Here's the blurb for Desire's Dilemma!
When Lady Valanna meets her new guardian, The Marquis of Tendale, she finds her attraction to him overcomes her feeling of resentment for his neglect. When she discovers that neglect was due to dreadful war injuries, the attraction deepens. A former spy for Wellington, Marcus knows his injuries from almost fatal torture will keep him forever from marriage to the girl he has long loved.
Even as Marcus fights to keep revealing his love, Valanna admits hers. Valanna is determined to break his resolve, but Marcus’ honor stands between them. How can these two ever reconcile their differences, and find happiness?
What possible twist of fate can help these despairing lovers?
And here's an excerpt...
Marcus glanced once at his beautiful ward, cursing his circumstances in silence.
He remembered every word of the doctor who’d first worked on his broken ribs. After enduring the pain of an examination almost equal to the smash of the iron bar his captors had used, he’d taken a breath when the doctor assured him he would now start to mend. It was then he heard the words that haunted him.
“Well, you’ll make older bones than those barbarians had expected, you’ll never be a truly healthy man. That tricky heart of yours could carry you away at any time. Oh well, it will be a easier way to die than that planned by your captors.”
The doctor had been talking cheerfully as he continued the bandaging. Marcus had grabbed his arm with his good hand.
“What do you mean, sir? Exactly, if you please.”
The doctor started. Had he thought Marcus too dazed with pain to hear him?
“Nothing much, sir. Did I mention you have a slight heart murmur? Just ignore it and concentrate on getting well. There, those bandages should hold your frame tightly and ease the pain a little while you’re healing. You have a strong constitution to have endured all you have. Now rest, Major.”
He’d gathered up his instruments and scurried away.
Marcus had shut his eyes, knowing he needed all his strength to heal. He concentrated on Valanna’s face as he’d last seen it. Laughing and glowing with beauty.
He knew now he could never pursue her. Or any woman. Not knowing he could die suddenly and without warning. That thought haunted him. Although it might be years before he died, it might be weeks. Or even hours. His first priority was to see to Valanna’s happiness. It would be a bittersweet pleasure to ascertain what would be best do, and then make sure of her future.
He didn’t think more money would suffice at all, although of course he’d see to that. She was a warm-hearted, lovely woman who deserved so much more.
Indeed it was time to admit his best friends. He might not be able to divulge particulars to them, but he could at least determine if one of them would be right for Valanna. The niggling thought that a friend might be his betrayer persisted, but he subdued it. Certainly he was capable of picking the best of them as a possibility for Valanna’s husband.
Finding the identity of the traitor would have to wait. Valanna would always come first.
Hope this intrigues you... The book was a joy to write. See you next month...