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Now, 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! Monday, October 1st is the cover reveal for Betrothal! I still have a tentative release date of late-October, but I wanted to go on and reveal the gorgeous cover from Danielle Fine. Please visit The Journal on Monday–all oohs and aahs will be appreciated. I can’t wait to share more of this story with you.
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. 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.
Towering over the men at the table, Geoffrey held up a hand and stared down at the courtiers, his face fixed into determined lines. They quieted, either from respect for their friend, or from the warning look in his darkened eyes.
“Gentles, I pray your patience. I agree it is meet that you are eager for the good company of Lady Alyse. I thank you for that compliment. But, as her intended husband, I claim first rites to her companionship this evening.” He plucked her hand from Patrick’s loosened grip and rubbed his fingers gently across the back of it. Startled, she sucked in air at his touch, and he smiled to himself at that victory. What battles might he win if he could just get her alone for a time?
A groan went up from his friends, but he continued. “We are met with but short acquaintance and have much to discuss before the wedding.” He narrowed his eyes and leaned forward, piercing each man by turn with his hard stare. A warning of serious consequences should they not acquiesce to his request.
“Oh, come now, Geoffrey,” Thomas drawled. “Let us all make Lady Alyse welcome. You will have much time together ere long, whilst we bachelors will be left to sigh alone. You should not claim all the sport!”
Geoffrey threw an indulgent smile at his friend. “Mayhap, Thomas, but you must make your addresses to my betrothed another time. I fear I must claim all of the lady’s attention at present. We have only just met and I would know her better ere we are wed.”
Thomas’s eyebrow went up. “But Geoffrey, we would all know her better ere you are wed.”
Geoffrey opened his mouth to answer Thomas’s bawdy comment, when a look at Alyse made him hesitate. While her face was suffused in redness, it nevertheless showed a marked interest in the men’s exchange, especially at Thomas’s barb. Her bright blue eyes gleamed at his friend, revealing her continued fascination with the man.
Sight of her rapt face triggered a rush of antagonism Geoffrey had never experienced before. If she will favor Thomas, by God, then let us see if she can hold her own against him in this jest. His eyes narrowed as he fought to speak lightly. “Indeed, what say you, my lady? Will you know my friend better before we are wed?”
The ante has just been raised. But will Alyse rise to the occasion?
I hope you enjoyed this latest sample from Time Enough to Love. Stop by SSS tomorrow for six sentences from one of my works. And today be sure to click here to visit more Sweet Samples.