|© Suto Norbert | Dreamstime.com|
Winner, that is.
Thanks to everyone who took sides in the Firebird Hero vs. Hero Smackdown—it was fun! Here's how the 61 comments broke down:
38 of you sided with Deanna and Team Rob, while 19 of you favoured Molly and Team Edmund, leaving 1 commenter leaning towards Team Rob but officially undecided, and 3 of you who refused to decide at all and wanted both men!
So, a pretty clear victory for Rob, then.
As for the giveaway, the one commenter selected at random to receive signed copies of Deanna's A Spear of Summer Grass, Molly's Crazy Thing Called Love, and my The Firebird, is......
Melisa M.who commented: "I love Rob and can't wait to meet up with him again BUT I'm joining team Edmund on this one!"
Congratulations, Melisa! Just email me at susanna(underscore)kearsley(at)yahoo(dot)ca and let me know where you'd like us to send your books.
And since Melisa chose Team Edmund, here's a little extra Edmund excerpt for you, just to reassure you he can take a punch or two and hold his own:
He stood apart, a cup of drink held cradled in one hand, his gaze fixed idly in a contemplation of the passing ships that ran along the river, and the Duke of Holstein’s yacht with all its guns.
She did not notice, to be honest, how his coat was cut, or whether it was worn through at the sleeves. She marked the color of it—deeply blue—and noted that he wore the yellow waistcoat underneath it, and his hair was neatly tied with a black ribbon at his collar, underneath a fine three-cornered hat. He looked, to her, a gentleman enough.
It was the rush of anger running sudden through her veins that, in the end, undid her. She could very easily have turned around and left him as he was. He had not seen her, and the way he stood there, unconcerned, reminded her he was a man of strength, and had no need of her. Of anyone.
But hearing Mrs. Hewitt and the others speak so rudely of him, Anna felt her temper rise in answer to it. Keeping her reaction in control, she calmly paid her honors to the other women as she passed, then raised her chin with new determination as she crossed the grass.
He turned his head, and watched her come towards him, with no alteration of his stance or his expression. She could see, then, why he had not wished to burden General Lacy’s reputation by his presence at the banquet, for the skin across his cheekbone had been split and badly bruised.
She saw the light of curiosity flash briefly in his eyes as she approached him; watched it change to dark amusement as she spoke.
‘Mistress Jamieson.’ His head inclined politely.
It was, in truth, a livid bruise, the mark of a disreputable man. She should not have remarked on it, she knew, and yet she could not keep from asking, ‘Is it painful?’
‘Only when I try to smile,’ he said, and did just that, if briefly.
There was still a space between them, and he stood regarding her across it as one soldier might regard another on a field of truce. And then he tipped his head a little to the side and offered her his arm, and asked her, ‘Will you walk with me?’ He did not miss the small betraying glance she cast behind her at the others, Anna knew, because he added, with a trace of his old mockery, ‘Or do you fear to harm your reputation?’
Anna studied him a moment. Then she told him, ‘I am not afraid of anything.’ And stepping forward, took his arm.
‘Indeed,’ was his reply. ‘So I’m beginning to believe.’