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. And just this week I finished the revision!
Lady Alyse de Courcy is a waiting gentlewoman to Princess Joanna, youngest daughter of King Edward. As the book opens, Alyse is anxiously awaiting word of her betrothal. She would prefer to marry Lord Brayton, a knight and courtier to the king, who has taken her fancy. Alyse is watching Lord Brayton while a new courtier is presented to the court. Now Alyse has been called before the king. After receiving the new that the new courtier, Sir Geoffrey Longford, is her betrothed, a dazed Alyse manages to finally speak. She acquits herself well, but just as she thinks her ordeal before the court is over, Geoffrey turns the tables and escorts her around the Great Hall. (Disclaimer: This work is not yet edited, so please forgive any flaws.)
At every stop she silently cursed him anew. Could this great hulking oaf not see her discomfiture? Did he not care about her feelings at all? Or was he merely thick headed? And she must be married to this man? Oh, Father, what have you done to me?
As they continued down the long side of the hall, Geoffrey leaned over to ask, “Why so quiet, my lady? Are you in awe of me or merely stunned by the good fortune of our betrothal?”
Outraged at the conceited fool, Alyse opened her mouth to explain just how much she was unimpressed with either him or her situation, only to meet eyes of darkest sapphire flickering with merriment at her indignation.
“Nay, my lord, I do not think I would quite call it ‘awe’ that you inspire in me.” Alyse was hard put to keep her countenance firm, so infectious was his grin.
“Then what would you call it, Lady Alyse?”
“Wariness, my lord.”
“You are wary of me, lady? Do I inspire distrust in you?”
“Aye, my lord, that you do.”
Geoffrey slowed his pace, frowning. “Why? I am an honorable man, of good family. I served King Edward well in the recent wars. So well that I was given lands and I am raised in station to serve in Princess Joanna’s household. If the king himself trusts me, my lady, I think you must as well.”
Alyse’s mouth twitched with suppressed amusement at Sir Geoffrey’s impatient tone. One did not bait an unchained bear, but perhaps the bear could be persuaded to listen to another side of the tale. “I am sure His Majesty trusts you completely, Sir Geoffrey, for he has known you for some time, I believe?”
After his curt nod she continued. “The question, perhaps, should be why should I trust you? I know you not, my lord, for I met you but moments ago. And in the few minutes since I met you, you have managed to insult me, by making me think you would reject the marriage, then fixed me as the center of attention before the company by displaying me throughout the hall when we were but six steps from my seat!” That point irked her most of all, but she swallowed her anger and continued with scathing civility. “Considering all these things, my lord, I do not see how even you can trust you!”
I hope you enjoyed this sample of 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.