Welcome back to Sweet Saturday Sample! All excerpts here are rated PG-13 or milder. Here’s another post from my new WIP, my medieval trilogy Time Enough To Love. Part 1 is called Betrothal. The series is set in England and France in 1348. Betrothal takes place at the court of King Edward III.
Lady Alyse de Courcy is a waiting gentlewoman to Princess Joanna, youngest daughter of King Edward. After receiving the news that the new courtier, Sir Geoffrey Longford, is her betrothed, a dazed Alyse is less than happy with her arranged marriage. Next morning, Geoffrey arranges to meet his betrothed at breakfast to explain his “plan” for them.
“Do I distress you this morning, Lady Alyse?”
“No more so than you did last night, my lord.”
“And did I distress you then?”
“Aye, my lord, you did. I think I made that quite clear at the time.”
“So I am again distressing you, my lady?”
“Aye, my lord.”
Alyse blinked. “How?”
Geoffrey squared his wide shoulders, and looked at her expectantly. “Aye, lady. How have I distressed you? I greeted you in a courteous manner. I have attended you most eagerly. I have held gentle conversation with you. So I would know which of these acts distressed you?”
Bewildered, she shrugged. “All of them, my lord.”
He frowned, and shook his head. “I have acted as a gallant courtier and it distresses you?”
She could think of no other way to explain it. “’Tis not your actions, my lord, that disturb me, but that you are a stranger to me.”
“But Alyse, how else can you come to know me? If we do not meet? If we do not talk? I have sought you out this morning to tell you I have solved the task you set me last night.” At her puzzled expression he reminded her, “You asked me to make time stand still. Though I regret I cannot do that exact thing, I believe I have found a way to accomplish the same ends. Which is for you to know me better, is that not true?”
Alyse thought a moment. In truth, she had asked for time to know the man she must marry. She nodded for him to continue.
“So, my lady, I propose that we meet as often as we can, every day, to talk and pass time together. By the end of the fortnight, I believe you will know me well enough to look forward to our nuptials as eagerly as I.” His face exuded kindness; his voice gentleness and warmth.
Alyse froze, as though ice had just covered her. Whatever she said to him last night, this was not the expected result. She tried to remember what she had asked of him, but thought of the next fortnight spent constantly in his company befuddled her.
Thus begins Chapter 4. What do you think? I have a tentative release date for Betrothal of late-October, with the other two books to come in November and December. I can’t wait to share more of this story with you.
I hope you enjoyed this latest sample from Time Enough to Love. Stop by SSS tomorrow for six sentences from 7 Days of Seduction. And today be sure to click here to visit more Sweet Samples.