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It’s First Kiss Friday and it’s my pleasure to welcome back my friend and fellow Bluestocking Belle, Jude Knight. Jude is sharing an excerpt from her novella in our box set Never Too Late. The first kiss in Forged in Fire comes nearly at the end of the novella. Sorry for the spoiler. But then you knew they had a happy ending, didn’t you? Happy reading!


He tucked Lottie’s hand into his arm and began to stroll again.

“I cannot go off to the other side of the world, Lottie. I’d be leaving my heart behind.”

“You love New Zealand so much?”

“I love you.”

He let Lottie stop him again, but would not release the hand she tried to pull from his grasp. Tears stood in her eyes and she was shaking her head. He could barely stand at the blow, but she was asking a question and he made himself listen through the howling of his thoughts.

“How can you? You barely know me.”

“I know you. I have seen you under fire, and if ever a person is true to themselves, it is when they face death. I have seen your dignity and your courage, Lottie. I have fallen in love with your intelligence, your kindness, and your strength. If it is too soon, will you at least give me hope? Will you let me woo you?”

The tears were spilling over now, running ignored down her cheeks, but her eyes glowed as she smiled. “Perhaps that would be best. For a short time. Just to be sure that the love we have found is true, and not a chimera of the night.”

“You love me?” Now it was hope that roared, bubbling up to fill him.

“I think I do. I believe I do.”

Tad pulled Lottie into his arms. “Then a wooing it shall be, dear heart. For a short time.” She lifted her lips for a kiss, and he began his wooing.


Forged in Fire is a novella in Never Too Late,
the 2017 box set of the Bluestocking Belles.

Eight authors and eight different takes on four dramatic elements selected by our readers—an older heroine, a wise man, a Bible, and a compromising situation that isn’t.

Set in a variety of locations around the world over eight centuries, welcome to the romance of the Bluestocking Belles’ 2017 Holiday and More Anthology.

It’s Never Too Late to find love.
25% of proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.

1181 ~ The Piper’s Lady by Sherry Ewing

True love binds them. Deceit divides them. Will they choose love?

1354 ~ Her Wounded Heart by Nicole Zoltack

A solitary widow, a landless knight, and a crumbling castle.

1645 ~ A Year Without Christmas by Jessica Cale

An earl and his housekeeper face their feelings for one another in the midst of the English Civil War.

1795 ~ The Night of the Feast by Elizabeth Ellen Carter

One night to risk it all in the midst of the French Revolution.

1814 ~ The Umbrella Chronicles: George & Dorothea’s Story by Amy Quinton

The Umbrella Strikes Again: St. Vincent’s downfall (aka betrothal) is assured.

1814 ~ A Malicious Rumor by Susana Ellis

A harmonious duo is better than two lonely solos for a violinist and a lady gardener.

1886 ~ Forged in Fire by Jude Knight

Forged in volcanic fire, their love will create them anew.

1916 ~ Roses in Picardy by Caroline Warfield

In the darkness of war, hope flickers. In the gardens of Picardy, love catches fire.

Buy Links:

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Jude Knight’s writing goal is to transport readers to another time, another place, where they can enjoy adventure and romance, thrill to trials and challenges, uncover secrets and solve mysteries, delight in a happy ending, and return from their virtual holiday refreshed and ready for anything. She writes historical novels, novellas, and short stories, mostly set in the early 19th Century. She writes strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, villains you’ll love to loathe, and all with a leavening of humour.