I’m incredibly excited about today’s Sunday Spotlight. Bree Cariad’s Courted by a Knight is in the spotlight today. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love her In Hyacinth series, but of all of the books in the series so far, this one is my unabashed favorite.
I consider myself fortunate to have gotten to read the books in this series as a beta reader back before they ever found their way into publication. I loved the concept right from the start, but before long I had become somewhat fixated on the idea that Hyacinth needed a character with a disability. What’s more, I really liked the idea of having an HOH with a physical disability. I have a disability myself and don’t often get to see characters that look like me, metaphorically at least, in stories. So, like many other determined readers have been doing with their favorite authors since time immortal, I decided I needed to “encourage” Bree to think about whether there was a place for a character like that in this world. Luckily, Bree liked the idea as well, and eventually, some books later, Curt appeared on the scene as Deeka’s knight in shining armor.
He thinks no woman would want a man in a wheelchair.
It’s up to Deeka to show him how wrong he is.
Deeka Williams is uncertain of her courting year. The list of single men in town who are looking for a wife does not give her a lot of hope. Until one of her father’s friends comes over for dinner. Intelligent, a gentleman, and sociable, Curtis Brenten catches her attention quickly, especially after he defends her against a bully. Unfortunately, he also seems to think that no woman would want a man in a wheelchair.
Between trying to convince Curtis that he is not his disability and fighting against the bully who delights in teasing her ruthlessly, she’s busy enough. But when she breaks a rule too many times by lashing out, she may have lost everything she has been trying to achieve. Have they built enough of a foundation to weather this storm or will the man she considers her knight walk away?
About the series “In Hyacinth” by Bree Cariad:
Hyacinth, Washington is all about old-fashioned values. In Hyacinth words like trust, honor, and kindness aren’t just buzzwords. Hyacinth is a community built on tradition and trust, where men are the head of the home and women are encouraged to follow their lead.
Each story in the series is of a young woman (18-20) and her struggle to figure out who she is in this little town while at the same time going through Hyacinth’s old-fashioned courting system. On their way to meet, get to know, and finally marry their princes, these heroines grow in ways they and their town never expected.
“Oh!” Cami said, her giggles stopping. “Chris, this is Deeka Williams. She’s one of our neighbors in Hins Creek. Deeka, this is Christopher Triton and his wife Stephanie. She and I have been friends forever.”
“And ever,” Stephanie added with a wide grin.
To the outsider that would probably sound like a strange thing to say, but both Stephanie and Chris smiled with understanding.
“Enjoying it so far?” Stephanie asked with interest.
“It’s only been a few days since I turned eighteen. But so far, so good.”
“Well, hopefully you find a great guy like Chris,” she said, leaning back against her husband.
“Or Jerod,” Camille pitched in.
“Or Xan or Gaelic,” Stephanie said and the two laughed.
Out of the corner of her eye, Deeka spotted movement and turning, a huge grin crossed her face. “Hi, Curtis.”
His wheelchair moved up to the spilled milk and he looked up and smiled back. “Deeka, it’s a pleasure to see you again.”
“I love your books,” she said quickly. “I’m already at Farfadet and am hooked.”
“Do you wish Avrahm or the leprechaun will win?” he teased, making her laugh. Realizing the other three were watching, she quickly made introductions.
“I recognize you from the inn,” Chris said, shaking his hand. “I own it.”
“Wonderful,” Curtis said. “My compliments to whomever is your chef. Last night’s Baked Camembert was worth it. Haven’t tasted food that good since I left France.”
“Now you’ve done it,” Stephanie grinned, looking at the pleased expression on her husband’s face. “You’ve totally made his day.”
“I’m the head chef,” Chris explained and Curtis nodded.
“Then I hope to sample many more French dishes from you. I miss them.”
Remembering that he had spent a year in Paris, Deeka made a mental note to ask him about the food later on.
Before they could continue, Wally Smyder walked up with a mop and a bucket. “’Scuse me,” he grunted, glaring at the spill. Deeka, Camille, and Stephanie stepped back but both Chris and Curtis watched him mop up, frowning.
“Excuse me,” Wally said a little louder when he moved to get a different angle and Curtis was in his way. He muttered something about cripples and Curtis’s lips tightened, but he backed his chair up. Anger bloomed in Deeka’s chest. How dare he treat Curtis that way!
“What did you call him?” she snapped, forgetting there was a rather large audience, something she normally would have shied away from.
Wally looked up at her. “Oh, Deeka, didn’t see you. Don’t step forward or you’ll drag milk all over the store. So what happened? Wheelchairman drop his milk?” he asked with a snicker.
“Why you—” Deeka would have stepped forward but Chris held out a hand to stop her just as Curtis spoke.
“It’s all right, Deeka. Young man, after you’re done cleaning up the milk, please go get your manager.”
“Why?” Wally asked in a mulish tone, gathering the last of the milk up and wiping the floor down.
“Because I said so.” The tone was unmistakable and everyone heard it. Camille, Stephanie, and Deeka reacted the same way. They became very still. Deeka’s father had taken on that tone many times. It clearly said one thing: I’m in charge, don’t mess with me. Chris smirked even as Wally gaped at Curtis for a moment before shrugging.
“Fine.” Giving the floor one last swipe with the mop which slapped Curtis’s feet as it went in front of his wheelchair, Wally turned and sauntered away, pushing the bucket in front of him.
Slowly Deeka turned her eyes to Curtis. “Are you all right?”
“I’m fine. Small-minded people abound, Deeka. Don’t give him another thought.” His eyes focused on what was in her arms. “Making more dessert?”
It took her a second to remember why she had come to the store in the first place. Beaming, she nodded. “Yep.”
“I look forward to sampling it,” he said, grinning back. Before they could continue, a tall, rounded older man walked up.
“Is there a problem?” he asked, looking from Chris to the others before he finally looked down at Curtis.
“Yes, there is. Is there a place we can talk privately?” Curtis asked calmly.
“Uh, sure. Follow me.” He turned and shuffled away with Curtis gliding quickly behind him.
“Okay, so he’s a good one,” Stephanie said, nodding her head. Turning, she winked at Deeka. “Definitely a winner.”
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About the Author
Bree enjoys good books with great characters. While she may be an adult, her favorite memories are from her teenage years reading inspirational romance with girls just like her and strong heroes. That’s one of the reasons she’s written In Hyacinth, a series of Courting Romances.
Courting Romance – where contemporary romance meets traditional values.
You can find her at:
Bree’s website/Blog – http://www.breecariad.com
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007424266037
Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/BreeCariad
Twitter – https://twitter.com/BreeCariad
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9238603.Bree_Cariad
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BreeCariad/