Do you remember the first time you met someone special in your life? Did you sense something special from that first moment or was it a memorable event that still makes you smile when you think about it? Here is an excerpt from the upcoming How To Capture a Countess (available September 18!!!) and the first real meeting between Lord Sinclair and Rose Balfour. . .
Jaw tight, Sin turned and almost tripped over a slight bit of a girl who’d apparently been hovering at his elbow. For a nerve-wracking moment, he juggled his precious glass of whiskey.
As the glass settled back into his hands, he scowled at the chit who dared impede his departure. Slight of statue, unusually tanned, with a smattering of freckles across a snub nose in a small face framed by wildly curling black hair barely held in place by a profusion of ribbons. Worse, she wore a dowdy white gown that was far too large for her, the style and coloring doing little to enhance her sallow skin and too-slender figure.
“H-How do you do?” She offered a hurried curtsy with a desperate smile.
He tamped down the desire to curtly wish her to the devil. “Pardon me,” he said in an icy tone and started to walk around her.
“Oh, do wait!” Her hand gripped his arm.
A jolt of heat raced through him.
Sin stopped dead in his tracks and looked down at her gloved hand. He’d felt that zap of attraction through three layers of material as surely as if she’d brushed his bare skin with her fingertips.
He found himself looking directly into her eyes. Pale blue and surrounded by thick black lashes, they showed the same shock that he felt.
Her gaze moved from his face to her hand and back. “I’m sorry. I didn’t expect – “ She shook her head, color flooding her skin, tinting the brown an exquisitely dusky rose.
Are her nipples that same dusky color? It was a shocking thought, but plain and loud, as if he’d said it aloud.
She jerked back her hand as if it burned. “I didn’t mean—I’m sorry, but I—“ She gulped as if miserable.
His irritation returned. “I’m sorry, but do I know you?”
She looked crestfallen. “I saw you at the Countess of Dunford’s luncheon only a week ago.”
“Did we speak?”
“I don’t remember.” He’d been far too in his cups to remember much of that day at all, anyway.
“We also met a week and a day ago at the Melton House Party.”
He’d spent most of that evening in the library with the men, planning a hunting party for the next day. “I’m sorry, but I don’t—“
“The Faquhars’ soiree?”
He shook his head.
“The MacEnnis Ball? The Earl of Strahtham’s dinner party?”
He shook his head at each.
She looked crestfallen, which set off an unusual flash of remorse followed by annoyance. Bloody hell, he couldn’t remember every chit who spoke to him, much less feel sorry for them all.
But then, none of them had ever caused such a reaction by merely touching my sleeve.
A footman came by and his companion captured a glass of champagne from the man’s tray. To Sin’s surprise, she took a deep breath and tossed it back, swallowing it in several fast gulps.
She caught his surprised gaze, and flushed. “I know. That’s unladylike, but—“ She scrunched her nose and regarded her glass with disgust. “It’s so horrid I didn’t wish to taste it.”
He had to laugh and all of his irritation disappeared. Who is this girl? He sipped his whiskey and regarded her over the edge of his glass. “So you like champagne then?” Good champagne, that is?”
“Yes, but there’s not a drop of good champagne to be had, so . . .” Without the slightest hint of embarrassment, she eyed an approaching footman and, with a slight move to her left, managed to replace her glass as he passed by and grab another, which she disposed of as neatly as the first. “At least it’s cold,” she said in a pragmatic tone.
Sin burst out laughing. She looked so incongruous, this innocent-looking chit, with her freckled nose and black curls and wide blue eyes, snapping back flutes of champagne with a calm disdain for society’s concept of propriety. Sin didn’t know when he’d been so charmed.
Do you have a great first meeting story? A memorable conversation or a “meet-cute” as they say in screenwriting? I want to hear it! One story will be chosen at random to win free books and some other goodies tossed in! (drawing ends September 14 and is open to US and Canadian residents)