped. Yes, she was Cinderella, and he was the nobleman coming to her rescue. Talk like that would charm her silly. She already had a hard time keeping him off her mind. She’d pause in the middle of working in the garden and glance over at the barn.
One thing continued to bother her though. He seemed to be holding something back. Why hide something unless you were ashamed or worried or afraid? Maybe all three. Except Mr. Grady didn’t seem the type of man to do something wrong. He acted the perfect gentleman. “Mr. Grady seeing as how we’re courting I think it would be all right if you called me Sophia.”
Mr. Grady grinned; his eyes no longer looked haunted. “In private of course, Sophia,” he said. “And you may call me Lucas.”
“I look forward to getting to know you better, Lucas.” She had so many questions. Hopefully their next conversation went smoother. This one had been as bumpy as a toad’s back.
When the clock struck twelve would her dream come true or fade away?
About Haley Whitehall
Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historicals set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy.
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