Sorry I’m sooo late with this. It did not work out time wise yesterday.
Let’s see what you’re working on or just finished. Try to keep it short. Here is mine, completely unedited first draft, from my as yet unnamed 7th book for The Marriage Game.
Rupert, Earl of Stanstead, turned as his cousin Robert, Viscount Beaumont caught up with him. “I thought you were coming home with me?”
Before Robert had met his wife, Serena, he’d been the worst rake in England. Now his world seemed to revolve around his wife and baby daughter, Elizabeth. Rupert had never before seen such a sudden and permanent transformation. “Sorry. I was waylaid by Lord Banks.” Rupert ran his palm down his face. “I’ll go with you now.”
His cousin’s gaze sharpened. “What did he say to you to put you in such a mood?”
“Warned me away from his daughter.” Not that he had any clear idea who she was, but, apparently, she’d been part of a bevy of young ladies walking in the Park yesterday. “I am too young to have serious intentions, and he’d thank me not to raise her hopes. He has five other daughters and needs to marry her off.” Robert’s lips tightened, and Rupert went on, “He did say that the girl he has coming out in about six years might do. By then, I’d be of sufficient age and maturity.”
“My thoughts precisely. Even if I can’t remember her, I expect to hear similar warnings from other fathers. He suggested I find a mistress.”
“You have one already.” Robert linked his arm with Rupert’s as they strolled down the street toward St. James Park.
“I had one.” Rupert paused, selecting his words. “It’s not what I want. After seeing what my mother and father and you and Serena have, I desire nothing more than a family.”
His cousin was quiet for a few moments as they strode through Green Park, then said, “I don’t want to dissuade you. Quite frankly, I don’t think I could. You suffer what I now call the “Beaumont Syndrome.” When we want something we go after it and damn all else to hell. What I think you should consider is whether or not you’re not giving yourself the time to find the right lady. For the better part of a year, you pursued Miss Manning, even after she’d made it clear that she wanted a different sort of life than you offered. One cannot have a successful marriage when one’s goals aren’t the same.”
Rupert had to give the devil his due. He had been so focused on gaining Miss Manning’s hand in marriage; he’d failed to even notice her interest in Lord Peter and his interest in her. They both wanted nothing more than the life of a diplomat. She would have been miserable living in England all the time. But Rupert didn’t feel too young. He’d come into his title at an early age, and even when he’d been on his Grand Tour, missed his estate and his seat in the Lords. Now that he’d returned, and despite his age, he was becoming influential in political circles. “What do you suggest?”
“Stand back a bit.” Robert smiled. “At some point, there will be a lady whom you can’t ignore. She’ll dominate every waking thought and haunt your dreams. You’ll want to fight every man who asks her to dance or accompanies her during the Grand Strut.”
“You make it sound like an obsession.”
He nodded slowly. “In a way it is, but it’s more. You’d lay down your life for her.”
“Is that what you felt for Serena?”
“All that and more. Nothing could compare. Later, after I’d almost lost her, I realized that what I’d thought was love before was a weak imitation.” He glanced over at Rupert. “Did you feel that way about Miss Manning?”
Now let’s see yours!!