A shy innocent…wary of all men…
After a shocking incident, shy Lady Isabella Beaumont is perfectly happy to stay in the background and let her sister get all the attention from handsome suitors! However, working with Dr. Joseph Warriner to help the sick and needy pushes her closer to a man than she’s ever been before. Is this man worth trusting with her deepest of desires…?
Meet Virginia Heath
Hi! Its so great to be invited to chat on Rose Blue’s blog because she discovered my books this year and has been so supportive and enthusiastic about them. Today I’m dropping by to tell you a little bit about my latest release. A Warriner to Tempt her holds a special place in my heart because the backdrop for the story had been floating around in my head for years. I’m fascinated by the history of medicine and really wanted to write a Regency with a medical backdrop, I just needed the right characters to bring it to life. Fortunately, when I began writing my Wild Warriners series about four very different brothers, I made the third brother Joe yearn to be a doctor. Now that he has his own book, he’s achieved that dream. He’s brilliant, forward-thinking and has a heart of gold. Just what you need in a physician!
Anyone who reads my books knows that I love a tortured hero. However, in this story it is the heroine Bella who has big demons to face…
Bio: When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Fortunately, the lovely people at Harlequin Mills & Boon took pity on her and decided to publish her romances, but it still takes her forever to fall asleep
Read an Excerpt
She forced herself to smile politely at one of the market traders who greeted her, ignoring the irrational panic which occurred whenever she was close to a man. If she had been a little more observant and a little less terrified, she would have noticed the precarious basket of potatoes on his stall. But because she was feeling exposed and her tenuous grasp on logic was slipping, she did not see the laden basket topple, nor did she see a surge of muddy potatoes as they cascaded from the table like a waterfall and rolled haphazardly across the ground towards her. Too late, Bella turned, allowing a couple of the careening vegetables the opportunity to disappear, like mice in a haystack, beneath her trailing skirts and tangle hopelessly beneath her feet.
Her body lunged sideways when she stepped on one. Her heavy basket tilted, aiding gravity to pull her towards the floor at an alarming rate. Bella landed awkwardly on her front with enough force to knock all her breath from her lungs. The subsequent sharp pain in her ankle brought tears to her eyes. The palms of her hands, now muddied, burned angrily in protest. The puddles floating on the hard cobblestones were already seeping through her clothing whilst humiliation relentlessly seeped into her soul. If there was one thing Bella now hated above all others, it was being the centre of attention when invisible was safe.
Several market traders and locals rushed to her aid, but she assured them that she was quite all right and tried to stand. White-hot pain shot up her leg and forced her to remain exactly where she was. To make matters worse, she helplessly watched the back of the Braxton carriage turn out of the market square as it headed home and her only means of escaping this dreadful spectacle leaving with it. She smiled weakly at the growing crowd of onlookers and tried to pull together the tattered shreds of her dignity whilst fighting the panic of being at the mercy of others. Most of them male.
‘My lady—I am so sorry.’ The stallholder twisted his felt cap in his hands nervously, ‘Are you seriously hurt? Shall I fetch Dr Warriner? His office is just across the square.’
Mortified by the prospect of even greater humiliation in front of the brilliant Dr Warriner, Bella shook her head. The very last person she wanted to witness her clumsy stupidity was the handsome doctor. The man who, despite being a man, made her silly heart flutter every single time he spoke to her, thus rendering her mostly mute. Probably because of his brilliance, rather than his handsomeness, but it was difficult to be sure. ‘That will not be necessary—I think I will be able to stand in moment or two.’ She would crawl home if she had to.
Two things soon became apparent. Firstly, standing was an impossibility. Bella tried three times and each time fresh, blinding pain shot up her leg and brought tears to her eyes. Secondly, despite her protests to the contrary, somebody had called the good doctor after all. The crowd of onlookers were parting like the Red Sea and he was suddenly striding purposefully towards her.
‘It’s just my ankle… I would prefer you not to waste your time on such a triviality.’ Bella tried to push herself up once again using her hands and failed miserably. The poor man had genuine sick people to heal and certainly far more important things to deal with than a clumsy, irrational girl’s superficial injury. ‘I shall put some ice on it when I get home and keep it elevated.’ She turned her head away and silently willed him to disappear.
