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. As the book opens, Alyse is anxiously awaiting word of her betrothal. After receiving the news 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. During their procession, Alyse sets him a feat to win her regard. But when they finally arrive back at Alyse’s table, she finds they are not alone. (Disclaimer: This work is not yet edited, so please forgive any flaws.)
She roused from her reverie to find they had almost reached the table and her seat with Anne and Maurya. Only a few more steps and she would be free of his company. Her head buzzed with weariness from having to spar with him the entire time.
A second glance, however, showed another person at their table: Thomas Knowlton sat speaking to Sir John Wakeland. Dear God, can you rub more salt into my wounds? Her heart fluttered at the sight of him and she cast her gaze to the floor. This was too cruel. Tears threatened, but she bit them back and managed a small, tight smile for Lord Brayton. Now she hoped only to hurry past the man she longed to have on her arm.
But Geoffrey stopped before his friend and, to her horror, began a formal presentation with a courtly flourish. “My Lady Alyse de Courcy, I present to you my good friend, Thomas Knowlton, the Earl of Brayton.”
Alyse hoped the expression on her face approached pleasant. “I know Lord Brayton a little from court, my lord, but look forward to a better acquaintance with him once we are wed.” If only ‘twere the other way around.
Lord Brayton’s eyes flashed with an impish gleam. “Indeed, Lady Alyse, I scarce think we need wait for your marriage to become better acquainted. I would know you better now.”
Alyse gasped as she grasped Lord Brayton’s double meaning and prayed that no one else at the table took heed of his words. Did she have wits enough left to put the man in his place? No. All courtly banter fled her mind; she could only stand there wondering how life had managed to deal her so many blows in such a short space of time. Would Sir Geoffrey now accuse her of a particular regard for his friend? Had he heard of her unfortunate words this morning? She glanced fearfully up at the huge man beside her, awaiting the signal of his displeasure.
I hope you enjoyed this latest sample from Time Enough to Love. Stop by SSS tomorrow for six sentences from one of my current works. And today be sure to click here to visit more Sweet Samples.