Welcome to Monday Excerpts!! Today we’re doing excerpts of our next release and buy links.
Mine is from A Promise of Love, book #1 in The Trevors, a novella series. The book will release in the Passionate Promises box set in February.
April 1817, London
Lord Francis (Frank) Trevor glanced around the brilliantly lit ballroom wondering what the devil he was doing there. As the second son of the Duke of Somerset, one might suppose he would be used to the ton. And one would be mistaken. Other than the brief period of time he’d spent on the town during a university holiday, he had been acting as his father’s factor. A job that should belong to his eldest brother Damon, Marquis of Hawksworth. His father’s heir.
Frank hadn’t even had a holiday from running the dukedom’s estates. However, as soon as the Father had departed for Scotland with a few of his cronies, Mama had decided Frank could benefit from a touch of Town bronze. How the hell that was supposed to help him when he dealt mainly with crops and animals, he had no idea. He was trapped in a life he did not want and had no hope of employment outside of slaving for his father. If he even attempted to find another position, the duke would ensure he never got it. And after Damon’s marriage to Meg Featherton at Christmas, the duke had made very clear that in the future he would be making any necessary matches for his children.
Ergo, being here was a waste of time and money, though, thankfully, not his own.
A glass of wine was pressed into his hand. “Frank, you are supposed to be having fun.” His brother, Damon had a lazy smile on his face. “Not looking as if you’re facing a hanging.”
Frank took a long pull on the wine. “I’m having trouble knowing where to start. How did you manage to talk father into this visit?”
“Ah, well.” Rather than answering his question, his brother scanned the crowd. “Your mother decided it was time you were introduced to some of the ladies.”
As if he would really be allowed to choose his own bride. “Did she happen to send you a list of ladies who father would approve?”
Damon raised his hand, and they were almost immediately joined by Meg, his wife of four months, and the young lady she had in tow. A beautiful lady with enough curves to entice a monk. Just what he needed. Even though he was immediately smitten with her, she was not for him. He had nothing to offer a woman looking for a husband, and he had his father to contend with.
“My love,” Damon continued, “we forgot that Frank doesn’t really know anyone one.”
“Aren’t you fortunate that I have a remedy?” Meg gave Frank an innocent grin.
She was up to something. The former Miss Margaret Featherton was the only female that had ever bested his father. “Miss MacGowan, may I introduce you to my brother-in-law Lord Francis Trevor. Frank, Miss MacGowan. She has been traveling the Continent, and, like you, does not know many people here.”
The woman smiled politely, but there was a hard glitter in her eyes as she held out her hand. “A pleasure to meet you.”
The moment their hands touched Frank caught his breath. He took another look into her eyes and could now see they were the color of a Scottish lake, and not nearly as cold as they had been a moment ago. A hint of lavender and lemon wove its magic, capturing his senses, and his hand warmed where her long slim fingers rested in his palm. Her thick, auburn hair was arranged on top of her head, with tendrils curling down to fame her oval face. He imagined running his fingers through her silky tresses. He didn’t know how long he just stood there, but someone coughed, and he remembered he had to bow and say something.
“It is a pleasure, Miss MacGowan.” He was surprised he could speak at all, nonetheless in a normal voice.
For a moment she stared at him, as if she was feeling the same strange sensations that had attacked him. Then she grinned ruefully, a look of consternation on her lovely face. “Dear me, you would think I’d know this by now.” She lowered her voice to a whisper, as if speaking to herself. “What do I call you?” After a moment, her brow cleared. “Oh, yes. Lord Francis.”
“I actually prefer Lord Frank.” Then, lost as he was by her flaming hair and flawless milky skin, he said the first thing that came into his head, “You do not sound Scottish.”
She laughed. A lilting sound that made him want to laugh as well. “That is because I am not. I have Scottish antecedents on my father’s side, English on my mother’s side, and a great deal of Dutch mixed in.” Her tone became defensive and challenging at the same time. “I, sir, am an American.”
American? Frank stilled for a moment. The only American woman he had heard of was . . . “From New York?” Holding her chin high Miss MacGowan nodded. “The one who was in Paris last autumn?”
“Exactly.” Her tone was as sour as a lemon. “The American heiress.” She leaned in confidingly. “You had better watch yourself, I might bite.”
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