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’ve sent the revisions to the editor and am now hoping for a mid-November release date. Just stay tuned 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 desire.
I’ve skipped ahead a little. Alyse has maneuvered around Geoffrey’s verbal landmines, and draws him out a little in conversation about their forthcoming departure for Spain.
This sample picks up immediately after last week’s. Geoffrey is playing with Alyse once more, though she’s not quite as tongue-tied as previously. He could be in for trouble!
“I will be your husband shortly, Alyse. And you must know what my wishes are, demoiselle.” Indeed, he gave her no doubt, as his lips trailed kisses across her palms and sent shivers dancing along her arms.
It took all of her concentration to stutter a reply. “I…I will gladly do as my husband bids, once he is husband indeed.” Somehow she managed to free one of her hands, which she placed boldly on his arm. “‘Til then, my lord, I believe I must help you pass the time in some other merry manner.”
Geoffrey pushed his bench back, and crossed his arms again. His mouth twitched, as if suppressing a smile. “How on earth do you intend make me ‘merry,’ when the one pastime I desire to engage in is forbidden?”
Alyse giggled, more lighthearted now than in the past two days. “I beg you to recall that when you awoke but yesterday morn you had not even seen my face. I am sure there are other pleasant ways to while away the hours.”
One corner of Geoffrey’s mouth turned up and his eyes narrowed. “Perhaps I can amuse myself by instructing you how to say my name, little maid.”
“My name is Geoffrey, not ‘my lord’. Geoff-rey.” He elongated the syllables, as if teaching a child to speak. “You have known it some time now, but you have yet to use it.”
Her wits returned now that he no longer possessed her hands, and Alyse mulled his request over. Perhaps I can indeed devise a pastime that will lead you a merry chase this evening, Sir Geoffrey. “You would have me call you by your name, my lord?” She frowned and tilted her head from side to side, as if his request were strange or scandalous.
“Aye, madam, I have said as much. Were you again not attending me?” Geoffrey’s amused tone suggested he expected as much.
“Oh no, my lord. I attended closely to your speech.” Alyse focused on his mouth, as though she indeed hung on every word. “I wanted to make quite sure that I heard you correctly. You want me to call you by your first name?”
Geoffrey stared at her as though she was addled, and she had to bite the inside of her cheek to still her laughter. “Aye, lady, by my first name.”
“Your Christian name?”
“Lady Alyse!” Patience gone, his face settled into a scowl, until she allowed her eyes to widen a touch as she gave him a slight smile.
I hope you enjoyed this latest sample from Betrothal. And today be sure to click here to visit more Sweet Samples.