Meet Hugo

Here’s a snippet from my next book, The Bride Takes a Groom — in which my hero, Captain Hugo Penhallow, is introduced. It takes place in April 1811, somewhere near the Canadian border. Please enjoy. :)

It had been a perfectly good day, tramping along the St. Lawrence River and leading his men in a jolly little reconnaissance through the woods, until all at once there was a crack and a slight whistling noise.

Then there was a sharp pain six inches down and to the right of his heart.

“Damn it to hell,” said Hugo Penhallow, whipping around and in a single rapid motion bringing up his own musket, sighting the French sharpshooter two hundred paces away, and targeting him rather more effectively. He watched with grim satisfaction as the other man crumpled like a puppet released from its string, then sat himself down hard on the ground. His hand, pressed against the front of his red jacket, came away red also, but unfortunately with his own blood.

If he was lucky, the bullet that was now resident inside him hadn’t struck anything of particular importance. It occurred to him now that he was very fond of his internal organs, as they’d functioned beautifully all his life, and he’d love for them to keep on doing exactly that.The cover for The Bride Takes a Groom, Book 3 of the Penhallow Dynasty series by Lisa Berne (Avon Books)

Carefully, Hugo allowed himself to slide down into a prone position. Everything was getting all hazy and woolly, and just before he closed his eyes he saw the concerned faces of his men hovering over him. A nice bunch of chaps. He was fortunate to have a group like this under his command. Too bad for them they’d have to convey him all the way back to camp, but that, after all, was one of the hazards of military life, and he was sure they’d do a decent job of it.

The pain, he noticed, was getting worse. Well, this certainly was an annoyance. How he loathed those pesky Frenchmen, and wished they’d stay in their own country where they belonged, kowtowing to that blasted little egomaniac Bonaparte and also making brandy which was, admittedly, of excellent quality. In fact, he wouldn’t object to a long swallow of that right now. But, he suspected, he was soon to be losing consciousness, so all things considered, the brandy might well have been a waste.

His last sentient thought was gratitude for the fact that the reconnaissance had been a useful one. His men would be able to confirm that yes, of a surety, there were active enemies in the area, and here was their bloodied and insensate captain to prove it.

Releasing next April, The Bride Takes a Groom is the third book in my Penhallow Dynasty series, and was recently named by Publishers Weekly in its spring 2018 announcements as one of the “big titles of spring.” Would you like to preorder? Click here. To save it on Goodreads, click here.

 

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