A ward of King Louis XIV, Madeleine escapes from a Parisian hospital by accepting the king’s dowry, which frees her to immigrate to New France and secure a husband. Given her past and her condition, she’s an unlikely candidate for the filles du Roiinitiative, but when she arrives in the new world, she ashamedly accepts the admiration of a brave officer, hoping this handsome man could be the remedy for her misfortune.
A captain in the Carignan-Salières Regiment and a second son, Julian Benoit would never inherit the family estate, so he travelled to New France to serve and protect the French colony from Iroquois conflicts. When his commanding officer forces the statute of marriage, he complies with the order and makes a vow to a pretty mademoiselle, but he’s ill-equipped for her hidden truth.
Will Madeleine accept the challenges waiting to be borne in the new world? Can Julian recognize that this is the woman he’s been waiting for, and take her deeper into his heart and the demanding life of the Canadian wilderness, or annul their marriage and send her back to France, gambling the lives of all involved?
SHELLEY KASSIAN is the multi-published author of several fictional books, including the Women of Stampede novel, The Half Mile of Baby Blue. She’s passionate about the craft of storytelling and considers herself a genre crosser, given her stories navigate the margins of dark fantasy––romantasy––and romance. A history enthusiast, she’s traveled to the UK and France, to explore secret gardens and medieval castles, having an avid interest in Anne Boleyn and the Tudor period.
Shelley’s taken creative writing courses, held board positions within professional associations, retains a Professional Editing Certificate, and attends conferences to further her writing career. Drawing on her expertise, an author has mentored novice writers, but her passion comes alive while scribing her own stories into novel-length fiction. Shelley shares her life with her husband, adores her adult children, and lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.