Thursday, March 17, 2022

A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz - Book Tour

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A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz 


It is 1755, and the threat of war with France looms over colonial York, Virginia. Chocolatier Esmée Shaw is fighting her own battle of the heart. Having reached her twenty-eighth birthday, she is reconciled to life alone after a decade-old failed love affair from which she’s never quite recovered. But she longs to find something worthwhile to do with her life.


Captain Henri Lennox has returned to port after a lengthy absence, intent on completing the lighthouse in the dangerous Chesapeake Bay, a dream he once shared with Esmée. But when the colonial government asks him to lead a secret naval expedition against the French, his future is plunged into uncertainty.


Will war and a cache of regrets keep them apart, or can their shared vision and dedication to the colonial cause heal the wounds of the past? Bestselling and award-winning author Laura Frantz whisks you away to a time fraught with peril—on the sea and in the heart—in this redemptive, romantic story.

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April 1745

With his back to the coastal wind, Henri Lennox settled his arms around Esmée Shaw, guiding her soft, pale hands with his tanned, callused fingers as they let the long silken line out. The pear-shaped kite caught on a gust, tugging at the string till it threatened to snap.

“Let it fly away from you bit by bit,” he told her.

She did so, her laugh a surprised trill as the kite climbed higher. “Shall I let out more line?”

“Slowly, aye. With the right technique, you can even make it dance.”


“Just give a tug to the string now and again. Like this.” He showed her as they gazed upward, the kite zigzagging against the azure sky, its tail a scarlet streak as it soared and dipped.

Wonder laced her tone. “Where did you get such a winsome creation?”

“The East Indies. They’ve been kite-flying for centuries. We colonials are just coming awake. Our kite lacks but one thing.”

“Oh?” She tugged on the line and sent the kite dancing again.

He relaxed his hold on her hands, resting his jaw against her hatless head. She fit neatly beneath his chin, her back warm against his linen-clad chest, the wind riffling her carefully pinned hair like he longed to do with his fingers. He breathed in the telltale rose scent that seemed to imbue every ebony strand. “The kite lacks decoration. Our entwined initials should suit.”

“Henri . . . how romantic.” Her voice held a touch of teasing. “’Tis something I might fancy, not you.”

“You’ve no idea what keeps me awake long nights at sea.”

The afternoon sun sank behind them when it had been in their eyes minutes before. Had it not just been noon? At their feet was an empty basket, the remains of a piquenique. The cold meats, cheeses, and fruit had been devoured, even the little comfits molded in the shape of anchors from Shaw’s Chocolate shop. Esmée’s hat was atop the sand near her discarded shoes. Henri saw Admiral and Mrs. Shaw at a distance, slowly walking the beach with Esmée’s younger sister.

He kissed his beloved’s soft brow, his hands falling to her tightly cinched waist. “With you, time seems to melt away when I want it to stand still.”

“If I could stop the clock, I would.” She let out more line, head tipped back as the kite soared higher. “I want to run with it.”

“In those petticoats?” Even as he asked it, she darted away from him.

Lithe and laughing, she ran full tilt along the shore, a ruffled white wave breaking over her bare feet.

He started after her, stepping over her hat and slippers. The sand slowed him, his boots heavy, but he finally caught up with her. He untangled the kite string from her fingers and led her behind a dune that hid them from any onlookers.

“Henri, will you spoil my merriment?”

“My mind is more on kissing than kites, Esmée.”

She caught her breath as he brought the kite string behind his back, out of her reach, while his free arm encircled her. She laid her head upon his chest, her long-lashed eyes closing. Emotion knotted his throat. Did she realize she held his heart? Not just a piece of it. The entire whole of it.

She raised her head, her green eyes soft yet wary. “Don’t, Henri.”

He brushed back a dark tendril of her hair. “Don’t kiss you?”

“Don’t tell me you’re leaving again.”

“All right, ma belle. I’ll just kiss you then.” The tender moment was theirs, the future be hanged. He kissed her soundly. Rather, she kissed him, her arms tightening around his neck as if anchoring him to the spot and preventing their parting. Sensations she alone was capable of rousing swam through him, widening eddies of desire shadowed by regret.

“Captain Lennox? Esmée?”

At the sound of the admiral’s voice they drew apart, and inexplicably Henri let go of the line. The colorful kite kept soaring, borne on a west wind over the water, seeming to touch the clouds before vanishing from sight.

Author Bio
Laura Frantz is a Christy Award winner and the ECPA bestselling author of a dozen novels, including An Uncommon Woman, Tidewater Bride, The Frontiersman’s Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, The Colonel’s Lady, The Lacemaker, and A Bound Heart. She is a proud mom to an American soldier and a career firefighter. When not at home in Kentucky, she and her husband live in Washington State. Learn more at

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