ShortBookandScribes #BlogTour #Extract from Love at the Northern Lights by Darcie Boleyn @DarcieBoleyn @Canelo_co
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Love at the Northern Lights by Darcie Boleyn. I’m delighted to be able to share an extract with you today and would like to thank Ellie Pilcher from Canelo for the place on the tour.
‘Climbing out the window in her dress and tiara wasn’t exactly how Frankie imagined her wedding day…’
Runaway bride Frankie Ashford hops a plane to Norway with one goal in mind – find her estranged mother and make peace with the past. But when a slip on the ice in Oslo lands her directly in Jonas Thorsen’s viking-strong arms, her single-minded focus drifts away in the winter winds.
When it comes to romance Jonas knows that anything he and Frankie share has an expiration date – the British heiress has a life to return to in London that’s a world away from his own. But family is everything to Jonas and, as the one man who can help Frankie find the answers she’s seeking, he’ll do whatever it takes to help her reunite with her mother.
Now, as Christmas draws closer and the northern lights work their magic Frankie and Jonas will have to make a choice…play it safe or risk heartbreak to take a chance on love.
Links to Book:
Frankie surfaced from sleep like a diver returning from the seabed. She was so comfortable, it was as if she were floating on air and she was tempted to keep her eyes shut and drift off again. But her stomach let out a loud growl and she knew that she needed to eat.
She opened her eyes and reached over to the bedside table for her mobile phone and peered at the screen. It was 7:35 pm, which meant that it was 8:35 pm as Norway was an hour ahead of the UK. If she was quick, she might make dinner!
She flung back the covers then wandered over to the window. She pulled one of the curtains aside and winced. It was light. There was no way it would still be light at this time in the evening in Norway in November. That meant…
Frankie had slept through the previous afternoon and all of the night. She’d lost half a day. And yet, she felt so much better. Evidently the lavender bubbles, and removing the vice-like tiara, had relaxed her and she’d conked out, which she must have needed.
She’d been tempted to switch her mobile off because it had buzzed constantly as her grandmother tried repeatedly to contact her. In the end, Frankie had fired off a quick text to tell her grandmother that she was fine and would ring her soon, but to please allow her some space and time. The radio silence that had followed had made her think that perhaps Grandma had got the message. Or perhaps she was currently trying to contact one of her private investigator friends to get them to track down Frankie’s phone. Why she even wanted to contact Frankie after the showdown on Rolo’s driveway baffled her, but then Grandma was a control freak, so now she’d had some time to think about the situation and possibly cool down a bit, it was likely that she wanted Frankie back where she could keep an eye on her.
Her stomach growled again and she pressed a hand to it. Would she make it in time for breakfast? Only one way to find out.
Downstairs, Frankie found a table in the dining room and filled a plate from the breakfast buffet. Once she’d eaten, and drunk three cups of the deliciously bitter coffee, she was wide awake and ready for a day of exploring. Then she looked down at her outfit, the same one she’d worn to fly, and grimaced. She really needed a change of clothes, so she’d have to check out that little boutique next door.
Just as she left the dining room, her mobile buzzed in her bag. She paused, wondering if it was Grandma again, then shrugged. If it was, then it was. She pulled out her mobile and breathed a sigh of relief as she saw Jen’s name on the screen.
‘Hey, sweetie, how are you?’
‘Oh… hold on.’ Frankie pressed the lift button. ‘I’m OK, thanks.’
‘Where are you? Of course, if I see Helen, she’ll likely try to force me to tell her.’ She gave a nervous giggle. ‘But I swear I won’t give you up!’
‘I know you won’t and I’m sure you can keep it secret from her. I’m in Oslo.’
The silver doors opened and Frankie stepped into the empty lift, frowning at her reflection in the floor to ceiling mirrors.
‘Yes. But please, as I said, keep it to yourself.’
‘Oh, darling, I won’t tell anyone. I swear. You know you can trust me. I can keep a secret when I need to.’
‘How’d you end up there, though?’
‘Well, I went to the airport and knew I needed to get away and—’
‘Oh! You’ve gone to find your mother?’
Frankie heard the incredulity in Jen’s voice.
‘Uh… well, kind of, I guess. No, not really. Well… I went to Heathrow and when I was sitting in a cafe there, I found the postcard from Freya in my bag and it just made sense to see if I could find her. I mean, I’ve wondered about her for so long, and about why she left and…’
‘I understand, Frankie. I really do. But you could… get hurt.’
‘I know that. I also know that this could be a really bad idea but I have to try, Jen. It’s high time to find out once and for all.’
‘What about you and Rolo? Is that all over now?’
