Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !
This week I’m once again continuing my current WIP, Almost a Countess , book 2 of my new series, Captivating Countesses. This week I’ll have a cover reveal for Only Seduction Will Do (which I just got the rights back to) and next week I’ll have a snippet from that to whet your appetite for seduction!
Exiled to a lonely estate in north Yorkshire, Dora Harper finds life satisfying, if appallingly routine—until an escaped Scottish prisoner begs for her help. Despite her misgivings, Dora takes him in, feeds and clothes him, and is amazed at his transformation into a very handsome, virile gentleman, who claims he is an earl. No matter who he really is, his very presence in her house could ruin her reputation for good. Trouble is, Dora might not mind that at all.
Phineas “Finn” MacDonald, the Earl of Aberfoyle, is on the run from a troop of soldiers bent on hauling him to London to be transported for a criminal act. Dora’s miraculous appearance is a godsend for him, in more ways than one. The pretty young English woman is kind, compassionate, and willing to help him in his attempt to seek justice and evade the troop that is quickly closing in on him.
With their close proximity over several days, Finn’s desire to escape wanes, even as thoughts of Dora fill his mind. So when Dora suggests she pose as his wife to throw the soldiers off Finn’s trail, Finn wonders if he can persuade her to make the ruse a reality—before the army finds him and banishes him from Britain forever.
We’re starting this week where we left off last week. Dora is out riding and has been told British soldiers are roaming the countryside searching for an escaped prisoner. Dora is reflecting on her folly of riding out alone. Dora has just come upon a man lying hidden in the creek bed. He asks for her help and then collapses into the stream.
Dora blew out the breath she’d been holding and nodded. She still couldn’t speak—the intensity of the young man’s gaze unnerved her to the point she’d be hard pressed to give him her name should he ask it.
“Thank you.” He released her wrist and she shook it to bring some feeling back. The sal volatile flew, fortunately not landing on either of them. She replaced the stopper—it took her three tries she was shaking so badly—and slid it back into her pocket. When she thought she could do so without shaking, she asked, “Where are you hurt?”
The stranger cocked an eye at her. “You find a strange man in a stream and the first question you think to ask him is where he’s hurt?”
Dora pursed her lips then said, “I need to know if you can sit a horse and that’s going to depend on where and how badly you’re hurt.”
And a little more for good measure…
She breathed deeply, a measure of calm returning to her. “Is that head wound the only one I need to treat or is there another one that will keep you off the horse?”
“I’m nae hurt so bad I canna ride.” He cast a doubtful look at Gretchen. “Will the wee beastie bear us both?”
“She will if I ask her to. Come on. Wait.” Dora paused, head up, gazing over the field once more time. If the soldiers appeared now they would be at a pinch for sure.
The man had ducked back down, flattened himself along the embankment. Almost melted into the weeds and grasses and scarcely visible, save for his bright kilt. “Are they coming?”