||June 26, 2006
Romance with Sizzle
Beyond the Maze is a Freya's Bower Bites. The ebook consists of two short stories that share a common link.
EXCERPT - Beyond the Maze She lay motionless on the wet ground to gather her wits before sitting up. Aubrianna raised her hand and stared at the two skeleton keys on a simple silver ring. Strange. Who carries skeleton keys? She slipped the key ring onto her index finger and struggled amidst her many layers of petticoats to stand. She straightened and glanced around her. Total silence. How odd, she mused. Even the birds and butterflies have disappeared? Sunlight vanished, and she looked skyward. Dark, angry clouds rolled across the sky. A loud crash of thunder startled her, and she jumped. Light rain pelted her face. Great! I’ll be soaked by the time I reach the house.Aubrianna cast a quick glance down to her feet while retracing her footsteps along the familiar path. Fog crept along the ground, swirling and wrapping its damp blanket around her. She quickened her pace. The fog thickened and raced ahead, creating an opaque gray wall. “Crazy weather,” she mumbled, turning a sharp corner. Her hand stretched out in front of her, she blindly found her way. She stepped headlong into a solid, dark mass. A scream emanated from deep in her throat when two strong hands gripped her shoulders to steady her. A sharp tingle of awareness radiated down to the knot forming in her stomach. “Who are you? What are you doing here?” A deep baritone voice soothed her frayed nerves, easing the tension in her body. “I should ask you the same, sir.” She steadied herself and wiggled her way out of his grasp. “We are closed for the day. Now, move out of my way. I’m getting soaked to the skin.”“Allow me.” His fingers curled around her forearm and pulled her resisting body behind him. She struggled to free herself from the tall masculine figure.Who the hell does he think he is?They emerged into the clearing, and he led her up to the back of the manor. Aubrianna stumbled along behind in an effort to keep pace with his long strides. He pulled her up the stair and dragged her across the veranda. Yanking open one of the four glass-paned doors, he shoved her over the threshold.How dare he just open my door and waltz in like he owns the place. And manhandle me! Aubrianna jerked free of his grasp and whirled around to confront him. “What are you doing here? Who are you?”“You should be answering to me, wench.” His lips curled in a sardonic smile.“I happen to live here. This is my home.”His cavernous laughter rumbled, reverberating through the room. “Madam, permit me to introduce myself. I am Lord Keane Hamilton Chadwick IV. This is my home. It has been in my family for more than one hundred and fifty years. Now, explain why you are on my estate.”
The Lord of Chadwick
Upon reaching the foot of the stairway, his unsteady gait took him to the rear of his home. He struggled to put one foot in front of the other, and pure determination drove him onward. He noticed the concerned stares of his staff. So what if they thought him mad with the fever. He didn’t care. “Where is Aubrianna?”
“The maze, my lord.”
“Oh damnation! Help me, Patrick. Hurry.”
Panic seized him. He had to reach her. His man opened the back door, and they stepped onto the veranda. A flash of her green muslin dress disappeared into the maze. His heart pounded in
thunderous beats. I can’t lose her.
The Romance Studio
It is the year 2006 and Aubrianna Sheffield inherited Chadwick Manor Gardens from her mother's aunt. Many come and pay money to visit the area, especially the maze and gardens of the estate. Aubrianna finds the maze a place of tranquil peace where she can often visit. Sometimes after a long day, and still dressed in her ninetieth century apparel attire, she will pay the maze a visit. Chadwick Manor Estates had another owner in the year 1857. Lord Keane Hamilton Chadwick IV was considered a haughty lord who never tolerated disrespect. Of late he dreams of a certain woman but doesn't quite understand the meaning. On her way back to the house, Aubrianna finds a pair of skeleton keys, then suddenly finds herself in a dark mass only to be standing in front of Lord Chadwick. He wants to know what she is doing on his property, when she demands to know the same. She lets him know they are closed for the day but something is amiss when she sees him dressed in different attire than the present. Surely she not crazy, but Aubrianna has no idea of what has happened as she matches wits with the handsome man standing before her. It is a challenge that both are eager to play.
I thought Beyond the Maze was a sweet romantic story. The emotions alone captivate, and don't only transport Aubrianna into the past but the reader as well. The encounter between Aubrianna and Keane is very engaging and spins with sensational passion. Canice Brown-Porter crafts a tale that feels believable in everyway. The backdrop and characters are wonderfully sketched and leap from the pages. This is my first story by Ms. Brown-Porter and it promises not to be my last. For those who have yet to read this wonderful tale, you are in for a treat.
Overall rating: 5 hearts
Sensuality rating: Mildly sensual
Reviewer: Linda L.
November 12, 2007
The Romance Reader's Connection
"This is a very short story - but a good story indeed. ...the storyline is compelling and draws the reader in. It is a delightful tale and it's interesting to see how the characters deal with how Aubrianna traveled back in time.
"The sex scene is well written and descriptive. The characters are enjoyable and believable."
4 Plugs from Jennifer Harden
Reviewer for The Romance Reader's Connection
"Beyond the Maze is one of the best stories I've read in a while. I thought that writing the first part of the story from Aubrianna's perspective and then writing the ending from Lord Keane's perspective was sheer brilliance. I look forward to more stories by Canice Brown-Porter."
Reviewer for TCM Reviews
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Reader Reviews for "Beyond the Maze"
|Reviewed by B.R. Jones
|It's easy to tell from the excerpts that you're an excellent writer. And I'm most impressed by your total lack of typos or grammar errors! Thank goodness! Don't get to see that often on the net... <sigh> Beyond the Maze sounds intriguing, and I love a good historical romance! I look forward to reading it!
Beverly (a South Carolinian -- hope you enjoyed your stay here!)