I'm a mom and work full-time. How I find time to read I'm not sure but I do. I have been reading ever since I can remember. I always find that if I'm not reading something, I feel empty. I recently bought an eReader so that I can ALWAYS have my library with me :-) Since I have been introduced to a number of different books since I bought my eReader, I thought it made sense to start a blog to share not only my love for reading with others, but also new and interesting reading material.
Pauline Creeden & Melissa Turner Lee - Armored Hearts - Virtual Book Tour
Date Published: 5/20/2013
When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about
himself and his mother's side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with
beings he thought only existed in fariytales.
Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park and
left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted
Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep
her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin
sent to kill him.
Twelve-year-old Tristan Gareth Smyth gripped the armrests of his
wheelchair and said, “This will do. I can make it the rest of the way on my own
His eyes trained up the landmark tree and he had that feeling again. The
vapor of a memory, maybe a dream. He always had that feeling when he looked up
at the broad branches of this particular oak. Then he remembered who he was
talking to and his face hardened.
The new maid, Sarah, with her strong Scottish burr, patted him on the
shoulder. Gareth refused to look at her. He stared down at his knee pants
instead. “Are ye sure ye will be alright? I do na mind walking with ye the rest
of the way to Mr. Strong’s house.”
Gareth clenched his hands into fists. “I’ll be fine.”
“Too bad he didn’t like coming out to the manor. Remember how green Mr.
Strong got when he choked on my spice cake that day and ran off.” She laughed
but tried to cover it with a cough. “I thought that would be the end of ’im but
he worked it out with yer grandfather to instruct ye in town. Funny, my spice
didn’t bother the rest of ye.”
She bent down in front of Gareth, attempting to make eye contact. “There
are lots of children in this section of town. Ye might try making friends with
Gareth turned away and clenched his jaw. Children never wanted to make
friends with him. The chair made them uncomfortable. And what did he care
anyway? He attempted to give her as stern a look as his grandfather would. “I
know the way from here, and I won’t be late. You can go on to market, now.”
The breeze picked up and blew wisps of red hair into the woman’s round
face. She smiled. Was she making fun of him? “Oh, it’s such a pretty day. This
fresh air will do ye good, for certain.”
She patted her hands on her knees and stood straight again. “Well then,
I’ll leave ye to it. I’ve got to run off to the baker’s. Be sure to get to Mr.
Strong’s in a timely manner. Though I think yer old governess was doing a fine
job. Not sure why ye need Mr. Strong. But I guess it’s none of my concern.”
She was a servant, in uniform, and he was a future lord. Following his
instruction was her duty. She and her husband, Thompton had been employed by
his grandfather only six months. They might find themselves out of work and
heading back to Scotland, if she kept voicing that sort of opinion.
No, Gareth could never really get them fired. But he’d make her think he
would. He shook his head in the same disapproving manner he’d seen his
The sunlight played in the golden highlights of the woman’s ruby hair.
Although her green eyes twinkled, she continued to voice her cutting opinion.
She placed one hand on his shoulder. “It’s not being stuck in this chair that
keeps ye lonely. It’s yer surly attitude.”
Gareth couldn’t help but let his face scrunch a little. He crossed his
arms and turned his face from her.
Her accent was thick and melodic, familiar in a way. His mother had been
Scottish though he hardly remembered her. Still, Gareth kept his pout in place.
The truth was, he didn’t know how to relate to others. Even people who could
feel at ease talking to perfect strangers stammered or spoke quickly to him and
walked away. The wheelchair did more than keep him from playing.
She straightened the collar of his waistcoat. “Look, there’s a little girl
coming now. She looks to be about Tabitha’s age. Maybe a wee bit older.”
He did glance then, but just under his lashes, not to give the impression
that he cared. Easier to act like he didn’t care than to show he truly did. He
refused to give anyone more reason to feel sorry for him. No one pities an
He missed Tabitha…Tabitha Fitzgerald, Lord Gerald Smyth’s bastard
daughter. But ward was her polite title. At five years old, she was the only
person he allowed to get close. Maybe it was the way she climbed up in his lap,
never caring about the wheelchair. She didn’t see it when she looked at him,
she only saw Gareth.
He never spoke to Tabitha about who her parents really were, but she
knew. For some reason, servants believed children to be both deaf and dumb, and
gossiped openly around them. That’s how Gareth knew the truth about his own
mother. He was told she died, but he’d overheard the maids say she had run back
home to Scotland and how they didn’t blame her. It’s also how he’d learned the
truth of his own father’s death—shot by his mistress’s jealous husband.
“I’m heading off. I’ll be sure to get ye a sweet roll for later.”
Gareth only grunted in response.
