A Dare Diana Can't Refuse. Could You?@LauraSt05038951 #romantic #comedy #beagles #blacksmith
1. This story was born of me contemplating women’s propensity for plucking white hairs from their heads when they see them.
2. Though a loveable beagle appears in this story, for a long time I didn’t think myself a fan of the breed (until I adopted a beagle mix!)
3. Though the setting for White Hares and Midnight Dares is invented by me, it’s very much like a place I loved to visit when younger.
4. Heroine Diana’s cottage is a personal dream of mine.
5. I love to create quirky characters, as you can tell from those who people this story!
Diana Gendarme has spent her life doing for others, so when she moves into her dream cottage, she’s ready for some “me” time. But the cottage is shabby and her new neighbors quite close. One of them makes a din in his blacksmith’s forge all day long yet has the nerve to complain about her beagle’s yodeling. He’s the last sort of man who should attract Diana. So why can’t she resist the absurd dares he persists in issuing?
Reg Coltsfoot doesn’t plan on falling for his neighbor. A lifelong charmer, he’s used to women falling for him instead. There’s just something about Diana that has him longing to draw her out of her staid life and into his. Maybe it’s the magic of spring, but Reg will do all he can to persuade Diana she needs his laughter and his love to light her days.
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There he stood, foursquare and strong, moonlight shining on his dark head. She didn’t stop to wonder what he was doing outside at this hour. She didn’t even pause to consider the fact that she stood there in here nightdress with her hair hanging loose.
“I think there’s someone in my house.”
“An intruder. It woke me up.”
Amundsen had run to the fence, given one short bark, and begun to wag his tail happily.
Mr. Coltsfoot said, “Stay there.”
He disappeared from sight and soon came around her side of the fence from the front, a wooden rake in his hand. In the moonlight, he looked like a hero out of some fantastical story. A giant-slayer, maybe.
“Want me to check it out?”
Diana found she did. “If you wouldn’t mind.”
She followed him back into the dark kitchen where he stopped so abruptly she banged into his broad back. He felt solid, well-muscled and he smelled wonderful. Like clean cotton—the shirt, no doubt—and clean male—the skin beneath—with just a hint of woodsmoke.
“Upstairs. I heard it upstairs. We both heard it. In the other bedroom.”
He swiveled a startled face toward her. Rimed in faint moonlight, his features looked craggy and handsome. “No way!”
“It woke me up.”
“Stay here.” He hefted the rake.
About the Author
Multi award-winning author Laura Strickland delights in time traveling to the past and searching out settings for her books, be they Historical Romance, Steampunk or something in between. Her first Scottish Historical hero, Devil Black, battled his way onto the publishing scene in 2013, and the author never looked back. Nor has she tapped the limits of her imagination. Venturing beyond Historical and Contemporary Romance, she created a new world with her ground-breaking Buffalo Steampunk Adventure series set in her native city, in Western New York. Married and the parent of one grown daughter, Laura has also been privileged to mother a number of very special rescue dogs, the latest of whom is a little boy named Tinker, and is intensely interested in animal welfare. Her love of dogs, and her lifelong interest in Celtic history, magic and music, are all reflected in her writing. Laura's mantra is Lore, Legend, Love, and she wouldn't have it any other way.
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Laura Strickland Author @LauraSt05038951