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 and explains his “plan” for them to spend a lot of time together. Beginning with escorting her to chapel.
Geoffrey knew she was displeased with him once more and inwardly cursed. He was making the situation worse but was at a loss to know to how to repair the damage. She walked beside him woodenly, her hand like a dry stick on his arm. I have faced enemy troops with less trepidation than this. Thoughts of battle strategies filled his head and he decided to seize the offensive tack as they wound their way toward the chapel. He doubted he could make things worse.
“You have been at court but a short while, Lady Alyse? I did not meet you when I was last here at Christmas.” Not only a ploy to get her to talk, he wanted to learn about her as well. If she would take the bait.
“No, sir. We did not meet.” She looked up at him and some of the fear retreated from her face. “I have been at court for two months now. Before that I lived in the household of Lord Penburthy, in service to his wife, Lady Elizabeth for the past seven years.” He hadn’t heard her speak so much at one time. Her voice, low-pitched and melodious, fell pleasurably on his ears.
“Were you excited then, to come to court?” Geoffrey experienced a giddy rush when a tentative smile played about her lips.
“Aye, my lord, I was eager to come. ‘Tis very grand here, especially after Merwyck Castle, near the Scottish border. A place beautiful, but wild. The castle did not have as many comforts as I find here.”
“What comforts?” His fascination grew as she blossomed before his eyes.
“Oh, warmth for one. The castle was so far north ‘twas always cold, even in summer. There were six other girls who served Lady Elizabeth, and we slept all in one room. Very noisy at night. To share with just one person here is like heaven.”
He held his breath, for as soon as the words were out she colored prettily and darted a fearful glance at him. With difficulty he held in his amusement; still she noticed. A delicate black eyebrow lifted. “You have a comment, my lord?”
Geoffrey laughed and, as they arrived at the chapel, took her hand, feeling that almost familiar rush of fire through his. “I would say, my lady, that you are indeed perceptive. To share a room, or a bed, with just one other person can be like heaven.” He lifted her hand to his lips, tingles firing off like sparks, and handed her into the chapel.
Thus Geoffrey begins to woo his bride-to-be. Do you think he’ll succeed?
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 Only Scandal Will Do. And today be sure to click here to visit more Sweet Samples.