A medieval story of love and betrayal.
As a rebellion sweeps England, Lady Annabel finds her home overrun by rebels. Much to her relief, a dark knight comes to her rescue, claiming to have been sent to protect her by her uncle.
But Nicholas holds a secret about the job he was sent to do and it is a far cry from what Annabel believes it to be. As the attraction between them grows, Nicholas begins to question the dark life he has lived. But is it enough to change him and will Annabel ever trust again after learning the true nature of his sinful duty?
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in a small town in Hampshire, England and I now live in an even smaller village in Warwickshire.
What or who inspired you to write? And how long have you been writing?
I’ve always love to read and have dabbled with writing on and off but only sat down to do it properly after reading some wonderful fan-fiction online. I decided it looked like fun so wrote something for myself – though this was more of a fan-fiction to romance in general. It was then that I realised I had more stories left in me and decided to do it properly. I’ve been writing as a career for about a year now.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I signed my first publishing contract. Although I still can’t refer to myself as a writer as such – it takes some of the fun away I think. I think I lack the ability to take myself very seriously!
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
The Angel’s Assassin is my latest full length book.
It is a story of love, trust, betrayal and redemption. Of a man seeking to save his soul and ultimately the woman he loves.
I love reading the warnings on the blurbs for many books. If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say?
Warning: Has no ability to control tongue. Do not store in an enclosed space.
Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamor to be heard over the others?
My heroes tend to overtake me slightly, mostly because I fall in love with them. Nicholas, from The Angel’s Assassin, particularly stole my heart because of his growth as a character.
Do you have a specific writing style?
My style is quite formal, firstly because I write historical romance so it lends itself to that and, secondly, because of my native English tongue. My contemporary stuff is more relaxed but I think you can still tell I’m English.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No, not at all! I write to bring joy and romance into people’s lives; there are no lessons to be learnt. I like my characters to grow but I’m doubtful any of their lessons would ever help anyone in real life. Romanticism is escapism and that’s how I like to keep it.
Do you have plans for a new book?
Yes, I’m writing one now. It explores the idea of a relationship developing while there are communication issues and features two very sexy brothers. Needless to say there will be much macho jealousy going on.
How did you come up with the title and cover design?
I struggle with titles and this one came from a brainstorming session with my dad. The angel represents my heroine and obviously the assassin is the hero. The cover design was purely because I wanted a bit of eye-candy!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to be still writing and I wouldn’t complain if I could get another bestseller under my belt. Aside from that I don’t foresee much else changing in my life. My children will be that bit older so I hope to be able to explore the world a little more.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would struggle to leave England I think but I do sometimes fancy being somewhere hot and sunny, like Spain or the Canaries. I’d most like to live in a grand old house in the middle of Hampshire really.
What books have most influenced your writing most and why?
Numerous unnamed romantic authors. I used to devour romance books as a teenager, and still do, so all of them have definitely shaped my ideas of writing.
Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
I like the ease of ebooks but don’t enjoy that I can’t trust myself with them in the bath. I hate hardcovers, the cover always slips off and they’re too big! I would say paperback is m
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
One of my books that has just been accepted by a publishers is contemporary and is very erotic. It’s a real leap for me and I think will be a surprise to my readers. I’d like to do more of that but I will never stop writing historical romance – it’s definitely my first love.
What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller?
I haven’t a clue! My first book went to bestseller very quickly which was mind-blowing considering no-one knew me. I still haven’t figured out how that happened.
What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I enjoyed writing the ending of this one. Normally it makes me sad but it seemed like a great end to a hard journey and I was happy that Nicholas had come so far. It was a very sweet, tender moment and thoroughly worth it.
Have you ever read a book more than once?
I’ve read many books more than once. The ones I can name are Pride and Prejudice, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, all of Sue Grafton’s alphabet series and one of Jennifer Crusie’s old Harlequin stories ‘Getting Rid of Bradley. I first read it as a teenager and there was something about it that I adored. I still pick it up every now and then.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing, don’t compare yourself to others and don’t get bogged down with marketing. Keeping in touch with readers via Facebook etc is a great idea but don’t let it detract from your writing.
