Sneak Peek Mini Excerpt
My first novella, THE SECOND SEDUCTION OF A LADY is coming to your e-reader on October 16th. As a reader, I enjoy these long short stories and I'm excited at my first effort in this short form. At 26,000 words, it's a little less than the third the length of a full length novel: just the thing for a quiet evening without keeping you up all night to finish.
Eleanor Hardwick and Max Quinton shared one night of incredible passion…that was shattered the next day, when Eleanor learned of a bet placed by Max's friends. Now, five years later, Max still can't get Eleanor out of his head or his heart. He has a single chance to make a second impression—one that will last forever.
She had first seen him at the Petworth Inn, at an assembly initiating the week of the Militia Races. The cluster of officers who’d surrounded her, begging to stand up with her, had been a surprise. Though no wallflower, she’d never been a beauty, and at twenty-five she approached spinster or chaperone status. She put her sudden popularity down to the shortage of younger ladies owing to the sudden influx of officers at the humble provincial assembly. Nevertheless, she had enjoyed the unexpected attention. A sea of red coats and eager faces pressed around her. She’d been laughing, attempting to distribute her dances among the supplicants, when she noticed him.
A tall, broad man, visible over the crowd, he’d stood a little apart, his evening dress marking him a civilian. With his craggy features and prominent nose, he wasn’t handsome by most standards. Lightly tanned skin spoke of a life lived outdoors. Locks of brown hair fell over a broad forehead and raked the collar of his coat. He’d regarded the proceedings with a careless expression. Perhaps it was the sobriety of his dress, but he struck her as a sensible man, in contrast to the soldiers strutting in their uniforms and swords.
Then she’d happened to catch his gaze. They looked at each other and his indifference turned to warmth. In the weathered face his eyes stood out very blue, as did white teeth revealed by a dawning smile. Her heart seemed to stop…
“I’m in love!”
Caro’s exclamation brought her back to the present.
“It’s true,” the girl insisted. “Who ever loved who loved not at first sight?” Caro’s ignorance of poetry didn’t extend to Romeo and Juliet. “No sooner did I lay eyes on Robert than I knew. I shall love him forever.”
“Nonsense!” Eleanor said. She was in a position to know.
Although it's a stand alone story, the novella introduces the heroine of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED (coming 11/27/12). Set seven years earlier, we meet the fun-loving Caro as a seventeen-year-old girl, about to make choices that will profoundly affect her future. But this story is about Eleanor and Max overcoming the mistakes and misunderstandings of the past.