Margaret tells us about another of her novels.
Branded is another single word
title book of mine (published in 1984) - set in Australia – a place I love,
having spent a few holidays there.
hero, Latham Elliot, is a man who has suffered at the hands of my heroine’s
brother and is therefore a very bitter man. When Susi Kingswood turns up looking
for her brother, not realising that he had been kicked out of the farmstead
where he had been working, she is less than welcome. But as she had arrived by
taxi, and as it was virtually in the middle of nowhere, she had no choice but
to stay. Her unwelcoming host, when he realised he could not kick her out
unless he provided transport, insisted she work as his housekeeper instead.
can imagine the sparks that fly.
following extract is when they first meet:-
man at the desk made no attempt to stand as she entered. Indeed he did not even
look at her. Susi immediately decided he was the rudest man she had ever met.
legs were stretched out beneath the desk, his boot-clad feet protruding on the
other side. A grey tee-shirt stretched tautly across a muscular chest, long
arms looked strong and sinewy, covered with a thin layer of dark hair. He
twirled a pencil between hard bony fingers, seemed more intent on that than on
his unexpected visitor.
hair curled about a noble head. In profile his nose was straight and strong,
his brow high and proud, jutting cheekbones giving an angular appearance to his
face. His jaw was square and determined, thrust aggressively forward.
he glanced obliquely across. “Miss Kingswood?”
inclined her head, a pin falling from her hair as she did so, spilling some of
its long auburn length about her face. She had purposely pinned it up so that
the breeze would cool her nape, now she pushed it back with an impatient hand,
returning Latham Elliot’s gaze with as much dignity as she could muster.
was not pleased to see her, that was for sure, suggesting there was no love
lost between himself and her brother. But it was not Latham Elliot she had come
to see. She could ignore his hostility for as long as it took her to find out
where Carl was.
her question, he said, “If it’s your brother you’re after you can turn right
round and go. Kingswood no longer works here.” The loathing in his voice, the condescending
arrogance, was unmistakable, and the way he looked at her, as though he hated
her as much as he did her brother made her flinch.
felt it as much as she would a knife slicing through her flesh. It was with
difficulty that she controlled a natural urge to back away. This man was
vitriolic. “Perhaps you could tell me where he is?”
P.S Margaret is away on holiday this week but should be back on Friday evening to respond to any comments!