But we'll get to that later. In this excerpt, Beryl Wentworth is torn between Finian Fitzwilliam, the man she desperately loves, and His Grace, the Duke of Cumberland, the man who shows by his behavior that he appreciates her, even while riding in Rotten Row. Unfortunately, the duke doesn't have the most savory of reputations, but he's still worth an examination.
Astonishing. Beryl didn’t dare look at Fitz’s face to ascertain his surely thunderous reaction, didn’t dare look at anyone. If she savored Lissie’s silent mirth, Violetta’s undoubted confusion, she’d burst out laughing like the silliest of fools. And meeting His Grace’s deep, captivating stare was surely the worst move she could possibly make. A slight warmth flooded her face at the thought. What on earth would she do with his stare if she caught it?
But her impression couldn’t be mistaken. It seemed this lovely, incorrigible rake not only understood her dilemma; he wasn’t averse to giving her a leg up on Fitz.
Or to taking her himself, should his horse drive poor Rounder from the battlefield. Perhaps…
Perhaps she’d never seen such a handsome man, in his tailored maroon cutaway and white silken breeches, white kidskin gloves and black riding boots with brown jockey’s tops. The way he looked into her soul with his pale blue eyes, never permitting any distractions to divert his attention, as if she were the most important person in his world at that moment. His black hair curled atop his leather collar; his long legs wrapped around the stallion and military saddle with an educated flair. Surely he’d ridden to hounds, ridden to war, ridden…
“Excuse me, ladies, Mr. Fitzwilliam” A touch to his hat, a barely perceptible movement of his boot, and His Grace’s massive dark stallion trotted from the line, toward the outlandishly dressed man holding a horse beneath the nearest gas lamppost. He didn’t post the trot; instead, he blended his motion with the horse’s, a splendid melding of two splendidly masculine animals, and then Sassenach drew to a halt and His Grace leaned down. Whatever happened next, between him and that strange man, was hidden behind his maroon-coated shoulder.
Secrets and shady dealings, oh my.
If you missed the start of the series, it's Scandal on Half Moon Street, available wherever fine ebooks are sold.
Thanks for stopping by. Cheers,