The Captain’s Heart
To fulfill his duty, he must forsake his chance at happiness.
When the man who saves his life during the Battle of Waterloo dies from wounds that were meant for him, Captain Edward Hathaway must live with the guilt of having survived and is determined to fulfill that man’s dying wish.
Grace Kent only accepted her childhood friend’s proposal of marriage so he wouldn’t go off to war with a broken heart. But while she still grieves for her friend after learning of his death, she cannot resist her attraction to the handsome Captain Hathaway.
He is determined to discharge his duty at the expense of his own happiness. She wants only one taste of true passion. Together, can they overcome the guilt that continues to haunt them both?
The Captain’s Heart is a Hathaway Heirs novella and was formerly available in The Incomparables box set. You can read an excerpt below. (Approximately 25,000 words.)
Excerpt from The Captain’s Heart:
Grace moved silently through the house and exited by means of a window in her father’s study. Helen had already gone to bed, exhausted from having risen early that morning and spending hours in a carriage. That left Grace free to slip out of the house shortly after the sun went down. She couldn’t risk trying to saddle a horse herself and being caught, so she set out on foot in the direction of the village.
It took her three quarters of an hour to reach the cottage the captain had mentioned he’d be renting for the remainder of his stay in Somerset. When she finally arrived, her stomach was in knots. She could very well imagine what Hathaway’s servant—surely he’d have at least one with him—would think when he found an unescorted woman paying a call after dark.
She almost sagged with relief when the door was opened by Hathaway himself. Surprise, then delight, lit his face when he saw her. He glanced over her shoulder and his smile turned into a frown.
“Please tell me you didn’t arrive on foot?”
She couldn’t resist the urge to dip into a deep curtsy, saying, “It is very nice to see you too, Captain.”
For a moment she thought he was going to lecture her about safety, but in the end, his good humor won out. He opened the door even wider, and she stepped into the hallway.
“I’d offer you refreshments, but…” He gave a small shrug. “I only have my valet with me and he has gone out.”
Hathaway’s words set one small part of her mind at ease. At least he didn’t have scores of servants who would immediately brand her a trollop.
They were alone in the house, and her pretense was now at an end. Grace took a deep breath to steady her nerves and met his gaze. There was no point moving to the small sitting room she spied on the right. Once he learned the truth, the captain would give her Freddie’s letter, and she would be on her way again.
“I am here to let you know my sister arrived this afternoon.” She hesitated, dreading what she must confess now.
Hathaway nodded. “I’ll call tomorrow then.”
Somehow she had to tell him the truth. “About that, there is something I must tell you. I—” She froze when Hathaway placed a finger over her lips.
“Let me speak first.”
The way he was looking at her, the fact that his hand had moved and now he was cupping her face, rubbing his thumb over her lower lip, left her bereft of speech. She could only nod.
“Once my duty here is discharged, I will be leaving.”
She waited, knowing he wanted to say more.
“I don’t want to waste what little time we have together talking about your sister. I would much rather talk about you and me.”
He stepped closer so their bodies were almost touching and she found it difficult to breathe. She could see the heat in his eyes as he gazed down at her, trying to tell her without words just what he wanted from her.
She wanted the same thing.
©2015 Suzanna Medeiros