‘Please do not try to stand, my lady.’ He knelt beside her. ‘I will need to take a look to properly assess the damage first.’ One arm slipped beneath her legs, making her flinch.
He was touching her!
Instinctively she stiffened and tried to shuffle away. Undeterred he continued. ‘Place your arms around my shoulders. I promise I won’t drop you.’
Good gracious! He intended to carry her and create even more of a spectacle. ‘I am sure I can manage to hobble to your surgery, Dr Warriner.’ Perhaps then everyone would stop gawping at her when nowadays she preferred to blend in. Except she wouldn’t hobble towards his surgery. She would drag herself back up the lane to the safety of home and never leave it again. Logic could go to hell in a hand cart. She never should have listened to the voice. She never should have come out all alone, but staying home after her sister had claimed a sniffle and remained in bed had felt like defeat. Clarissa had made no secret of the fact she was beyond tired of being her sister’s keeper. Not when it had been over a year and it wasn’t Clarissa’s fault Bella had suffered the incident. Bella had to get over it because it could have been worse.
Worse didn’t bear thinking about. Unfortunately, she thought about it all the time.
The doctor slanted her a superior glance. ‘Hobble, will you? And create more damage for me to fix in the process, no doubt? No, my lady—I will carry you if you don’t mind.’
But she did mind. He was a man and she was now a spectacle. A spectacle who was on the cusp of bursting into tears and appraising everyone of the fact that she was no longer capable of being rational, not quite right in the head any more, yet so desperate to be right again…
Is your book part of a series / standalone? It is part of The Wild Warriners series but can be read as a standalone
Are there any possible trigger warnings that bloggers/readers need to be aware of? I don’t think so. It tackles mental health issues in the 19th century and there is a smallpox epidemic.
Purchase Link – http://myBook.to/Warriner3
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After a vicious and near disastrous attack, Lady Isabella Beaumont is a shadow of her former self. As a year passes, and Bella still fears men and crowds, and the doctors can’t seem to help, her family decides to try visiting the country. Though Bella still shuns men, she’s found some solace in working with the children of the local foundling home. When the local doctor comes for his regular visit, Bella is always there, observing, albeit from a safe distance, as she has always been fascinated by medicine. Rather than romantic novels, Bella reads medical journals.
Dr. Joseph Warriner believes himself smitten with Clarissa, who is Bella’s sister. She is beautiful, smiling and flirtatious – nothing like her dour sister who scowls at any man who dares to approach her. When one of the young boys at the home becomes ill, and Joe is unavailable, Bella calls on the knowledge she’s gained from all her reading, and begins to treat him. Later, when a weary Joe returns from attending a difficult delivery, he finds that Bella’s treatment has worked, and she did everything that he, himself, would have done. This is the beginning of Bella actually starting to assist Joe in his practice.
Though it doesn’t happen immediately, Bella begins to feel at ease around Joe. She certainly admires his dedication as a doctor, and she trusts his honor and integrity as a man. Still, sometimes she takes one step forward and two steps back, as the attack on her a year ago still weighs heavily on her mind. Joe is amazed at the transformation in Bella as she assists him, something she clearly loves doing. Though he’s puzzled by her wariness, he respects her need for keeping part of herself aloof. As Joe learns more of Bella’s character, he grows to admire her, and finds her so much more interesting than her sister, who now seems shallow and vain to him. Unfortunately for him, Joe also finds Bella beautiful as she now bestows an occasional smile, and he begins to desire her in a way he’s never felt for another woman.
Slowly, Bella begins to notice Joe as a man, not just a doctor. Despite all her fears, she longs for a kiss. It was beautiful to watch the slow process of the return of the vivacious woman Bella once was. Later in the story, I applauded the return of her courage, and her bravery in facing her fears. Joe is about as perfect as a man can be. Even without knowing Bella’s story, his care and patience are swoonworthy.
A WARRINER TO TEMPT HER is excellent reading, and Virginia Heath has become one of my favorite authors in a short amount of time. This story contains plenty of emotion, some steam, wonderful characters who each have obstacles to overcome, and some villains who get their comeuppance. I greatly enjoyed this beautifully written romance, and I highly recommend A WARRINER TO TEMPT HER.