Hello, my friends! I'm very excited to welcome Suzan Lauder to the blog! She has a new book out; An Accomplished Woman. I have an excerpt for you, and there's a giveaway! Details are at the bottom of the page.
Hi, Candy! I’m pleased to be on your blog with An Accomplished Woman, my first traditional Regency romance. This excerpt is a conversation between Lord Vernon and Audra where they have not long ago had a rather smoldering verbal encounter related to meeting in the rain, which opened Audra’s eyes to her attraction. They haven’t seen each other since because she’s been stuck in bed in case she might have a cold.
As expected, Lord Vernon’s appearance prior to dinner brought forth its own sort of excitement since he was assisted down the stairs by a burly footman, then made his way to the drawing room with the aid of his walking stick. Others might make a fuss over his infirmity, but for Audra, his mere presence lit a fire deep within her. With a thunderstorm on his face, he requested a whisky. Was his request for liquor due to his pain or as a result of the precarious trip down the staircase? The glass reached his lips, and every nerve in her body became aflame. Those lips were too much for her. Still, she should not allow herself to be overcome in such a manner; she must be proper in these situations. Audra could approach him; the gesture was polite given their experience a few days before.
His eyes set upon her before she could take one step his way, making her hesitate. Her throat constricted even as everything within her chest crawled up towards the back of her tongue. Was that dark look foreboding or something else? It revived that quivering in her low belly and the scorching of her cheeks. But she was no milksop and would not shy away just because his looks unnerved her a little. She marched right over to him. “I am glad to see you are well enough to join us for dinner, my lord.”
One brow lifted. The result was exceedingly charming—that is, if the trembling of her body was any indication. “I am also pleased to know you are well, Miss Hales, since you escaped the grippe.”
“Tell me, how is your knee?”
He gazed at the trousered joint in question and patted it with his walking stick. “It pains me most when I put my weight upon it, but otherwise, it is barely noticeable.”
That was apt to be a story created to make her feel better, but she would take it. A bit of encouragement could not hurt, so she smiled. “I am glad to hear it. I must thank you again for your assistance. I would in all probability be ill had you not intervened.”
He looked towards the floor and his hair drooped over his face, but his head had drawn closer to hers. “It was nothing I would not do again at any time,” he said in the softest of tones, “for you.”
Her breathing somehow became more difficult, and her skin tingled from head to toe. “I hope you would not risk life and limb every day for me, my lord, but it is one of the best things anyone has ever done for me just the same.”
“But I would. Every day,” he said, his voice breathless.
“Vernon, how wonderful to see you out of your rooms!” Others had approached and neither she nor Lord Vernon had noticed. Lord Garner glanced between them. “What is the big secret?”
Lord Vernon’s head snapped up. His eyes were shuttered. “I was assuring Miss Hales that assisting her the other day was of no bother. It is rather noisy in this room.”
Lord Garner feigned kicking his brother in the leg. “How is the old leg, eh?”
The ill breeding of this man! “Oh, pray, do not joke about such a thing!”
Her Grace huffed. “My children seem to thrive on competition in the form of teasing. It cannot be helped. Of course, with the boys, it is worse.”
“Miss Hales has only sisters,” said Cecilia, “and is therefore more delicate about foolish trifling.”
yoga, fitness, home renovation, design, sustainability, and independent travel, cat mom Suzan Lauder keeps busy even when she’s not writing novels based on Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, all of which are published by Meryton Press.