A Splendid Defiance | Thrilling English Civil War Historical Fiction by Stella Riley

What a pleasure to welcome a fellow 17th-Century historical fiction author to the blog. I think you’ll enjoy this great excerpt!
A Splendid Defiance
Stella Riley
Audiobook performed by Alex Wyndham
For two years England has been in the grip of Civil War. In Banbury, Oxfordshire, the Cavaliers hold the Castle, the Roundheads want it back and the town is full of zealous Puritans.
Consequently, the gulf between Captain Justin Ambrose and Abigail Radford, the sister of a fanatically religious shopkeeper, ought to be unbridgeable.
The key to both the fate of the Castle and that of Justin and Abigail lies in defiance.  But will it be enough?
A Splendid Defiance is a dramatic and enchanting story of forbidden love, set against the turmoil and anguish of the English Civil War.
Universal Buy Link:  https://books2read.com/u/bPzVNd
Chapter 2: Bargaining with the enemy

Jonas did not know if he was irritated or relieved to hear that Captain Ambrose awaited him in the shop. He loathed the garrison but a review of the last quarter’s figures had revealed a far from satisfactory state of affairs which meant he needed the Captain’s business. This, however, did not make him any less uncivil than usual and he said, ‘I begin to find your persistence annoying.’
‘I’m sure,’ agreed Justin. ‘But the remedy is in your own hands. And you won’t be the first to sacrifice your principles in exchange for hard cash.’
Jonas’s gaze sharpened.
‘Is that how you would pay? No promissory notes?’
‘No. We have the money. What we don’t have is endless time to discuss the matter. If the men are to have decent coats this winter, we need the cloth – and sooner rather than later. If you won’t supply it, I’ll apply to Oxford. Your choice … but if you can’t make it, then I must. Well?’
Jonas stared at the worldly elegance before him and longed for the satisfaction of refusing. Bitter rage burned in his breast and his frustration channelled itself into hatred for the man in front of him.
‘Very well. Broadcloth or worsted?’
The Captain expressed a preference for broadcloth. Jonas named his price and the Captain laughed.
‘Oh no, Mr. Radford. I realise that the damage done to your finer feelings will require compensation – but I’m not willing to be robbed. Try again.’
‘Robbed?’ echoed Jonas. ‘Do you think I can’t guess where you get the ‘hard cash’ you boast of?’
‘On the contrary, I’m very sure that you can. But I am equally sure that you will find our transaction less painful if you avoid thinking of it.’
Jonas’s answer was a diatribe against Cavalier lawlessness and vice. Captain Ambrose waited until he paused for breath and then said, ‘This is war, Mr. Radford. The Parliament attacks our convoys and we theirs. It is unfortunate but necessary. I doubt any of us takes any pleasure in it.’
‘Pleasure is all your kind ever think about!’ spat Jonas. ‘But God sees all and is not deceived. And you might remember that, if war makes thieves –’
‘Peace hangs them. Quite.’ Bored grey eyes met smouldering black ones. ‘But I’m not here to justify either myself or my cause – and I don’t have all day to waste while you preach. Fifteen shillings the yard and not a farthing more.’
Winner of four gold medals for historical romance and sixteen Book Readers’ Appreciation Medallions, Stella Riley lives in the beautiful medieval town of Sandwich in Kent.
She is fascinated by the English Civil Wars and has written six books set in that period. These, like the 7 book Rockliffe series, the Brandon Brothers trilogy and, most recently The Shadow Earl, are all available in audio, performed by Alex Wyndham.
Stella enjoys travel, reading, theatre, Baroque music and playing the harpsichord.  She also has a fondness for men with long hair – hence her 17th and 18th century heroes.
Author Links:
Website: https://stellarileybooks.co.uk
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Book Bub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/stella-riley
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stella-Riley/e/B0034PB7UU/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40487661-a-splendid-defiance