“The protagonists are caring, courageous, and kind, leaving no choice to the reader but to like them. The story building is great with some unexpected twists that make the story intriguing.” —Online Book Club, 5 Stars
“The Bond, written by Vicki Stiefel, is a beautiful Regency novel with prevalent themes of family, loss, self-acceptance, and, most importantly, love.” —Morgan Lee Reviews
“A great start to the series and I can't wait for the next book! Definitely recommended by me.” —Archaeolibrarian
"You will find horses, horse breeding, and horse acrobats. Kalari (Indian martial arts), attempted kidnapping, false engagement, and England’s war with France." —Whiskey with My Book
An impossible choice...
Lady Rosamund Fielding hides a secret so terrible it could ruin her, her family, and Major General Lord Rhys Lansdowne, the man she loves. Rose and Rhys were inseparable childhood friends—the one shining light in Rose’s dark upbringing.
Yet when Rhys proposes, Rose refuses, for he can never know her shameful truth.
Now the Marquess of Ravenscroft and returned from the Napoleonic wars. Rhys is determined to uncover the reason behind Rose's rejection and win her heart once and for all.
Simultaneously, Rose’s father Earl Fielding is pressuring Rose to accept Brigadier Viscount Pennworth's marriage proposal. An impossible choice.
Time is of the essence as Rose faces this difficult crossroads, where she must confront past demons and choose a path.
Marry Rhys, deceiving him, and forever be branded a liar in his eyes. She cannot.
Wed Pennworth? Never.
Or flee. Away from Rhys, away from her father, and away from all she holds dear.
Rose has faced many dangerous choices in her life. Will this final one destroy her?
The Bond ~ Prologue ~
The click of a shotgun being cocked. Fear shot down Rosamund’s spine.
Holding Tessa’s lead in a fierce grip, she froze. Someone stood by the copse, a youth, for he was smaller than papa. At eight, Rose was tall for her age, but he looked bigger.
Any minute he might point the barrel in her direction. He wore a huge, wide-brimmed leather hat, so she couldn’t see his face. Maybe he was a stable hand, with those thick boots and rough barn jacket that nearly came to his knees. He uncocked and broke the gun then hefted it to his shoulder, walking toward her with confident strides.
Rosamund had come to Ravenscroft to give them Tessa. Papa once said with scorn they, “cosset their animals,” so this would be a good home for Tessa and her pups.
The youth was almost upon her when he spoke in a husky voice. “Whom might you be and what are you doing on our land?”
Rose knew she would have to speak to the Ravenscroft people, and she had dressed appropriately and practiced lowering her voice, so they would think she was a boy. “I am here to see your stable master.”
“What are you doing with that dog?”
“She is my dog. Tessa.”
“Where are you from?” he said.
Tessa’s belly moved in and out, and the young man tilted his head as if not understanding.
Hadn’t he ever seen an animal have a baby? Rose pointed in the vague direction of their estate.
“Fielding. I see,” he said. “How did you get here?”
Boys could be so dumb. “We walked.” Obviously.
He said nothing for a long time. What was wrong with him? She should just start down the hill towards the stables. He wouldn’t shoot her. Probably.
“I will give you a ride home in our gig,” he said.
No. Rose would not turn back now. “I need to see your stable master.”
The rain had eased, but a chill breeze started her shivering again from the downpour’s soaking. Oh, how she wanted to be in her bed, nestled beside Tessa who would lick her face.
“I won’t go home until I see the stable master.” She crossed her arms like Papa did when he was angry.
The villain chuckled. “Come with me, then.”