I’m thrilled to have new author Kate Charlton on my blog today with her book, Her Convict Constable.
She’s survived the mean streets of Manchester and slavery in a mill. Can she survive a brutal penal colony?
Convict Tilly Marsden has to serve four years as an unpaid maid in Australia before she can get the prized Ticket of Leave.
With freedom only two months away, Tilly agrees to turn a friend’s shirt into a dress. When she discovers it was stolen, she throws it in the river.
Watching her is Joel Agnew, a convict working as an unpaid police constable. Sensing Tilly deserves a break, he dishes out some old-fashioned discipline. They both think that’s the end of the matter.
Then a body is discovered and Tilly finds herself in danger. Can Joel help her before it’s too late?
Publisher's Note: Her Convict Constable is a sweet romance with a bit of mystery and old-fashioned Victorian discipline.
Buy link: Amazon
Joel was heartily sick of ‘John Bull and Bonaparte’ by the time they reached the stocks outside the Police Office. Only when the old man realised what was about to happen did he become aggressive. He tried to push Joel away, but Joel grabbed him more firmly and shoved his arms into the stocks. He slammed the wood down, clicking the metal lock into place.
“I’ve done nothing wrong,” the man protested. “I had a nice drink or two with my friends. No reason to lock me in here.”
“There’s a law against being drunk and disorderly in the street,” Joel told him. “That’s why you’re in the stocks.”
“I’m a free settler here, I’ll have you know! I’m not an emancipist!” His face twisted into a sneer on the word ‘emancipist’. “I’m no common criminal, but you are, I’ll be bound! You’re one of the damned convicts they’ve brought in as constables!” He spat on the ground.
“Have a good night, sir.” Joel walked away, grinning.
“Oi!” the man shouted. “You can’t just leave me here!”
“See you in the morning,” Joel called back.
“In the morning?” the man bellowed. “You let me out now! Right now, do you hear! My son’s expecting me home.”
Joel chuckled as he walked back along Macquarie Street and out of earshot of the man’s continued protests. No doubt his son would be glad not to have his sleep interrupted by that caterwauling. It was almost time that he, Joel, called it a day too. But first, he had a fine to collect from a man who hadn’t been at his house near the wharf when Joel had called round earlier. He’d surely be home now that the pubs had closed for the night. After that Joel would get some sleep. Tomorrow he had another full day ahead, trying to find out what had happened to that wretched shirt as well as all his usual duties.
As he turned towards the wharf, he noticed a young woman a few feet ahead of him, also headed in the direction of the river. She carried a candle and he could just make out the shift and boots that marked her as a servant. She wore a bonnet, and her fair hair hung loose about her shoulders. If she was walking around at this time of night, then she was up to no good. No servant was sent out on errands this late, on their own after dark.
The road she took led directly to the river, and not past any public houses or brothels. He followed her carefully, trying not to make a sound. When they reached the wharf, he ducked behind a tree and watched her walk right up to the river.
She placed her candle on the ground, looked around furtively and lifted up her shift. He caught a glimpse of her small waist and plump bottom and his cock hardened.
It was so long since he’d been with a woman. Not since his footman days. Once he’d got his Ticket of Leave, he’d make up for that. He’d find a fine woman and marry her. Together they could build a wonderful life here. Perhaps she too, whether free settler or ex-convict, would want to return to England. Maybe they’d have children. He’d never keep his hands off her if she had a gorgeous bum like this woman on the wharf.
Right now, though, that bum needed smacking, not fondling. He saw her untie something around her waist, a shirt by the look of it. Again, she glanced furtively around her. Joel stayed close to the tree.
She shook down her shift and threw the shirt in the river.
Kate Charlton loves romance, history, mystery and the occasional dose of old-fashioned discipline. She combines all four in her books.