As the first full-length novel in The White Sails Series, DISCERNING GRACE captures the spirit of an independent woman whose feminine lens blows the ordered patriarchal decks of a 19th century tall ship to smithereens.
Wilful Grace Baxter, will not marry old Lord Silverton with his salivary incontinence and dead-mouse stink. Discovering she is a pawn in an arrangement between slobbery Silverton and her calculating father, Grace is devastated when Silverton reveals his true callous nature.
Refusing this fate, Grace resolves to stow away. Heading to the docks, disguised as a lad to ease her escape, she encounters smooth-talking naval recruiter, Gilly, who lures her aboard HMS Discerning with promises of freedom and exploration in South America.
When Grace’s big mouth lands her bare-bottomed over a cannon for insubordination, her identity is exposed. The captain wants her back in London but his orders, to chart the icy archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, forbid it. Lieutenant Seamus Fitzwilliam gallantly offers to take Grace off the fretting captain’s hands by placing her under his protection.
Grace must now win over the crew she betrayed with her secret, while managing her feelings towards her taciturn protector, whose obstinate chivalry stifles her new-found independence. But when Grace disregards Lieutenant Fitzwilliam’s warnings about the dangers of the unexplored archipelago, it costs a friend his life and she realises she is not as free as she believes.
Emma Lombard was born in Pontefract in the UK. She grew up in Africa—calling Zimbabwe and South Africa home for a few years—before finally settling in Brisbane Australia, and raising four boys. Before she started writing historical fiction, she was a freelance editor in the corporate world, which was definitely not half as exciting as writing rollicking romantic adventures. Her characters are fearless seafarers, even though in real life Emma gets disastrously sea sick. Discerning Grace, is the first book in The White Sails Series.
She deserves better, but I can’t stay away. May will be mine!
May — I know what everyone sees when they look at him. A rough biker from the wrong side of town. But they don’t know John the way I do. He’s kind, protective, and there’s no one I’d rather be with. Unfortunately, he’s keeping me in the friend zone. He’s saved me multiple times, but when he finds me being attacked by the town’s golden boy, I see the Grizzly his club has named him for… but even at his most vicious I’m not scared of him. I don’t care that he’s a little older than me, or that people whisper when he walks past. I love him, and I know I’ll keep loving him until the day I die.
Grizzly — She’s too sweet, too good. Too perfect. May deserves the best life can offer, a respectable guy. That isn’t me. She might see me as some cuddly teddy bear, but there’s blood on my hands. I earned the name the Devil’s Fury gave me, and I wear it proudly. So I push her away, keep her at arm’s length, and make sure she thinks I don’t desire her even a little.
It’s a lie. Biggest one I’ve ever told. There’s only one thing I want more than my club, more than my next breath — and that’s May.
WARNING: This is for everyone who’s ever asked, “Will Grizzly get a book?” Grizzly’s story is a shorter Devil’s Fury MC novella and contains some violence, bad language, and graphic physical relationships. It takes place outside the series timeline. Guaranteed happily-ever-after, no cheating, and no cliffhanger.
I ran my hand over my cut, proud as hell that I’d earned my patch. As the newest member of the Devil’s Fury MC, I should have been at the clubhouse enjoying the party. Instead, I found myself hiding in the shadows by the pond on the outskirts of town. If anyone owned the property, they were long gone. The land had grown wild with weeds. The tall grass around the pond blocked it from view of anyone driving past.
I heard May giggle and a splash. Jealousy ate at me. I had no right to feel any sort of emotion about her at all. She wasn’t mine. Never would be. May was a good girl. Sweet. Angelic. Not at all for the likes of me. I’d noticed her in school, even though I’d kept my distance. Until I’d discovered she liked to come swim here. The first time I saw her in her two-piece swimsuit, I’d had to pick my tongue up off the ground. Who’d have thought little May had curves like that? She’d only been fifteen at the time, and I’d had no business looking.
“Stop it, Mike.” I heard another splash. “I said no!”
My heartrate kicked up and I crept closer, quietly shifting the tall weeds aside for a better look. The dumbass jock she’d come with seemed to be copping a feel. The way May squirmed and shoved at him, I knew she wasn’t just playing around. When she’d told him to stop, she’d meant it. Dickweed didn’t seem to understand.
When he tried to work his hand down into her swimsuit bottoms, I knew I had to do something. I wasn’t about to let him molest her while I stood idly by. Even if I did belong to a club that didn’t exactly walk on the right side of the law, there were lines I’d never cross. Hurting a woman was one of those.
I stepped out of my hiding spot. The moment May saw me, hope sparked in her eyes. Yeah, I wasn’t walking away. Not without making sure she was safe.
“I think she said no.”
He turned to look at me, a sneer on his lips as he eyed my cut. I knew all about Mike Malone. Star forward for the basketball team. Just the sort of guy May should be with, if he weren’t such a douche.
“Let her go, Malone.”
“Or what?” he asked.
“Or I’ll make you, and then you’ll have to run crying home to your mommy. She said she wasn’t interested, but you must have too much wax in your ears.” I folded my arms. “Or maybe you got hit in the head with one too many basketballs. You should catch those passes with your hands and not your face.”
I honestly had no idea how well he played, or what the fuck his position on the team even did. I’d never been into basketball, and I sure as hell hadn’t been to any of the games at school.
He backed away from May and made his way toward me. He slogged through the water and onto the shore, slicking his hair back from his face. We were nearly the same height, but I had a bit of muscle on him. And I knew how to fight. Prissy boy here didn’t stand a chance.
“You lay one finger on me and my parents will sue your ass.”
“And what exactly do you think they’ll get? I don’t have a house. My bike is a piece of shit. Even I can admit that, but one day it won’t be. I don’t have a damn thing you’d want, Malone.” I held my hand out to May. “Come on, angel. I’ll make sure you get home safe.”
May hurried out of the pond and grabbed her towel, wrapping it around her. She came straight for me, giving the jock a wide berth. Couldn’t blame her. He didn’t seem like the type to lose gracefully. Now that he’d decided May should give him what he wanted, he wouldn’t back down. Not until he was forced to.
If he kept bothering her, I’d have to pay him a special visit. Make sure he got the message loud and clear. May wasn’t for him to play with. Or anyone else for that matter.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harley Wylde is the International Bestselling Author of the Dixie Reapers MC, Devil’s Boneyard MC, and Hades Abyss MC series.
When Harley’s writing, her motto is the hotter the better — off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place. She doesn’t shy away from the dangers and nastiness in the world, bringing those realities to the pages of her books, but always gives her characters a happily-ever-after and makes sure the bad guys get what they deserve.
The times Harley isn’t writing, she’s thinking up naughty things to do to her husband, drinking copious amounts of Starbucks, and reading. She loves to read and devours a book a day, sometimes more. She’s also fond of TV shows and movies from the 1980’s, as well as paranormal shows from the 1990’s to today, even though she’d much rather be reading or writing.
You can find out more about Harley or enter her monthly giveaway on her website. Be sure to join her newsletter while you’re there to learn more about discounts, signing events, and other goodies!
“Her characters are phenomenal and have a lot of depth to them. She is absolutely fantastic at writing an engaging sexy story. Harley Wylde keeps the words flowing so that you have to turn the page to see what happens next.”– All Author