The lift doors opened and Frankie walked out onto her floor and headed to her room.
‘I don’t think it ever really began.’
‘Oh. Well… that’s good then. I mean, it’s really sad but I’m relieved you feel OK about it.’ Jen exhaled loudly then clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth; a sign Frankie knew meant that she was harbouring some doubts.
‘Frankie… I don’t know if I should say anything.’
‘Please do or I’ll be worried.’
‘Well, are you sure about Rolo?’
‘Yes. Sure as I can be.’
‘OK. Well, he’s gone on your honeymoon.’
‘He said he would do. He didn’t want to waste the money we spent on it.’
‘But, see… he didn’t go alone.’
Frankie dropped her keycard and fumbled to pick it up again, her long bridal nails making everything more difficult.
‘Did you hear me?’
‘I heard you.’
‘He went with… with Lorna.’
‘Oh.’ Frankie’s breakfast felt heavy in her belly. ‘With our Lorna?’
‘Yes. Are you all right? Gah! I shouldn’t have said anything, should I?’
Frankie managed to get the card into the slot and her door opened. As it closed behind her with a swoosh, she went to the bed and sat down.
‘Frankie? Are you there?’
‘I’m here, Jen.’ She rubbed her eyes with her free hand and tried to loosen her shoulders by rolling them backwards. Rolo had gone on their honeymoon with Lorna? That, she hadn’t been expecting. Lorna was her friend; she was going to be one of her bridesmaids, for goodness’ sake. ‘It’s just… this is all a bit surreal, to be honest.’
‘It’s fine, honestly. It’s even a good thing.’
‘Well, yes. At least this proves that I did the right thing. If he can replace me so quickly, then perhaps he really isn’t bothered at all.’ She recalled the cigarette stained with lipstick in the maze and the female voice she’d passed off as the wind. Had he been with Lorna then? Had this been going on for some time? How bloody awful!
‘I don’t know. I do think he cared about you. But Lorna… well, she’s a lot of fun and perhaps he just wanted some company.’
Frankie nodded. ‘She certainly is a lot of fun.’ And she must have been laughing at me! ‘I actually feel a bit better… knowing that he didn’t have to go alone.’ She lifted her chin and pushed her hair back from her face.
‘You’re not hurt or jealous?’
Frankie searched her feelings, wondering how she did feel after hearing the news, but nothing surfaced other than the twinge of disappointment that someone she’d seen as her friend – albeit not a close one – had happily stepped into her shoes. Had possibly already been wearing them.
‘Nope.’ She gave a small laugh. ‘I’m glad I know. It proves that Rolo wasn’t just a bad match for me but also a bad catch overall. Rather than taking the time to think, he’s hopped into bed with another woman. They’re welcome to each other.’
‘Thank goodness for that. Mind you, I don’t think it’s anything serious. Just after you left, Lorna made a point of comforting him and he invited her along. She told me he said he needed to get away and that some company would be nice if she fancied it.’
‘Well… good for them. Who knows though, perhaps they were already involved in some… capacity.’ She decided not to tell Jen about the cigarette with the lipstick and the voice in the maze. It was all too exhausting to think about, let alone continue to discuss, and she didn’t have concrete evidence that Rolo and Lorna had been involved already, even if there were clues that suggested they were seeing each other. ‘Uh, Jen?’
‘You… you packed some interesting things in my suitcase, didn’t you?’
‘It wasn’t just me. That was the girls too. They all bought something to put in there. I was only actually responsible for the lacy black teddy. The toys and whatnot, well, they were from the others, including Lorna, funnily enough. I did wonder what would happen if you were stopped at the airport.’
‘I wasn’t, thank goodness, but I found the items in the airport loos and… well, it’s a long story and one I’ll tell you when I see you.’
‘I’ll look forward to it. What’re you going to do now?’
‘I need to find some clothes, seeing as how I’m in Oslo in late November and I packed for the tropics, then I think I’ll have a wander around the city.’
‘When will you try to find your mother?’
‘When I’m ready. I need to pluck up the courage first.’
‘Stay in touch, won’t you? Just so I know you’re OK.’
They said their goodbyes then Frankie flopped back on the bed. She’d often wondered about her relationship with Jen, about how close they really were, but after speaking to her now, she was convinced that Jen did care. She’d heard the concern in her voice and Jen wanted her to know about Rolo, so she didn’t get hurt by hearing it from someone else or seeing it splashed all over Facebook. Frankie knew she’d have tried to do the same for Jen too, although she hoped that was something she’d never have to deal with.
Right, it was time for a quick shower then some shopping…
Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.