Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Outcast Artist in Bretagne WWII Heartbreak and Forbidden Love by Diane Scott Lewis

Outcast Artist in Bretagne 
WWII Heartbreak and Forbidden Love
Diane Scott Lewis

Genre: Historical Romance 
Publisher: BWL publishing, inc.
Date of Publication: May 1, 2023
ISBN-10: ‎0228625505
ISBN-13: ‎978-0228625506
Number of pages: 370
Word Count: 98,000
Cover Artist: Michelle Lee

Tagline:  Can a damaged Englishwoman find love with her worst enemy, or will the brutality of war rip them apart? Is she a spy? Will he retaliate against Hitler? A dangerous love affair.

Book Description:  

Unwed and pregnant, Norah Cooper flees England to hide with her cousin in Brittany just before Germany’s 1940 invasion of France. After her baby is stillborn, she's trapped under the Occupation as war expands across Europe. Norah grieves and consoles herself by sketching wildlife. When she’s caught too near the coast, she comes under scrutiny of the German commandant, Major August von Gottlieb.

August loathes what Hitler is doing to his country and France but is duty-bound to control the people in his jurisdiction. The lively young Englishwoman piques his interest. Is she a spy? He questions her and asks her to sketch his portrait so he might uncover the truth.

Soon, their relationship evolves into a passion neither of them can deny. She endures taunts from the villagers. His superiors warn him of not being harsh enough—he could be transferred or worse. He plans to sabotage a major war machine of the Reich, while she secretly helps the Resistance. Both acts are fraught with danger while kept secret from one another. Will their love ruin her and end in heartbreak? Or will they overcome the odds and survive the surging threats on all sides?



August unlocked the cottage door. The area was quiet, with only crickets chirping in the darkness. He stepped into the dim foyer. His anger and the sense of betrayal, mixed with injured pride, had started to dissipate, even after dealing with the sudden weapons search. Thankfully, none were found, except the old man with a pistol that didn’t even fire. He let the elderly man return to his home after a dire warning. Still, assassins could be among the villagers.

Norah must be what mattered most this instant. August ached to be with her—to discuss and smooth out their turmoil. To make certain she avoided more risks and complied. His heart burned for her in a way he never thought possible. And, with soldiers everywhere, he didn’t want to leave her alone too long.

He crept into the bedroom. She lay, wrapped in sheets on the bed, her breathing even. Last night, with sleep eluding him, he’d come to the cottage, twice, to check that she was safe, but never went inside.

He undid his belt and removed his tunic, fingers fumbling. Pulling off his boots, he reached over and placed his hand on her hip. “Norah,” he whispered.

She gasped and jerked upright in the bed.

“It’s me, don’t be afraid.” Would she order him out?

“August?” She gripped the sheet to her chest over a cotton nightgown.

“I wanted to be certain you are all right. I shouldn’t have woken you.” He hadn’t wanted her to wake and be frightened that a person was there.

She rubbed her face. “I can’t think. Are we going to talk?”

He sat in the chair near the bed, his reproaches further fading at the sight of her wide eyes and tousled hair in the shadows. Yet his trust had been damaged. “Go back to sleep. I’ll stay right here.”

“No, please, come to bed.” She flipped back the sheet. “We’ll talk in the morning.”
“I’m still not happy about what you were doing. You were irresponsible; the danger is real.” He hesitated. Somehow, they had to find their way back to where they’d been.

“I know. You’re disappointed and upset, but please come to bed.” Her drowsy, sad voice tugged at him. “I love you and promise no more carelessness.”

Standing, he slipped off his trousers and unbuttoned his shirt. He climbed into bed still in his underclothes, and she snuggled close, her back to him. She smelled exotic, of jasmine. He pulled the sheet over them both. Finally, he draped his arm over her, the warm softness of her, and tried to sleep. She clasped his hand and held it to her breasts.

The next morning, August sat at the little table and raked his fingers through his hair. The sun was strong, reflected in the windows, showing they’d slept late.

Norah set two cups of coffee before them and sat. “I don’t have sugar, but here’s milk.” She nudged the little earthenware pitcher toward him. In her faded, flowered robe, blonde hair with reddish hints past her shoulders, she looked so young and vulnerable. The thirteen-year difference stretched between them.

He grasped her hand. “We must mend our quarrel. But I need to be certain that you’ll never attempt such activities again. That you are finished, and I can trust you. Our feelings are sincere.”

“My love is true, I swear. I should have thought how much it would put you in danger. I was reckless, like I said.” She squeezed his hand, her gaze direct and slightly contrite at the same time. “I’m finished. You can search the cottage.”

“No, that isn’t necessary.” He had to believe her. “But I’m firm on this. No more.”

“I understand. Everything is gone.” Her voice cracked.

“I worried more for you than me.” He raised her hand and kissed her sweet flesh. “If Schmidt found out, it would have been difficult to protect you. He could go over my head, and the scandal might have ruined us before we could discreetly leave.”


About the Author:

Diane Parkinson (Diane Scott Lewis) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, joined the Navy at nineteen, married in Greece and raised two sons all over the world, including Puerto Rico and Guam. 

A member of the Historical Novel Society, she wrote book reviews for the Historical Novels Review. Diane worked from 2007 to 2010 as an on-line historical editor. Writing since the age of five, she had her debut novel published in 2010, a story that takes place during the French Revolution. She’s had several historical and historical-romance novels published between 2010 and 2021. 

Her newest novel, a WWII romantic suspense, released in May. A fan of graphic arts, she’s designed brochures and book covers. She also enjoys traveling and camping. Her extensive traveling inspired her love of history.
Diane lives with her husband and dachshund in western Pennsylvania.

For more on her books visit her blog: https://dianescottlewisauthor.blogspot.com/

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