A small teaser from GEORGIANA
Georgiana smoothed the front of
her dress in an attempt to calm her nerves while she waited for her next dance
partner to make an appearance. The whole Darcy/Matlock clan attended Lady
Dalrymple’s Ball along with what seemed like most of London’s beau monde. If
success was rated on how crowded, on how uncomfortably hot, or on how loud a
room could become, then Lady Dalrymple would be very pleased indeed.
However, it wasn’t the press of
bodies that had her nerves stretched tighter than a violin string, it was the
ever-present Sir Reginald who’d sniffed her out like a basset hound almost as
soon as she’d entered the house. Now that she was aware of his dire need of an
heiress, she had no intention of giving him encouragement of any kind. Fortunately,
she’d been able to stay one step ahead of him, but it seemed her luck had
finally run out.
Darcy and Lizzy were dancing.
Aunt and Uncle Matlock had been waylaid by Lord Patrick Grayson, who had some
news of Cousin Richard and her other cousin, Viscount Waverly had made a bee
line for the card room, bypassing the ball room completely. She was stranded on
the edge of the dance floor and noted Sir Reginald beginning to skirt the edges
Carefully, she eased back and
made to turn. If nothing else she could retire to the lady’s room and pretend
to fix something on her gown. What she hadn’t counted on was Sir Reginald to
cut directly across the floor and step into her path.
“Miss Darcy,” he simpered with a
low bow in front of her.
“Sir Reginald, you surprised
“I hope you mean that in a good
way, Miss Darcy.” He reached for her gloved hand but she flicked open her fan
and used it too cool her face. He had no choice but to drop his arm. “I have stopped
by your home to pay my respects, but you have been one busy young woman. I did
leave my card.”
His voice held censure as well
as a touch of disappointment.
“I have been busy indeed, Sir
Reginald. My aunt has a great many friends and wishes me to make their
acquaintance. I’m sure you understand.”
Where was her family? She
stopped herself from glancing around. It would not do to let Sir Reginald know
she was uncomfortable in his presence. It would also not be wise for Sir
Reginald to discover that one time, when he’d come by Darcy House, she was home
and heard Hutchins outright lie and inform him the family was out. What amazed
her even more was that Sir Reginald had the audacity to query their loyal
butler as to where she and Lizzy had
“May I have the next dance, Miss
“Thank you, Sir Reginald, but my
card is full.”
She spoke a partial truth. Between
family members, close friends, the Marquis of Trevayne, The Earl of Litchfield
and the Earl of Dunleavy she has a surfeit of dance partners. The only
exception being the very next dance and the supper set. She’d deliberately left
those blank with the hope Maxwell would request a dance.
“May I see?”
She gasped. A gentleman never
demanded to see a lady’s dance card.
“Excuse me, Sir Reginald. Miss
Darcy promised this next dance to me.”
“Your Grace!” A flood of relief
washed through her body at the sound of Max’s deep voice. She turned and gave
him a proper curtsy. Max returned with a slight nod and held out his hand.
“Are you ready, Miss Darcy?”
“Oh yes, thank you.” She placed
her gloved hand in Max’s and moved closer to him. “Good evening, Sir Reginald”
As they strolled to the dance
floor, she noticed that the color of Max’s vest was the same soft green as the
trim of her gown and the ribbon in her hair. What a strange coincidence. First,
his blue vest matched her embroidered flowers and now her ribbons. If he
weren’t careful, people would begin to think they were a couple. Not that she’d
mind, but as he’d never given any indication that he thought of her in ‘that
way’ she didn’t want any rumors to float around.
“I am sorry that I was late,
Miss Darcy,” the Duke began.
“No need to apologize, Your
Grace. The musicians hadn’t even begun to warm up for the next set.”
“I meant in the fact I was not
there to forestall Sir Reginald imposing himself upon you.”
She glanced up and saw a look of
anger chase across Max’s handsome face. She couldn’t help herself, she blushed
and stammered, “Th… thank you. I appreciate your concern for my well-being. You
are a dear friend.”
“I’m more than a friend, Miss
Oh now this sounds very intriguing! I see the covers have changed on the first two...they are lovely!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Carole.Delete
Yes, I changed the covers because as much as I loved my first CAROLINE cover, marketing was difficult with the image. These covers give me a bit more versatility with social media. Also, I love my cover artist - the Midnight Muse - so it was no hardship to make the switch. She's a dream to work with.