Friday, April 22, 2016


Today, in Meet a Character Friday, I'm proud to present Tony Matthews, the handsome rake from An Honorable Wish, book two from the A Lady's Wish series by author Eileen Richards. Tony Matthews spends his time in London’s most notorious gambling dens, frittering away his fortune. But when his latest victory leaves a man ruined, Tony knows he’s reached his lowest point. Determined to make amends, he returns home to his family’s country estate with plans to settle down and marry at last. And he hopes the lovely Juliet Townsend will help him—if only he can keep his disgrace a secret.
Juliet’s secret wish has always been for Tony to love her. The only bright spot in her dreadful London season was dancing with him—before he disappeared to the card rooms. Now, he’s returned, but has he truly changed? Or will gambling always be his mistress, even if she becomes his wife? And does Juliet dare risk her heart by finding out?
Oh, my! Will these two have a future together, especially when another suitor reveals Tony's gambling past to Julie?

Tony is affable, charming, and handsome (those eyes!). He's also addicted to gaming and realizes it when he decides to come home to the Lake District to correct his mistakes.

He had an uncontrollable urge to punch something. Hard. His hands fisted.
“Well done, Matthews,” Bartleby said as he leaned against a tree, near enough to have witnessed the entire scene.
“Have you removed your belongings from Horneswood?”
“Of course,” Bartleby said with a sneer. “You had the housekeeper watch while I packed. I’m on my way to the village inn for the night.”
Good riddance. Tony was glad to see the back of Bartleby. Tony started for the Lodge.
“I want the chance to win Horneswood back,” Bartleby shouted.
Tony stopped and turned. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“Horneswood. It was in my family until my father lost it in a bet. Ironic, isn’t it?”
Tony hesitated but said nothing, waiting. There was always more to the deal, especially with desperate men. Bartleby’s tone had that note of desperation to it.
“The estate should have gone to me when my mother died. I want the chance to win it back.”
Tony was out of his mind for even considering it, but the urge to ruin this man who had ruined his chance of happiness was stronger than anything he’d felt before. He could stop Bartleby. Exact a revenge from which he would never recover. Temptation raged in him.
“If I win?” Tony was almost surprised when the words fell out of his mouth. He needed this game. He needed to quash Bartleby like the insect he was. Tony fought the urge to rub his hands together in glee. He could end this now. Leave Bartleby destitute, crawling back to his family with nothing. “What do you have that I want?”
Blunt Bartleby probably had skimmed off the estate for the last few years he’d been in Beetham. Tony thought about what Bartleby had done to the Williams family and the other tenants on the estate. He thought of Jules and what she’d want. If he won, beat Bartleby, it would avenge everything the man had done. Temptation reeled him in like a fat fish on a hook.
Except Tony wasn’t that man any longer. “No.”
Tony walked away, leaving Bartleby sputtering in rage.
“I’ll ruin you in this village, Matthews,” Bartleby shouted after him. “I have connections that will ensure you can never show yourself in Town. I’ll ruin your brother. He’ll not be able to do business in England.”
Tony turned toward Bartleby in a red haze of anger. He reared back and punched Bartleby, knocking him on his ass. “I don’t give a damn what you do to me, but if I hear that you speak one lie about my family, I will have you thrown in jail for attempted murder.”
Bartleby stood and picked up his hat, knocking the dirt from it. “I have done nothing wrong.”
Tony laughed harshly. “Don’t be too certain.”

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Author's Biography:
Eileen Richards has been writing for most of her life. Poetry, totally inappropriate answers to essay questions in school, and interesting error codes during her 30 year IT career has prepared her for the manic world of publishing.
She writes sassy regency romps set in the small villages of England where the rules are bent a bit and gossip rules the day.
Eileen resides with her husband and their diva of a greyhound in North Carolina.

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