Can ‘second love’ be true love?
It’s 1927 and Emma has returned to England from Canada with her teenage daughter, Fleur. After the tragedies of the past, Emma is ready to start again in Devon, the place she used to call home – despite the bittersweet memories it brings back.
But memories are not the only thing that she has to contend with. There’s also the secret she’s been keeping from her daughter; the secret that’s revealed when an unwelcome visitor comes back and threatens to turn their lives upside down.
Throughout it all Matthew Caunter is rarely far from Emma’s thoughts and, as it happens, much closer than she thinks. Could he be the key to her finally finding happiness, or will Emma discover the hard way that some people are just destined for heartache?
It’s not very often that I feature a book – let alone a series – that I haven’t actually read. But you’re always in safe hands with Choc Lit, and I’m delighted to welcome author Linda Mitchelmore to Being Anne. Linda’s new novel, Emma And Her Daughter, was published for Kindle on 9th January and is the third book in her “Emma” trilogy. I’ll also be delighted to give away a free Kindle copy to one follower of the blog – more details below.
But first, over to Linda – what’s all this about “everything comes in threes”?
… or as my half French heroine, Emma, might say, ‘Jamais deux, sans trois.’
In Emma and her Daughter, the third book in my ‘Emma’ trilogy, there are three romances. The place is coastal Devon, and the year is 1927, and Emma and her daughter, Fleur, are newly returned to England after thirteen years in Canada.
The first romance we see in this book is between Fleur and a handsome, young Italian – Paolo. With Paolo, Fleur encounters the first flutterings of sexual awakening. She is just a few months short of her sixteenth birthday and there is an element of what she knows she ought not to be doing with Paolo, and what she really wants to but is afraid to. But as most of us know, first love seldom lasts, and so it is for Fleur when she finds that Paolo isn’t all she thought him to be. But Paolo will always hold a special place in her heart. Fleur has a lot of growing up to do in the telling of her story in this book and Paolo has helps with that, albeit unknowingly to both of them.
The second romance in this book is between the hero, Matthew Caunter, and Stella Martin. Poor Stella – her romance is doomed from the start. It is Stella, a nurse frustrated at not being able to rise through the ranks from Staff Nurse to Sister, who asks Matthew to marry her and he’s been caught on the back foot. Stella is not quite forty years old, and time is running out for her to have babies. In her heart Stella knows it would be a marriage of convenience. And Matthew? He’s come through an acrimonious divorce and has a son he rarely sees. And there’s the little matter of the fact that Emma Jago is never far from his mind, and always in his heart. Will he ever see her again? Is he right to be going ahead with a marriage to the gentle and elegant Stella still feeling for Emma as he does? Matthew is on the cusp of breaking his engagement with Stella because he now knows that Emma is back in England and he is determined to find her. But Stella falls dangerously ill before he can come clean about his feelings. When I started writing this book Stella was only going to be a fleeting romantic dalliance for Matthew, but she came to be very real to me. And in the end, although her marriage to Matthew doesn’t go ahead, she does find happiness.
And the third romance? That’s between Emma and Matthew. Back in 1913 Matthew had kissed Emma – and boy, how she had kissed him back! – not knowing at that time she was married to Seth. But she has never forgotten him and longs to see him again. Matthew comes to Emma in dreams. But Emma and Matthew don’t get to physically be together until quite late on in the story. Matthew has known that Emma is in England for a short while but Emma has had no idea he is living so close to her. This is an excerpt from their first meeting when Emma returns home to find him waiting for her and from Matthew’s viewpoint. She can’t wait to get her friend, and gardener, Tom, out of the house so she and Matthew can be alone.
‘Oh, but it’s good to see you,’ Emma said, leaning into him. She touched the side of his face, and then his neck, and then she ran a finger over his lips.
‘And me, you,’ Matthew said, hoarsely.
‘You’ll have to hold me up,’ Emma said. ‘I’ve gone weak at the knees.’
Matthew put his arms around her back, holding her as though she was an open, and very precious, book and then pulled her towards him.
‘I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dreamed of this moment. I’ve got so much to tell you, Matthew. But first …’
And then Emma kissed him. Her lips warm and soft and just a little bit moist against his. She sighed from somewhere deep inside her and her lips parted slightly so that he felt the exhalation of her breath go from her mouth into his.
What else could be do but kiss her back? And keep kissing her until he knew that his lips would be raw around the edges and no doubt Emma’s would as well.
And, as often just one little kiss does, that encounter led to other things. Emma’s, Fleur’s and Matthew’s lives would ever be the same again. There are a few more hurdles for Emma to jump over, but fortunately Emma is very good at jumping them! And she ends this story far, far happier and fulfilled than she was at the beginning, as do they all.
Sorry, competition now closed – and the winner is Jo from jaffareadstoo. Please keep reading the blog – more giveaways to come very soon.