What are your pet peeves?
Lateness. I’m incessantly early for everything and I can’t understand how people can ever be late.
Cats or dogs?
White wine or red?
Coffee or tea?
Tea. I’m English after all.
Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
Neither. I don’t like ice cream!
One of your favourite quotes –
I nearly Googled witty quotes to answer this but decided against it. I’m afraid I can’t think of any off the top of my head.
An actor you have a crush on –
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
I loved New Girl. Zooey Deschanel is hilarious
“What is your name?”
He stared at her as he paused mid-bite. Withdrawing the bread, he shifted uncomfortably.
“My name is of no import, my lady.”
“I would know the name of my rescuer.”
He looked to the floor. “I am no rescuer, just a lowly knight doing his duty.”
“Your modesty becomes you, Sir Knight, but I would still know your name.”
Annabel awaited his response, the air between them growing uncomfortably thick.
He heaved a sigh, wondering how it was that a diminutive woman had got the better of him.
“Nicholas,” he grated out reluctantly.
“Nicholas,” she repeated softly. “And I am Annabel.”
“I know, my lady.”
“Nay, Annabel. Not ‘my lady’. You have surely earned the right to address me as such.”
He shook his head, dropping his gaze to the ground once more. He could not bring himself to utter her name, not when he knew what was to come. “Nay, my lady, I am your servant and I will address you as a servant should.”
Annabel must have sensed she was fighting a losing battle as she protested no more and fell silent. Nicholas risked sideways glances at her as her as she nibbled delicately on the hardened bread, and he realised he took far too much pleasure in the sight of her ample lips moving with each bite.
Brushing the crumbs from her skirts, Nicholas watched, mesmerised, as she twisted her long braid over her shoulder. Tugging on the red ribbon that tied the end of the braid, it loosened, sending the length of her hair shimmering across her shoulders. It brushed the dirt and Nicholas felt his mouth dry as she touched a finger to his arm. Surrounded by a halo of hair, she glanced up at him, her mouth curling. Without a word, she tied the ribbon about his large arm and fussed with it until she was satisfied.
Nicholas touched tentatively at the ribbon and gave her a perplexed look.
“You saved my life, Nicholas. ‘Tis a favour from a lady to a knight.” She grinned at his confusion. “You have received favours before, surely? I would expect a knight of your valour to have championed many a lady.”
He wondered if she was teasing him but her expression was completely guileless. He groaned inwardly. This woman probably believed wholeheartedly in courtly love. From his little experience he had come to conclude that it did not exist.
“For fear of disappointing you, my lady, I am sorry to admit that there you are mistaken. I have championed no ladies.”
“Well, ‘tis no matter,” she told him with a tender smile, “For you have championed me.”
Unable to bare her dazzling eyes any longer, he stood abruptly. Champion? He laughed inwardly. She had n
o idea of the kind of man he was, and he was thoroughly aware that he was far removed from the heroic knights that minstrels and poets spoke of.
He felt a pang of something, an uncomfortable sensation settling in his gut. Nicholas couldn’t name it but he didn’t like its implications. For all her naivety and gentle manners, this woman was going to be trouble. He felt threatened by her somehow, as if she had directly challenged him rather than quietly accepting his every word without question.
“Are you ready to continue on, my lady?”
Annabel sighed and stood, in spite of her obvious weariness. “I am in your hands, Nicholas. I will do whatever you command.”
Nicholas tried to tamp down on the desire stirring in his loins at her words and failed. Instead, he grunted and turned away, stomping off without checking if she was following. The sooner this job was over, the better.
Samantha Holt resides in Warwickshire, England, with her twin girls, having followed her soldier husband around the UK for nearly 10 years. Growing up in Hampshire, she was inspired by the authors Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell, both of which lived and wrote only miles from her home town.
Samantha loves the romance genre and has been devouring romantic literature for as long as she can remember. History is another passion of hers and she loves to combine her love for history and romance into exciting and passionate tales.