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 think it could be any day now I get my edits back! I’m still thinking early December release. Just in time for Christmas! But stay tuned and I will keep you informed.
This 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. We’re now in the next chapter and Alyse is in a snit, just having had the marriage banns read for the first time.
“Good morrow, Lady Alyse.” Geoffrey stopped short. “What is amiss, my lady? You look very unkindly for such a lovely morning.”
“What is amiss?” Alyse bristled, even more outraged that he did not immediately understand her fears. “You even need to ask what is amiss? Were you asleep when you stood before the altar that you did not see all the courtiers’ eyes on us? On me!” Her stomach clenched at the thought.
“You mean when the banns were read?”
Alyse gave him a withering look and stalked silently from the chapel.
“You did not wish to have the banns for our marriage read? Have you still no regard or trust for me then, Lady Alyse?” There was undertone of pique in his voice.
They had reached the corridor outside of the chapel, carried forward by the momentum of Alyse’s indignation. She turned to him, her mouth opened, a stinging retort on her lips. Would he ever think only of himself?
“’Tis not about—“
The sight of his face froze the words on her tongue. Only the tight, thin line of his lips betrayed his anger. Hurt, however, lurked deep in his eyes, summoned by his assumption of her continued rejection. He stood stoically ready to face her ire.
But it no longer existed.
Alyse sighed, her resentment draining away. “Nay, good my lord, never say that I have no regard for you, for ‘tis false.” She spoke softly and avoided his eyes. Shame at her thoughtless words ate at her. “I believe you an honorable man and I have accepted our coming marriage.” She risked a glance at him.
His gaze flicked over her face doubtfully. “Then why, sweet lady, did you just now look like a heavy storm was brewing in your face? Tell me what is wrong, sweetheart, if ‘tis not the banns?”
“But it is the banns!”
He stepped back, his mouth pursing with impatience. “Alyse, we have but little time. I must attend the king, yet I have news that will not wait.”
She breathed deeply and shook her head. “’Tis not the reading of the banns that distresses me, my lord. But rather standing in front of the whole church, on display for everyone to gawk at that frets me. Everyone seems to stare only at me, looking for faults that can later be bandied about in conversation. And not just today,” she mourned, “but twice more we shall have to stand there, for all the world to see.”
His lips twitched.
If he laughs I will curse him.
He managed to compose himself before he grasped her hand. “My lady, I care not what the court says or thinks of me, but if any would offend you by word or deed, rest assured he would feel the sting of my displeasure before the world was yet another hour old.” His hard tone softened as he squeezed her hand. “Mark not what they say; heed only my words when I pledge you my troth ‘til death us do part.’”
Now there’s a champion!
I hope you enjoyed this latest sample from Betrothal. And today be sure to click here to visit more Sweet Samples.