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A Matter of Circumstance
by Michelle Deschenes
Genre: Historical Romance
It is 1816 and twenty-one-year-old Julianne Smith is anxious to depart from her guardians’ luxurious household and set out on her own. Even with all her grand ideas seemingly within reach, Julianne never foresees the turn of events that are about to irrevocably transform her life. Captain Charles Dorchester is a handsome, honourable man with few worries now that the war is behind him. When fate leads him to rescue the passengers of a stagecoach after it is robbed somewhere
between London and Birmingham, he has no idea that inside is a woman with the power to turn his life upside down. As Julianne’s path intertwines with his, neither can deny their attraction to each other. But as a fierce passion and love blooms between them, Julianne is left in the midst of an internal struggle that prompts betrayal, fears, and consequences. In this historical romance, an independent woman becomes embroiled in a passionate love affair with a military captain that leads her to realize the influence of fate.

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London, 1871

A candle flickered on the bedside table, casting a glow about the dark chamber. The dim light outlined the old woman’s withered face and wisps of white hair. In a plain grey dress, she sat upon the edge of the bed where her husband lay so miserably frail and weak. His features were gaunt, and his skin was grey and translucent. He was dying. It had been days since he’d last uttered a word or had been the least bit coherent. To think death’s door could bring a strong and powerful man to such a state stood as a vivid reminder of how little power one ultimately had in the larger scheme of life. Undeniably, he had always been a man of great strength and staunchly set in his ways. Stubborn as an old mule, she used to say. Though, to be honest, she’d been no better. Indeed, their obstinacy and determination had very nearly cost them a lifetime together. Her eyes slid over her hands tightly clasped around his cold fingers. At one time her hands had been so beautiful and graceful. Now they lay stippled with liver spots and crooked from rheumatism that had ailed her for years. Tears rimmed her tired eyes as she squeezed his hand with a glimmer of hope that he’d awaken, turn to her, and assure her, as he always had, that everything would be fine. However, in her heart of hearts, she knew this time it would not be. It simply hurt to breathe. How could it be that they were old? How could it be that their lives had passed them by so very quickly? With six children, fifteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, they bore the evidence of a long, fruitful and extraordinary life. If only it did not have to come to an end. She supposed it selfish of her to think thusly. After all, not many people could claim such a wonderful and well-lived life as she and her beloved. Times were different now. There was a lost innocence in the people of this day, an innocence that had been so sweet and charming in its time was now seen as silly and frivolous. And she supposed it had been. However, it had been an endearing time to live and to love. They’d been blessed with a charmed life, filled with love and happiness. Not to say they’d not had their share of trials and tribulations. Goodness no. But somehow they had managed to make it through together. Smiling down at her husband, she reminisced about the years gone by and contemplated how very extraordinary life could be. What an enigma it truly was and how a matter of circumstance could alter one’s life forever.

Michelle Deschenes is a new author in the historical fiction/romance genre, a successful businesswoman and an entrepreneur living in Canada with her husband, three children and their family dog, Lucky. Michelle loves reading, writing, and pretty much anything that involves creativity. She’s also passionate about nature, and outdoor adventures with her family and friends. Michelle is now hard at work completing her 2nd book, coming out in early 2018!
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