So, in celebration, here's a sample from Scandal. Miss Anne Kirkhoven is meeting secretly with her beloved, Frederick Shaw, in the conservatory of the Pantheon Bazaar, and he wants to make certain she isn't falling in love with the ton's most eligible rake, the Duke of Cumberland.
“I love you, Anne.” His touch slid down her spine, tightening her pelisse around her neck, hesitated at her waist, then stroked higher again. “Is it truly awful?”
She ached to stay tangled in his embrace, his kisses, his love. But they did need to discuss this and she eased back, resting her hands on his chest. His brown spaniel’s eyes darkened beyond their usual soulfulness into anguish and fire, and through his clothing and topcoat, his heart thumped, hard and fast.
He glanced aside, not quite rolling his eyes. All right, that was hardly news.
“And His Grace is very handsome, decidedly so.” She stumbled over the words. But her relationship with Frederick had always been open and blatantly honest, and she would not conceal the facts from him now.
Even though he looked as if she’d ripped a knife through his heart and twisted it.
She hauled in a deep breath. “To that I must admit. Also, his manners are charming, his wit sparkles, and his conversation engages one’s attention with ease. There’s a quality to his person that speaks to just that, his quality, and he has a way of speaking, to a lady at least, that casts her as the center of the world.”
Frederick drooped, rather like an aeronaut’s balloon with the valve released. Beneath her hands, his heartbeat ran ragged and his breathing slowed, deepened.
“And none of it matters, not a whit. I love you, Frederick Shaw, barrister and solicitor, Anonymous Gentleman of the Inner Temple.”
His pulse seemed to pause, as if the world stood still for him, as well. He fixed her with a brown stare, flecked with possessive pride.
“I’ve promised you: you’re the only man I’ll ever marry. To that promise, I hold true.” She stroked his cheek; he reached up and pressed her palm to his lips. “And I hold you, as well. Promise me, Frederick.”
“Forgive my weakness.” He touched his forehead to hers, and her bonnet’s brim sent his hat sliding back until it tumbled across his shoulder and down.
Freeing his hair for her hands.
“Not weakness,” she said, “silliness.”
Anne must decide whether to marry the man she loves, even though he's beneath her social position, or the duke her mother most ardently prefers. Of course, it would help if she could figure out exactly what that duke is really up to…
Thanks for stopping by. Cheers,