I am continuing on with Heart of a Scoundrel. It is Book 4 in my Regency novella series Handful of Hearts, where we once again meet Richard, Lord Somersby (a not very nice gentleman from the first book of the series Hearts Beneath the Mistletoe).
Richard, Lord Somersby has just been told he’s to marry Lady Edith, a young bluestocking he’s never met before in a marriage arranged by his father to gain valuable property. The rakish Richard is not enthusiastic about the arrangement–until his father offers to make the deal a bit sweeter by way of a wager that Richard can hardly resist to earn him a racing stable. His father wagers Richard he cannot break three young ladies’ hearts before his betrothal contracts are signed in about three weeks.
This week I’m skipping ahead to a conversation between Richard and Miss Amanda Sharpe after they have danced. They are now conversing about playing cards, a passion they find they share.
(Creative punctuation utilized to conform to WWW rules and snippet may therefore be slightly different from published version.)
Smiling at the mere thought of sitting down to a game of cards, Amanda ceased to fan herself and looked eagerly into his face, saying “I do as well, my lord; I play whenever I have the chance in Wellesbourne, infrequent though it is. I find developing a strategy for each hand particularly stimulating. I would play every day if I could.”
“It is a skill few young ladies take seriously, it seems, at least with those who have partnered me in the past.” He peered into her face before stating, “You, however, would be different in that respect, I believe.”
“I assure you I would, my lord; my mother taught me the different card games, but my father instilled in me a desire to be the best.” How anyone would not work to sharpen their skills so they could win at cards had always confounded her. “Why play at all if not to win?”
“My sentiments exactly, Miss Sharpe,” he said, his smile warming, making her heart race. “I always play to win.”
Recent heiress, Miss Amanda Sharp, is out in Society for the first time and enjoying the social whirl, especially when she dances her first dance with the handsome Lord Somersby. She’s aware of his bad reputation with ladies, but she’s confident she can lead him down the aisle to the altar without raising a scandal. Headstrong, and determined to reform Lord Somersby, Amanda finds herself in danger of losing more than a hand of cards to the scandalous lord.
Richard, Lord Somersby, has another wager to win. He must woo and jilt three young ladies in a month’s time in order to win his racing stable before donning the leg shackle of marriage with a duke’s daughter. His third victim is Miss Amanda Sharpe, a refreshingly determined young woman who makes her interest in him well known. It should be child’s play for the villainous Richard to woo her, make her think he’s in love with her, then spurn her. A plan that might work if he can keep his mind on winning rather than on the lady’s entrancing form and fiery spirit.
Heart of a Scoundrel will release on Amazon in late September.
Books in The Handful of Hearts series:
And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.