We continue today with author and friend Abbey MacInnis whose latest romance, His Fifth Avenue Thief, is available now from Amazon, All Romance Ebooks, B&N, and Smashwords...
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Two years prior, Irishman Aaron O’Connel took his life from rags to riches. Chance and wits have kept him alive in 1850’S New York City. But no amount of money or success can bring his love Cathlene back from the dead. When a thief sneaks her way into his mansion, the last woman he expects to find absconding with his belongings is his long lost wife.
Abandoned on New York’s shores, a widowed, penniless, and ruined Cathlene O'Connel was left to fend for herself in an unfamiliar world. Fear and circumstance drove her to a life of thieving in order to survive, but her heart risks the biggest danger of all when Aaron hands her a scandalous proposition: A son in exchange for her freedom.
Now that he has her back, Aaron doesn't intend to let Cathlene slip between his fingers. He'll do whatever it takes to regain her trust and love. But when an enemy from Cathlene's past resurfaces, Aaron not only faces battling for Cathlene's heart, but also her life.
Excerpt from His Fifth Avenue Thief:
He dared speak of trust when he was the last person on Earth she’d trust with her life. But it was either be sent to jail, an asylum or remain here with him.
And in this moment, she’d rather one of the first two options than the third. She’d eventually obtain her freedom. If she stayed with Aaron, regaining her independence wasn’t a guarantee; she couldn’t predict when he’d set her free.
“You buy your friends now?” she taunted.
“If necessary, aye.” His cold stare gave no quarter.
“What about women? Do you purchase companionship as well?”
She didn’t wish to find herself a captive in her husband’s home, while he cavorted with loose women under her nose. “I’ve always found female companionship easy to obtain. You know yourself the potency of my charms.”
That was true, she thought with annoyance. With a flash of his bright smile and the seductive, devilish gleam in his eye, women fell at his feet. “I was a mere girl then, foolish and naïve to give my heart to a cad like you. It’s a regret I’ve carried all these days.”
“You aren’t the only one with regrets, Cathlene.” A mask of cool indifference cloaked his features. “I’m giving you a choice, think well. For once you make it there will be no going back. I will summon the commissioner and have you thrown into a cell, or into an asylum. Or you may remain here with me. It is your choice.”
Cathleen didn’t recognize this cold man beside her. Self-loathing and contempt for what she’d become curdled the bile in her belly. There was no compassion, no hint of the caring man she’d once known. He wore his disdain for her on his features. Yet he was giving her the option to stay with him as his wife.
Anger clogged her throat. “Why in bloody hell would you allow me to remain here when you can’t possibly regard me with anything less than disgust?”
“You are my wife,” he said simply.
“We were married but a week before we were separated. You have no obligation to me. Divorce me and leave me be to have my freedom.”
“That is out of the question.” The look he sent her put to rest anymore talk of a divorce. “I am indeed obligated to ensure your safety and welfare. No matter which option you choose, you may regain your independence someday. Sooner with me than in jail or in an asylum. That I can promise you.”
“You won’t remain under lock and key unless you attempt escape. You’ll be under my protection.”
If she bided her time, let Aaron believe she trusted him, and made him trust her once more, he’d follow through on his promise. If it took too long, she’d find a way to leave.
Staying with him was better than finding herself in any cell, even one he’d paid for. A cell where her safety couldn’t be guaranteed. At least if she remained with him, he’d offer her protection, which she in truth, desperately needed.