Isabelle turned the paper over and recognized her father’s seal on the back of the letter. She broke the seal and unfolded the page.
My darling daughter,
I’ve made enquiries into the charges and events in Paris. Things aren’t as they seem and I’m worried. I’m glad you’re in the abbey where God and the good sisters can protect you. I’m afraid I can’t. I can’t even protect myself.
The events surrounding Pierre’s death are most confounding. Those who spoke with the guards have all vanished. Even the tavern no longer exists. This duelist is a ghost—no one can even describe him.
My informant discovered Pierre delivered documents from the governor general of New France to the president of the French West India Company shortly after his arrival in France. Since the charges against him stemmed from the colony, something in those documents must have been to blame. My man continues to search for answers.
By now, you’ve heard I’m ill. My physician can’t understand it, but while he won’t confirm my suspicions, I believe I’ve been poisoned. No matter what happens, you must stay away. I don’t know who’s to blame for this, but I suspect it’s tied to your husband’s death.
I love you and miss you. Be well my darling child. No matter what happens, follow your heart.
Your loving Papa
Isabelle sat in the pew and let the tears flow unimpeded down her cheeks. She reread Papa’s letter more convinced than ever to discover the truth. She was startled when a man sat beside her. She looked up into kind brown eyes. Guy!
He hadn’t worn his uniform. Instead, he’d chosen to dress normally, making it easy for him to blend in with the other penitents who’d attended the first church service of the day. He’d allowed his hair to fall forward to hide his scar and further obscure his identity. Like an answer to prayer, he held out his arms. Desperate for a touch of human kindness, Isabelle went into them and cried until she was sure there were no tears left inside. Gradually she became aware of the thumping of Guy’s heart, of his breathing, and of the warmth suffusing her. I could stay like this forever. Before she could nestle any deeper into his arms, she realized where she was and pulled away.
Guy released her. “Feeling better?”
The question had become a familiar one to Isabelle. It seemed everyone thought a few tears would heal even the deepest wounds, but there were some hurts which could never be mended by tears alone. “Yes, thank you. Come, walk with me.” She stood and moved towards the church doors.
Book Blurb: The Price of Honor
What price is a woman willing to pay to restore a man’s honor?
When her husband is falsely accused of treason and murdered, Isabelle de Caen vows to find those responsible and see justice done. Of royal descent, Isabelle is stunned when the king orders her hasty marriage to one of his favorites, a man she detests. To save herself from a fate too awful to contemplate, she disobeys the king’s edict and commits treason of her own to find the truth.
Childhood friend, Guy Poirier, an aristocrat in New France, has always loved Isabelle. When he discovers her hiding in his cabin aboard ship, he agrees to hide her from her fiancé and help her clear her husband’s name. It doesn’t take them long to realize there’s more at stake here than her husband’s murder. With the fate of the colony in their hands, can Isabelle and Guy prevent a war and find love in the new world?
About Susanne Matthews:
Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Eastern Ontario, Canada. She’s an avid reader of all types of books, especially those with a happily ever after. In her imagination, she’s travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.