This anthology has a little something for every romance fan. Love #HistoricalRomance? We think you’ll enjoy Meredith Bond’s Under the Mango Tree. It’s a sweet story that bridges two very different cultures, and explores what happens when a curious Indian girl meets a handsome Englishman…
Lakshmi is a good 18th century Indian girl who should not be avoiding her chores and enjoying a mango while hidden amongst the high branches of the mango tree in her mother’s garden. She truly should not be seen by a man who is not a member of her family—an Englishman, no less. And she absolutely should not even contemplate speaking with this man. But Lakshmi has never been one to follow the rules. This time, though, it could ruin—or make—the rest of her life.
Excerpt from Under the Mango Tree
Calcutta, India 1785
The tart juice from the not–quite ripe mango dripped down Lakshmi’s arm. This was her favorite way to eat a mango—up in the mango tree, perched on a branch, the fruit just plucked. She’d torn the skin open with her teeth, peeling it back to reveal the succulent golden–orange fruit.
Of course, her mother preferred her to eat the fruit after it had fully ripened. She should sit properly like a young lady in a pretty silk sari, daintily picking up the pieces with just the tips of her fingers. If her mother even caught her wearing this ratty old cotton sari she would be soundly scolded. If she were found up in the tree, she might just feel the end of a switch against her backside.
It was a risk worth taking, she thought. She licked up her arm to catch every drop of the delicious juice.
“What a lovely garden!” The voice nearly startled Lakshmi into falling from the tree. She caught herself, grabbing hold of the trunk.
“Thank you. It makes my mother proud.” The heavily accented English of her twin brother drifted up to her. “Do you have a garden?”
“There is one here at the house where I’m staying, although I haven’t had much of a chance to spend time in it,” the man said. His English was impeccable, but Lakshmi had never heard his voice before. Who was he?
“And, of course,” he continued, “at my estate in England there is an extensive garden. My mother also loves gardens. In the summer time hers is filled with roses and all sorts of pretty flowers, most of which I’m afraid I cannot even begin to name.”
An Englishman? Lakshmi grasped the tree trunk even harder, trying to peer through the leaves.
“I do not know the names of many of the flowers here either,” her brother laughed. “But they are pretty.”
She carefully placed the mango seed in the joint of the branch above her so that she would have both of her hands free, then shifted as quietly as possible. Who was this her brother was speaking with? She’d never even known that her brother knew any Englishmen.
“Where do you stay? Your estate?” her brother asked.
“It’s in Berkshire,” the man answered. “It’s about three hours’ ride from London.”
“Ah,” her brother said, as if he knew exactly where Berkshire was. Lakshmi nearly laughed at what a liar he was. She had studied the map of England and so knew that Berkshire lay to the west of London—but her brother had fudged his way through that geography lesson.
Meredith Bond is an award-winning author of a series of traditionally published Regency romances and indie-published historical paranormal romances. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart”, Meredith’s romance novels include her new Medieval Fantasy series, the Children of Avalon, her Regency-set paranormal romances in the Storm series and traditional Regencies (without magic) in The Merry Men Quartet originally published with Kensington Publishers, of which three have been re-released and the last one will be coming out early in 2015. Meredith also teaches writing and publishing at her local community college. If you want a taste of her class in book form, Chapter One is available at your favorite e-retailer.
Connect with Meredith
Praise for Meredith
“Ms. Bond has proven to be a talented writer with a dab hand at creating interesting situations and lively dialogue.” — Romance Reviews Today
“Loved this [A Dandy in Disguise] book from beginning to end and found in it everything that I love about the Regency genre.” — Sarah K. Holmesley
Air: Merlin’s Chalice (Medieval Fantasy Romance):
“Meredith Bond creates a delicious twist on the Arthurian legends with Air: Merlin’s Chalice, first in her New Adult trilogy.” — Best selling author, Mary Jo Putney
“Air by Meredith Bond is not only fast-paced, action-packed and magical, it’s also as addictive as the air that you breathe.” — Joyce Lamb, curator of USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog.
The Merry Marquis:
Winner of the Beau Monde’s Royal Ascot Award.
Winner of the New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Award for best Regency .
Buy the Love Least Expected Anthology
Under the Mango Tree is part of the Love Least Expected anthology, available to buy in e-book or paperback formats. Grab your copy from the following stores: