Here is the first install of the Teaser Tuesday segment. This month completely dedicated to Heart Like an Ocean, my debut historical romance novel. Enjoy :) Chapter One
Three years later Spain-1669
Senona looked back hesitantly as she entered the dark stable where her father’s horses were kept. It was the middle of the night; the countryside was quiet as slumber had overtaken everyone and everything around. She was confident that no one had witnessed her escape from the manor, nor would anyone know of her disappearance until morning. That was how she intended it; let them find out the bride had run the night before her wedding. She wouldn’t allow herself to become the trophy wife of an arranged marriage.
She was young, though not so young that she shouldn’t already be married. Nearing her twenties, she could have married anytime within the last three years, though she’d found no suitable match. Being the daughter of Don Marco Montez meant she would not marry just anyone, and her parents’ final decision was with an older, rich, and influential Doctor from Barcelona, Senor Flamez.
Senor Flamez was nearing fifty and widowed not five years earlier. She was to be his second wife, more to help him run his dilapidated household than anything else. Rumor had it that Senor Flamez had allowed things to fall apart after Senora Flamez passed away in childbirth, losing the child along with her. It would be Senona’s job to make the man happy again, provide him with an heir and allow his life to become what it had been in previous years: rich, elegant, and prestigious. How he came to the conclusion that she would be suitable for that role she could not fathom.
Senona was not, by any definition, elegant or humble. She was quick to anger and didn’t much enjoy doing the domestic duties expected of a good wife. Instead, she could be more often than not found in a pasture or riding along the high cliffs bordering the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Perhaps that was why her Madre and Padre were so pleased to have found her a husband; she would nolonger be their problem or embarrassment.
This late at night the horses made very little noise. A few stamped their hooves or rustled the hay; otherwise, the only sound was their breathing. Senona’s horse was a young stallion; a Spanish horse with the best pedigree money could buy. He had been a gift for her sixteenth birthday. Only a young colt then, she had trained him herself and preferred no other horse in her father’s stable over Naldo.
Saddling him quickly and quietly, she shoved the small amount of clothes she had carried from her room into a saddlebag. She hid a bag of doubloons, which she had stolen from her father’s safe, carefully among them. It was a small fortune and would surely have her father’s hounds chasing her as soon as the red sun rose above the horizon. However, she did not plan to be on land by then. She would find a ship where she would be much harder to track. Perhaps, like the romantic stories, she would be able to disappear into the horizon never to be seen again. One could only hope. Yet, as she mounted Naldo and rode him down the road that led to Barcelona, Senona found herself looking back in sadness. Although she had not been happy here, it was her home and this would be the last time she’d ever see it. No longer would she be living the life of comfort that she was accustomed to, no longer would she be secure in her future, and no longer would she be able to wake up every morning without fear or worry. Was she truly ready for this life? Looking forward again she refused to allow herself another glance back. Whether she was ready for this change or not, she had made up her mind, and she would go through with it. As hard and as treacherous as it may be, wasn’t freedom worth it?