Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !
This week I’m continuing with A Countess of Convenience, book 1 of my new series, Captivating Countesses, which released at the end of March!
Following a tragic accident, an unconscious Judith Harper is returned to her childhood home to die. Miraculously, she awakens but to a horribly changed world in which she finds her husband dead and her world upended.
Judith must regain her strength, not only to reclaim her life but also to right a terrible wrong–a feat which may require her to marry again, and quickly. But not only is Judith not ready for another husband, a marriage before her year of mourning is up will ruin her in London society.
Still, if she hopes to have her life back, she may have to risk the scandal and make a marriage of convenience…but to whom?
John, Lord Haxby has loved Judith since childhood, and because of that he stood aside while she married another eight years ago. Now she is free of her odious husband, he hopes he can persuade her that he is the only man who can make her truly happy. However, he discovers Judith is more than interested in Lord Farringdon, the man who saved her life. Can he stand aside once more and watch the love of his life make a grave mistake, or will he step up and show the woman he loves he is not a convenient solution to her problem, but the perfect one?
I’ve continued on from last week’s snippet. Judith and John are traveling to London, using two of the housemaids as chaperones for Judith. Earlier in this scene, Judith asked John a very leading question, but they left it without an answer. Now, after she’s gone to bed, Judith is feeling guilty that she teased John. So she’s gone out to his room, in just her night gown, to talk to him. As she’s knocking, someone comes into the corridor. John whisks her into his room. I’ve skipped a couple of paragraphs. We are in John’s POV.
“But I shouldn’t have flirted like that, John,” she said, staring directly into his eyes. “We have already discussed the…possible necessity of our marrying. In asking that, I may have given you an erroneous idea about my…feelings for you.” Abruptly, she dropped her gaze.
Of course, he’d assumed she’d meant an amorous tryst but had known the offer had come from her nervousness or a need for some kind of physical contact. But since she’d brought the subject up… “Then why did you ask, Judith?”
Her tiny gasp filled him with his usual protective instincts, and it was on the tip of his tongue to tell her not to worry, it was all forgotten. Yet something held him back, some part of him that wanted desperately to hear her answer.
“Because I wanted to know what it would be like to kiss you.”
And a little more for good measure…
Flummoxed for a second time, John stared at her, his jaw all but dropped. “What would make you want to know that?”
Her cheeks pinkened, and she gripped her hands tightly in her lap. “When you woke me earlier, before dinner, I was dreaming.” After a furtive glance at him, her gaze darted away again. “I was dreaming you awakened me, and I kissed you.”
“I see.” At least he hoped he did. When he’d come upon her asleep before dinner, she’d been moaning deep in her throat. If he hadn’t awakened her, would she have dreamt of other intimacies with him? Encouraged by her admission and what it might foreshadow for the future, John sat in the chair opposite her, weighing his words. “It wasn’t an unpleasant experience, then, kissing me in the dream?”