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Archive for September 28th, 2012

Beautiful Diantha Lucas understands society’s rules: a young lady must find a man to marry. But Diantha has a bigger goal and she’s not afraid of plunging into adventure to achieve it. When daring, dashing Wyn Yale rescues her, she’s certain he’s just the man she needs.

As an agent for the secret Falcon Club, Wyn knows his duty, but he’s not about to admit he’s a hero of any sort. He has a plan too: steal a prized horse, murder an evil duke, avenge an innocent girl, and probably get hung for it—in that order. Wyn can’t afford to be distracted by a pretty face, even one with delectable dimples and kissable lips. But how can a country miss and hardened spy solve their problems when they can’t keep their hands off each other?

 

 

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Have you ever taken a road trip that turned into an adventure?

 

For most of my young life I never really officially road-tripped. Sure, I’d taken plenty of vacations by car with my family growing up (and sang “If Ever I Could Leave You” from the musical Camelot in the backseat with my sister until the rest of our family threatened to leave us at a rest stop). But I’d never set out on one of those crazy, cross-country journeys with friends that seem so common in the movies — those sorts of trips where there’s no schedule so on the way anything can happen.

 

Then, one summer while I was a poor graduate student, I did it. My boyfriend landed a fabulous house-sitting job in New Mexico ranch land: keep the house free of burglars and coyotes, enjoy the peace and quiet, and earn cash at the end of the month.

 

We sketched out a rough route from Michigan and after packing two small bags and his guitar into the back of his pickup truck we were off!

 

I remember many wonderful things about that road trip: reading a novel out loud to him while he drove, stopping at a pretty southern college to visit an old friend, having brunch at a roadside diner that served the best pancakes in the world, and listening to the same 10,000 Maniacs CD over and over again and belting “These aaaaare the days!” out the open window as we zoomed through fields of cattle and oil rigs. But the moment of that road trip that I recall the best—the moment that will forever be emblazoned on my memory as both pure joy and utter horror—took all of twenty seconds to happen.

 

We were driving through Texas and the highway was a long, long straight shot through green fields bordered with white picket fences. The truck had no air conditioning, but I was young and in love so I didn’t care; I tied up my hair in a ponytail, snapped on the sunglasses, and felt the wind whipping around me. Heaven! My boyfriend wore a bandana to keep his hair out of his eyes while we drove.

 

I was happily singing to the stereo as we sped along at 80 miles per hour when he asked me to hold the wheel so he could retie his bandana. So I did. I held the wheel. But he was tan, with a little whisker scruff from skipping a day of shaving, and really, really handsome, and I was having the road trip adventure of my life.

 

Let’s just say I got a little distracted watching him retie the bandana.

 

The next things happened in an instant: my boyfriend turned to me with a look of abject, horrified disbelief on his face, I snapped my gaze back to the road, the 18-wheeler coming directly at us blew its horn louder than the four horns of the Apocalypse combined, I jerked the steering wheel over, and we leapt back into our lane with about three inches to spare.

 

It was, shall we say, a close call. But adventures are like that, throwing us into the unknown, making the most careful folks wild and the craziest folks thoughtful, and generally taking us away from the norm and shaking us up. I think a really great road trip leaves you a little different than you were before, different in a good, more daring, more authentically you way, a difference that sticks with you long after the journey is over and you’re home again.

 

In my new book, HOW A LADY WEDS A ROGUE, when secret agent Wyn Yale and country miss Diantha Lucas unexpectedly encounter each other on the road, neither have any idea of the adventure they’re in for. She’s on a quest to find her estranged mother and she needs a hero’s assistance. He’s on a mission to murder a duke and he can’t be distracted. But journeys never quite go the way we expect them. And when passion and love come along for the ride, even the most carefully planned road trip becomes an adventure.

 

Oh, by the way, we made it to the ranch without further life-endangering incidents. The trip home, though, was another story altogether. You see, in New Mexico I’d convinced a man to trade me a pair of sublimely cute red cowboy boots for our promise to transport his six-foot tall pink neon cactus to Wisconsin without breaking it. . . But that’s a road trip tale for another day. J

 

Have you ever taken a road trip that turned into an adventure? One randomly drawn commenter will win an autographed copy of Book #1 in my Falcon Club series, WHEN A SCOT LOVES A LADY.

 

Katharine Ashe is the award-winning author of six novels set in the Regency era and one novella, all published by Avon Romance. To learn more about HOW A LADY WEDS A ROGUE, #3 in her Falcon Club series, please visit her at http://www.KatharineAshe.com 

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