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The Latest Publications!
The six-book Masters at Arms series, set in 1840s New Orleans when honor was defended at the point of a sword, was first published by Mira Books, 2005-2010. In late 2016 ,I requested and received reversion of the publication rights. It’s a sincere pleasure to see the stories released again from Steel Magnolia Press in eBook and print versions with gorgeous new covers . Within these pages are without doubt some of my favorite heroes — the notorious swordsmen of New Orleans–charming by day, dangerous at night…
Book 1, the Masters at Arms series
Horrified at the thought of her brother facing the notorious swordsman, Rio de Silva, on the dueling field, Celina Vallier pays a clandestine visit to the maître d’armes. Surely she can appeal to his honor and sense of fair play? What advantage can there be for him in killing such an inexperienced opponent, after all?
Rio had no intention of dispatching the young whelp; a scratch or two would suffice to mend his manners. That changes as he moves closer to Celina. Not only is she lovely and spirited, but she’s the future bride of his sworn enemy, the Count de Lerida. What could be more satisfying than to deny him that prize? That’s if the lady can be persuaded to give up her innocence.
Agreeing to the infamous pact is the most daring thing Celina has ever done. It’s also the most dangerous as scandal and vengeance erupts around her. Caught in the tumult, she must decide who to trust: the man who offers wealth and security–or the one who sets her soul aflame?
Book 2, the Masters at Arms series
Lisette Moisant is desperate. She had no love for the husband foisted upon her in an arranged marriage, but his death in a duel with famed fencing master Caid O’Neill has left her at the mercy of her rapacious father-in-law. As Caid is the only man in New Orleans he fears, as well as the cause of her misfortune, she requests the sword master’s protection.
Guilt, fairness and reluctant attraction to the valiant widow compel Caid’s agreement. He expects the arrangement to be short-lived, but that’s before the whispering campaign begins. Lisette is accused of being a wanton who persuaded Caid to trick her husband into a duel. Caid is labeled a murderer. Public sentiment rises against them along with the demand for punishment–and who better to mete it out than the dead husband’s father?
Caid and Lisette may overcome the sordid and deadly forces ranged against them–but how are they to fight the convention that forbids love between an heiress and a master at arms?
Book 3, the Masters at Arms series
Juliette Armant, called home from the convent mere weeks before taking her vows as a nun, is in dire need of a strong husband. She prays for intervention from the holy mother in finding one, and is astounded when presented with the notorious swordsman, Nicholas Pasquale.
Nicholas was reared on the streets of Rome as the bastard son of an English nobleman before coming to New Orleans. Misplaced compassion has caused him to acquire a houseful of street boys who desperately need a home and a mother’s care; a wife seems the sensible solution. To propose marriage to a lovely stranger is no different from making life and death decisions between breaths on the dueling field.
Juliette never dreams such a practical arrangement would explode with heady desire when a rogue’s kiss unleashes the sensual woman within. But someone determined to stop the wedding is willing to go to desperate lengths to claim the ancestral marriage chest Juliette will inherit, plunging Juliette into a fight to claim a legacy and a love worth any price.
Book 4, the Masters at Arms series
The last thing Gavin Blackford expects from an alluring and sophisticated lady at a New Year’s reception is a request to teach her how to kill a man. As a respected fencing master and duelist of renown, his usual clients are male. To refuse is his first impulse–but his curiosity is aroused by her unsettling combination of mystery and fiery intentions.
Ariadne Faucher never expected Gavin to be armored with intelligence and intuition as well as strength. It can’t be allowed to matter. All she requires it to get close to him to touch–preferably with the point of a sword.
Their lessons by candlelight are physically and emotionally intense, an escalating duel of hearts and minds. As tempers and passions rise, they draw ever nearer to the secret that has brought them together. But must it be a fight to the death–or can they turn and face their common enemy together?
Book 5, Masters at Arms series
After years or waiting, watching and honing his skill with a sword, Kerr Wallace is ready; Rouillard, the murderous lowlife he’s sworn to kill, has been located in Mexico. All Kerr has to do is get himself hired as escort for the man’s bride-to-be as she travels to meet her groom. The lady doesn’t care for his company, but no matter. He’ll see her to her wedding or die trying.
Sonia Bonneval despises the big, overbearing Kentuckian, fearing he’ll make it impossible to avoid the dreaded marriage her father has arranged. Escape is all she dreams about, and she’ll do anything to achieve it. Failing that, she’ll make Kerr Wallace wish he’d never heard her name.
Quarreling, sparring, the two make life miserable for each other as they take ship to Mexico. That’s until war is declared and their vessel is blown out of the water. Then the two must join forces in order to survive—and discover which is greater, vengeance or love.
Book 6, Masters at Arms series
A turn of the cards makes Christien Lenoir the new owner of River’s Edge Plantation. This expert swordsman, once an orphaned bootblack, makes a daring offer. The lovely widow, Reine Cassard Pingre, along with her irresponsible father and young daughter, may remain in their home–if the lady becomes his wife.
Reine recognizes Christien as the man who saved both her and her daughter’s life some months ago. Though she is grateful for his swift action on that rainy night, and sympathetic toward his desire for a self-made family, she wants nothing to do with his proposal. One marriage was enough, especially as she is still hounded by rumors that she may have arranged her husband’s death. Yet where will she and her family go if she doesn’t agree?
But dangerous events swirl around the coming wedding. It becomes clear that the protection of the deadly sword master known as The Falcon may be exactly what Reine needs. Yet the secret Christien harbors, and those buried at River’s Edge, may send him away forever.