Posts Tagged ‘historical’

The first meeting

Friday, September 7th, 2012

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. . .

How to Capture a CountessThat was it; he was leaving. He’d leave the carriage for his grandmother and order a hackney to take him home.

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?”

“Well, no.”

“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)

 

Buy from Books a MillionBuy from Barnes & NobleBuy from Amazon.com

Excerpt: How to Treat a Lady

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

How to Treat a Lady“Don’t you think a kiss would be a perfectly lovely way to awaken a man? Just one touch of your lips to his and—“

“Sophia!” Ophelia cast a sharp glance at Harriet. “That’s enough.”

Sophia gave Ophelia a smug smile. “You’re just upset because you didn’t get to kiss him.”

Ophelia stiffened, her glasses sliding a notch down on her nose. “I would have if you hadn’t thrown yourself over him and practically smothered him until he coughed and –“

“He coughed?” Harriet asked, looking at Sophia. “I thought you coughed.”

Sophia tossed her hair. “He coughed a little. But I did not smother him. I mean . . . I suppose I might have leaned my elbow into his ribs a little. But only a little!”

Harriet closed her eyes. “You are both going to drive me mad. Go to the barn and help Jem.”

Reluctantly, the two left the room, defending themselves as they went. Harriet waited for them to leave, then she closed the door.

Stifling a sigh, she approached the bed and looked down at the patient. He seemed sound asleep, no movement on his face, his breath even and deep. “Sophia’s being melodramatic.” Harriet took the cloth she’d dipped in the water and sat on the edge of the bed.

If he’d been handsome before, he was dangerously handsome now that he’d been cleaned up a bit. She frowned again. Was he really asleep? She tilted her head to one side, leaned over and peered closely at him, her nose only an inch from his.

Nothing happened. She breathed a little harder, letting her breath fan over his mouth. Again, nothing happened. His breathing never altered, his lashes didn’t tremble, nothing.

Oh, for heaven’s sake, what am I doing?” If he was awake, he would open his eyes, ask for something to eat, want to know where his horse was—something other than lie there dead to the world.

Relaxing a bit, Harriet straightened, though she found herself smoothing back the man’s hair. Thick and soft to the touch, the black waves slid through her fingers. He remained deeply asleep, his lashes on the crest of his cheeks, his lips slightly parted . . .

Harriet looked at his mouth. Heaven had never made such a perfect pair of lips. Never.

Sophia had kissed those lips. Harriet wondered for just the barest moment what it had been like. Heaven knew she hadn’t ever kissed such a beautiful man. She supposed she never would.

Harriet’s heart lowered. It was a pity there was no real Captain John Frakenham. If there had been, she’d want him to look just like this man, with his dark hair and blue eyes . . She sighed, admonishing herself for her silliness.

Still, somehow her fingers found their way through the man’s hair, and then traced the line of his brow to his cheek. His skin was warm beneath her fingertips, his skin shadowed by a day’s growth of facial hair.

If this really were the captain, she could kiss him with impunity. Kiss him because he was a man and because he was hers. The idea made her tingle, and, without another thought, she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his.

For an instant, a warm shiver shot through her, raising the fine hair on her arms and tightening her chest. It was as if she’d stepped through a blast of hot air, her body absorbing the warmth.

Then something happened. The heat intensified. Harriet opened her eyes and found she was right. She had indeed stepped into a blast of heat—one that emanated from his blue, blue eyes. The man was no longer asleep.

Just as in the story, Prince Charming had awakened with a kiss.