When the maid turned away, Gareth allowed himself to watch the little
girl play. Her hair was a darker blonde than Tabitha’s and had streaks of
amber. She looked to be a bit taller, too, as she ran around in a green day
dress and stockings. She pushed a hoop along until she reached the tree. Once
there she looked both ways. Her eyes met Gareth’s and, for a moment, he was
tempted to turn away to keep her from doing it first. Instead, she smiled
broadly and beckoned him closer.
Gareth wheeled his chair to the tree trunk, his curiosity getting the
better of him. The girl dropped the hoop on the ground and took hold of the
lowest branch. She whispered in an accent he didn’t recognize, “Keep watch for
me, and call out if you see anyone coming.”
His chin tucked in and his eyes grew wide. She took it as assent, and
nodded, starting her climb. She was spirited like Tabitha. The thought of being
able to climb a tree at all pricked at Gareth’s heart. He would never get to
climb a tree.
Again he took on the expression of being bored. No one needed to know he
was jealous of the girl. Gareth made a habit of never owning his true feelings.
It was his protective covering. With his lids half closed, he tried not to
watch the girl or keep an eye out for anyone else’s approach. Without his
permission, his gaze returned to the girl’s powder white limbs as she climbed
higher than most children did.
Soon she was too high up.
Gareth adjusted himself in his seat, his eyes darting around. Instead of
keeping lookout, he hoped for some adult to show up and tell the girl to come
The girl called down in a harsh whisper.“Look! Watch this.”
She scooted out on a limb, making her way to a bird’s nest. The limb
wobbled as she got closer to the end.
He was about to call out a warning to her when it was too late. The
branch snapped. The little girl was falling with barely a squeal.
All Gareth could think was that he needed to do something. It was then he
noticed he was rushing towards her. He wasn’t sure how he was moving his
wheelchair and catching her but he did. Her giant brown eyes grew as he held
her. Then she looked about and her eyes became wider. He swallowed hard and
stared at the ground several feet away.
In a rush, he placed the girl on the grass and flew back to his chair.
His heart still pounded in his ears as he sat. He tried to mask his confusion
as he masked all other uncomfortable emotions, but it wasn’t working. The girl
stared at him, but said nothing as a dark haired woman rushed toward her.
“Sweeting, are you ok?” The woman swept the girl up into her arms. “I got
here as fast as I could. I can’t believe you did that. I thought I told you not
to climb that tree.”
She put the girl back down and looked her over, grabbing her head and
looking for a sign of injury. “Aren’t you hurt at all? I saw you falling from
the window upstairs.”
The girl shook her head too quickly, like she was still in shock.
“Come on back to the house,” the pinch-faced woman snapped, ushering the
little girl away.
The girl yanked her hand free of the woman’s grasp and rushed back to
Gareth. She placed an object in his hand and kissed his cheek.
“You were amazing,” she whispered and turned back to the woman who called
out her name.
Gareth’s cheeks burned. What did the woman say the girl’s name was? He
didn’t hear with the blood rushing to his ear drums. Jessie? Jenny?
The woman scolded the girl as she returned to her. “What did you do?
Where are your manners? You don’t talk to cripples. Best to act like you don’t
see them at all.”
The words struck Gareth like a bucket of cold water. But he let it slide
off him as he thought about the fact that he had flown. He watched after the
girl as her dark eyes stared back. His mind was muddled at what had happened.
The muscles in his face hardened and he glared at the woman’s back as they
Shaking his head, he remembered he was supposed to be heading to Mr.
Strong’s house. He pushed on the wheels of his chair down the road again. He’d
forgotten he was holding something, and nearly dropped it. The small, pale
blue-green stone had a few dark wrinkles, but almost looked like a robin’s egg.
He put it to his nose. Flowers. It smelled just like the girl.
Gareth was so caught up in staring at how tiny the stone was in his palm,
he’d forgotten all about Mr. Strong until the man called, “Master Tristan, what
are you doing out here? You were to report to my house a quarter of an hour
“I prefer Gareth.” He narrowed his eyes at the pale, feeble man.
Mr. Strong ran a hand through his thin blond hair and smiled, his lips
forming a thin line. “Yes, of course.”
Mr. Strong placed himself behind Gareth’s chair and pushed down the lane.
“I have an excellent plan for your studies today. I see you’ve brought no
supplies from your home, but no matter, I have plenty of paper and pens to
practice your lettering…”
Gareth rolled his eyes, knowing Mr. Strong couldn’t see. The man’s
cheerful babble continued as he pushed them towards the house past the inn. The
stone rolled between Gareth’s fingers, and he remembered the feeling of the
girl’s lips on his cheek.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Melissa Turner Lee holds a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She has studied fiction writing since 2008, attending various writing conferences and workshops, along with guidance from professional writing coaches. She resides in Spartanburg, SC with her husband and 3 sons.
Pauline Creeden is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising**Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*