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Tilly Wallace

Constancy **PRE-ORDER**

Constancy **PRE-ORDER**

Regular price $6.99 USD
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Dragons love longest, even when hope is gone...

As a young woman, Moire Tobin fell hopelessly in love with a brave, loyal, and handsome young naval officer. Nothing, not even her family, could persuade her to spurn the young man. But fate had other ideas. Even when Oliver broke off their engagement, her tattered heart refused to stop loving. Every beat carried with it the promise of hope.

Eight years later, Captain Oliver Hartford returns to the quiet corner of rural Wyldefen. Having amassed a fortune, he is determined to find a wife. Any one would do, so long as it’s not Moire—the quiet, intelligent, and kind woman who still haunts his dreams.

Fate, it seems, has had a change of heart and has decided to throw the couple together. This could be their second chance at love. Dragons might prove the salve that eases old wounds, or they might be the irrevocable wedge that forever drives them apart…

A second chance fantasy romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion…but with more dragons.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a PRE-ORDER. The book will be delivered via BookFunnel to the email address used at checkout, on September 2024.

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Read sample

1807

Eadred Manor, Wyldefen, rural England

Moire Tobin might only have walked this earth for eighteen years, but she knew two things with a certainty that resided deep in her bones. One was that she would only ever love Oliver Hartford. The man who had captured her heart the previous year, when they both reached for the same book in a market. Moire had been shyly delighted to find the handsome young naval officer shared her fascination with the subject of the book—dragon kind.
The other truth was that no matter how long she lived, she would never overcome her fear of heights.
Standing in the moonlight that spilled over the floor of her room, Moire leaned out her window and glanced down. Night lengthened the distance. The ground seemed as far away as if she peered over the side of a vessel in the middle of the ocean and tried to find the sea bottom. Ivy tendrils clung to the outer stone and beckoned, promising freedom and the sweet embrace of her love.
If she dared.
Moire drew a breath. When she thought about it rationally, it wasn’t so much heights that bothered her, but rather the sudden stop at the end. Although it seemed odd to fear the ground. Then she remembered who waited for her... Oliver. A brave and caring soul. He had joined the navy as a young lad of twelve in order to seek a better life and had worked his way through the ranks.
Borrowing strength at the thought of seeing him, Moire hitched the edge of her dark blue woollen gown to make to easier to climb. Then she sat on the ledge.
“It is no different from climbing a tree.” A tree that seemed impossibly tall in the dark and there might be sharp teeth waiting to tear her apart at its base.
Grabbing the thick branch of the ancient ivy, she began her descent. Her heart pounded with fear of either falling or being discovered by her family. Her father would be furious if her actions reflected badly on him. One careful foot at a time, and keeping her gaze on the rough stone wall, she descended the old scrambling plant. When her boots sank into the lush grass, relief flowed up her wobbly legs.
From nearby came a low warble, and the noise reassured her.
“It’s all right, Faustus, it is only me,” she crooned back.
A shape detached from the shadows and approached. Larger than a horse, it walked with an odd side-to-side gait. Moire’s escape had roused the old wyvern. Virtually blind in daylight hours, the nocturnal creature guarded their slumber and the estate. He must have scented her on the night air and come to investigate.
When Moire stretched out her hand, the beast rubbed against her palm in greeting. Wyverns were the ugly and misshapen cousins of majestic dragons. Tied to a five-mile radius from the point of their hatching, they were used as watchdogs by those who could afford the price of an egg.
Ten years ago, loneliness and loss had drawn Moire and Faustus close together. Since that day, they had sought companionship in each other. Her family declared the wyvern hideous and treated the lonely creature abominably. Moire knew the ugliest exterior could hide the gentlest of hearts. And the opposite could also be true—beauty could hide a rotten core.
“I am going to Caliban’s barrow. Oliver is waiting,” she whispered to her guardian.
While he could speak in monosyllabic snatches, wyverns were more adept at communicating through pictures and emotions. That was, if a person were open to receiving such messages. Faustus crooned his understanding and fell into step beside her. Possessing only two hind legs, he used the claw at the juncture of his bent wings like front paws. His scales absorbed the moonlight, and he moved like a shadow. Only his eyes glowed an eerie silver, seeing everything as clear as day.
Together, they walked in companionable silence through the overgrown gardens. Their once pristine beauty now a wild, untamed chaos. At the edge of the forest, Faustus nudged her hand and dropped to his belly. He would wait for her to return and escort her safely home through the dark. Moire scratched his head, using her nails to reach the spots between the hard ridges above his eyes.
Entering the forest, she followed a path etched into the earth by numerous types of feet over the decades. Dappled moonlight illuminated her way. The soft burble of the river that ran through the forest called to her. At last, the path opened into a clearing, dominated by a large mound. The barrow, with its surface covered in moss and wildflowers, was a solemn reminder of the magical world she lived in. Caliban, the noble dragon who had raised her family to the highest level of peerage in the land, had lain down and died on the spot. The earth reclaimed his form, just as the lower ranks of nobility had reclaimed her family.
“Oliver?” Moire called.
“Here,” his voice came from beside the barrow.
His tall and lean form emerged from the dark as though a tree had come to life. The sight of him there, bathed in moonlight and shadows, made her heart swell with love.
“You came,” he whispered, his tone a soothing lullaby to her racing heart.
Moire ran to him, wrapping her arms around his waist and resting her cheek against the rough wool of his jacket. Inhaling, she caught the scent of horse and fresh hay. When on shore leave, Oliver stayed with his cousin and helped with the never-ending chores of tending animals and crops.
She drank in the comfort of his presence. “If anyone knew I was here with you, I would be completely ruined.”
“You could never be ruined in my eyes.” He placed one finger under her chin and tilted her face to claim a kiss.

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