Friday, November 20, 2015

Matronly Duties By Melissa Kendall ~ SPOTLIGHT

 Matronly Duties
By Melissa Kendall

EBook available from: Amazon and ITunes

Hundreds of years after an asteroid slammed into Earth and sent it into a new ice age, what remains of the human race lives on in underground sanctuaries. Now, as the bicentennial anniversary of the impact approaches, a
new leader prepares to take her place at the head of the government. At least, thats what she thinks.

Bethanie Greenes life has been planned out for her since the age of thirteen. Beautiful and intelligent, shes spent the last twelve years training to become the next Matron of the underground nation of Oceania. But when Bethanie is kidnapped by rogue extremists just six weeks shy of taking
office, her world is turned upside down by the handsome stranger who rescues her.

Howard Jameslife has been the polar opposite of Bethanies. Struggling to survive in a world where those in power wished he didnt exist, he harbors a deep-seated resentment of the government and all its representatives.
Together with his unconventional family, he shows Bethanie a life she never knew was possible, while at the same time, opening her eyes to the injustices
of the government she is meant to lead. But can she trust a stranger? And can a few days change everything she believes and desires? Against all odds, Bethanie must decide if her heart and her duties can coexist.

Genre:  FICTION / Romance / General / Science Fiction


My body shakes at the thought of what could have happened to me yet again. Ive heard
stories about the slums, and I have to take a few deep breaths to calm myself.

I was silly running away, I get it. I just couldnt stay in your home any longer.

Howard sighs. “Just because my parents raised us with traditionalist values doesnt mean we
are anything like the Trads. You accused us of being a drain on society, but you dont even know us.

“Youre right, I dont. But you dont know me either. If you did, you would understand why its hard for me to understand your way of life. It goes against every law, moral, and
convention Ive been taught. So I cant be sorry for what I said, even if Im sorry I ran out of the house.

Howard takes a deep breath, then exhales long and slow. The expression on his face looks a bit like pity but with a dash of guilt mixed in.
Look, maybe Ive judged you unfairly based on preconceived notions, but—”

A loud bang echoes outside. Howard glances at me with a panicked look on his face, and then pulls me off the crate onto the floor behind. I sit up, and turn to yell at him, but male voices outside keep my mouth closed. I instead huddle closer to Howard as he puts his hand around my shoulders. He pulls me in until Im tucked against him.

Did you see where she went?” a mans voice asks.

Nah, she just vanished.The voice of this one sounds young.

Damn, the boss isnt going to be pleased about this.

The crunch of shoes against pavement indicates they are on the move again. The sounds trail off until theyre no longer audible. I sigh in relief, all the tension fleeing my body.

“Are you okay?Howard asks, rubbing my shoulder.

I glance up, only then noticing how little space is between us.
His blue eyes have flecks of grey in them, and theres a smattering of freckles covering his nose and cheeks. His warm breath tickles my cheek almost like a caress, and his jaw has the barest hint of a five oclock shadow. He really is captivating.
“Im fine,I eventually say, the words a mere whisper.

The butterflies in my stomach return with a vengeance. Howard licks his lips as they turn up ever so slightly in a smile.

I cant stop the sigh that slips past my own lips. Howard leans forward a little, then moves
closer still until his mouth is pressed against mine. I dont dare move.
A zing of something, Im not sure whether its pleasure or fear, shoots through me. His lips are soft and wet, and the sensation is unlike anything Ive felt before. I cant even decide if I want him to continue or stop. When he pulls away though, a feeling of disappointment bubbles up inside me.
My first kiss.

Goosebumps cover me from head to toe, and unbidden, my fingers move to my lips. Glancing at Howard, he stares at me for a minute, then moves to sit further away.

“Im sorry. I shouldnt have done that.
I shrug. “Its okay.”
Howard frowns and then looks across the room.

Part of Matron training is learning not to form close relationships. It doesnt mean it
never happens. Ive heard the odd story here and there from the other women, and I realise thats probably what Gail was trying to tell me at breakfast the other day. But in all honesty,
I cant remember the last time I had real physical contact with anyone, above all with a man.

We sit in uncomfortable silence for a few minutes. Tension rolls off Howard in waves.
Whats wrong?

Come on,Howard whispers. We need to get to the house before those guys come back.



Melissa Kendall is an almost forty-year-old mother of two from Perth, Western Australia, the second-most isolated capital city in the world. Predominantly a stay-at-home mum, she works a few hours a week as a software support consultant. She has always loved to read and write, and spent most of her teens writing poetry and short stories. Over the years, daily life got in the way and she lost the passion for it, but after the birth of her first child, Melissa discovered e-books and her interest in writing rekindled. She is now the author of two published short stories. Matronly Duties is her first full-length novel.


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