Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors !
I’m back this week with another excerpt from my just finished WIP Heart of Hope, the sixth book in my Handful of Hearts novella series. It’s the story of Lady Letitia Stowe and Mr. Albert (Bertie) Symmons, who meet, although not for the first time, at Lady Hamilton’s ball (where all couples meet in this series).
Shy wallflower Lady Letitia Stowe is determined to dance with no one at Lady Hamilton’s ball unless she knows the gentleman. When just such a man appears in the form of Albert “Bertie” Symmons, Letitia is suddenly eager to dance with him until she discovers their set turns is the scandalous waltz. Letitia begs off and instead they talk together, each confessing a weakness. Inspired to help one another, they make a pact: she will instruct him in dancing and he will do likewise for her in horseback riding. Their frequent meetings grow into true affection and respect until Bertie is so bedazzled by Letitia he asks her to marry him and she joyously says yes.
Unfortunately, Letitia’s brother has another match in mind for her with the wealthy, titled Lord Kettering. To change her brother’s mind, Letitia and Bertie stage a series of faux rescues where Bertie is the hero. Regrettably, none of them work and Letitia fears they may have to resort to a tried and true method of assuring their marriage: have Bertie compromise her. However, when Bertie proves unwilling to go down that path to matrimony, Letitia may have to take matters into her own capable hands.
This excerpt takes up right where we left off: Letitia is trying to be a wallflower because she doesn’t want to dance with anyone she doesn’t know. But she spies Mr. Symmons, who she does know, and hopes he’s headed toward her. He is and the conversation this week is now leading toward an invitation to dance. However, at the penultimate moment, Lord Kettering intrudes and asks Letitia for a dance.
We have now switched to Bertie’s POV. Hope you enjoy. I’m starting right where I left off last week. Bertie’s has just admitted he’s “not much of a swimmer.”
“I’m merely waiting for Lady Letitia to finish her dance so I can secure her for another one.”
Seaton picked her out of the whirling figures on the floor dancing The First of April. “Another pretty young lady in this year’s crop. I wish you luck as well.” He shifted his gaze once more to Miss Powell, who returned it with a sweet smile. Seaton seemed to freeze then mumbled, “Excuse me, Symmons,” and hurried toward the lady.
Finding himself suddenly abandoned, Bertie looked about for someone to converse with, but no one of his acquaintance was near. So he turned his attention to the dance floor, easily spotting Lady Letitia as she promenaded with her partner. Though her lips were set in what would pass for a smile, Bertie could tell she wasn’t particularly enjoying herself. Her partner, however, seemed not to notice the lady’s discomfiture.
And a little more for good measure…
Kettering chattered to his partner non-stop, oblivious to her distress. How ungentlemanly of his lordship. When Bertie got to partner her, he’d make certain she enjoyed the dance.
The couple circled, Kettering still talking almost without taking a breath. Lady Letitia’s face had frozen, her smile shrinking with each passing moment. The longer he watched them, the more incensed Bertie became. For tuppence, he’d plant the man a facer once he was off the dance floor. If Bertie knew a gentleman looked to a lady’s comfort above all else, Kettering should bloody well know. Poor Lady Letitia. The moment the dance ended, Bertie vowed to jump in and rescue her.
Heart of Hope is now up for pre-order on Amazon and will release next Sunday on October 31th. The pre-order price is just .99, so grab your copy now. After release it will revert to its regular price of $2.99.
Additionally, my upcoming contemporary Christmas novella, The Present, is on pre-order on Amazon, part of a Christmas series called Christmas on the Side. It will release on November 9th. You can go check it out here.
And the final Widows’ Club book, The Widow Wore Plaid, is available for pre-order on Amazon as well. It will release on December 28th.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here. There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.
Handful of Hearts series
(all on sale for .99 each during October)