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 and I’m so excited! I still have a tentative release date of late-October, and I will keep you informed.
The series is set in England and France in 1348. Betrothal takes place at the court of King Edward III.
This excerpt is UNEDITED. Please be kind.
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. I’m skipping ahead to the following night, at dinner, Geoffrey has drawn Alyse over to his table, hoping to talk to her in private. He is met, however, with his group of friends, led by Thomas who think to make sport of the couple. Thomas makes the suggestion (in jest) that Alyse should know him before she is wed. Geoffrey, piqued that Alyse still shows an interest in his friend, gives her leave to answer the lewd statement. But when she acquits herself credibly in wordplay, she draws Geoffrey’s ire–and something else.
A strange, almost glaring, look passed between the two men, then Lord Brayton shook his head. “I concede the day, Geoffrey, and the table. Make the most of your time with your lady, if you dare. I fear your ‘repentance’ has already begun.” He paused, appraised her, as if he saw her for the first time. Uncomfortable with such scrutiny, Alyse turned to see Geoffrey’s scowl had deepened even more. The evening had turned into more of a trial than she had anticipated.
Recalling himself, Lord Brayton began to shoo the other courtiers toward another table in the Hall. As he passed close to Sir Geoffrey, he leaned in and spoke for his friend’s ear only, though his voice carried enough for Alyse to hear him as well. “Your father may have just done you the greatest service of your life, Geoffrey. Take care you cherish it.” He clapped a hand to the tall man’s shoulder, then left to join his companions.
The end of the table nearest the royal dais was now deserted. Geoffrey seated her with her back almost to the king, though the angle of her seat still saved her from disrespect. He sat himself on a bench beside hers, then leaned his back to the wall, arms crossed over his broad chest, his eyes mere slits. He hadn’t spoken a word to her since her exchange with Lord Brayton. That did not bode well, considering his current surly attitude.
She glanced around, unnerved to discover they were all but alone together. Shaken at the thought, she looked to him for reassurance but instead found smoldering eyes staring straight into hers. The menace she had seen before, however, was now replaced with unmistakable desire. Alyse gasped at the power of that look and a wave of panic washed through her. She tried to rise, to flee the dangerous animal beside her, but his hand shot out and gripped her arm, forcing her to sit once more.
“You would leave me so soon, my lady?” Geoffrey’s voice sounded silken, but she heard danger in it. “You have declared I am to know you better, Lady Alyse.” His eyes gleamed wickedly in the candlelight. “I think you must make good on that promise.”
I hope you enjoyed this latest sample from Time Enough to Love. Stop by SSS tomorrow for more six sentences from Betrothal. And today be sure to click here to visit more Sweet Samples.