by Michele Ann Young
Some people say the number thirteen is unlucky. But it is thirteen more days to October 1st, the day my novel, The Lady Flees Her Lord, is on the shelves. So I like the number thirteen.
With the release just around the corner, I thought you might like a sneak peek. I had a bit of trouble picking an excerpt, so I hope you like this one. You will also find part of the opening chapter on Amazon, where you can pre-order, should you feel inclined. Or you can wait until it is in your local bookstore
Yankee Romance Reviews had this to say about The Lady Flees Her Lord...
Our emotions are played like a violin with endearing words, breath taking scenes and a virtuous sense of right and wrong. The authors writing style is highly comparable with Jane Austin but with more of today's romance mentality. Lush and loving, heart wrenching beautiful, one could only hope to have a Lord Hugo Wanstead to desire us so truly and deeply.
To be compared to Jane Austen is quite an honor, I must say. And I can only say.. thank you.
Excerpt: (After a dinner with mutual friends, Hugo offers Lucinda a drive home in his rather disreputable gig, unlike the spiffy equippage pictured here.)
He must have sent word to the stables before setting out on her trail. Clearly a man of strategy. If she had realized he would follow, she would have tried to avoid him. To refuse his escort in an open gig now would seem distrustful, especially for a woman alone at night. He assisted her into his vehicle, his hand firm in the hollow of her waist, his height and strength reinforced by the ease with which he helped her up, as if she weighed no more than the tiny Miss Dawson.
She forced herself to ignore the attendant trickle of heat in her veins, the pleasurable shimmer of awareness accompanied by shortness of breath. Her nervousness was a perfectly reasonable reaction to a man who a few short days ago had glared at her in anger.
She settled her skirts and straightened her spine, keeping close to her side of the seat.
He leaped up beside her. “I hope you will forgive old Bob, here,” he said, setting the horse into a steady plod with a flick of his whip.
“It might be faster to walk.”
She felt him shift. Her stomach sank. Denbigh hated the swift banter she’d engaged in with her brothers.
“It might be faster if I got between the traces,” he said, his voice amused, not tight or fierce or any of those other warning signs of temper. “But I don’t want to insult Old Bob, even if he does look as if he’d prefer to ride. It is, after all, a fine evening for a leisurely drive.”
“I appreciate your thoughtful offer,” she lied.
“If not the means of carrying it out?” He gave a crack of a laugh. “Don’t answer that, Mrs. Graham, if you please. My sensibilities cannot stand another of your set-downs.”
Was he teasing her? The trickle of heat turned into a river of fire. Her insides tightened and pulsed in a most alarming manner. She shut her eyes, seeking an inner source of calm only to discover her mind churning like an ocean in a storm. Inhaling a quick breath, she caught the scent of his cologne, bay and the faintest hint of lemon and deeper tones of the man himself. She clutched the side of the carriage like a lifeline and tried to ignore the warm mountain of man at her side. “I would not dream of criticizing your conveyance, my lord, since I have none myself.”
“Forgive my levity. A widow, living on an army pension with a young child must not have an easy time of it.”
His quiet murmur sounded sincere, caring. Her heart seemed to still. She squeezed her eyes shut for a brief moment, gathering strength. The man was a menace, a wolf in bear’s clothing. “I manage. There are many worse off. Take the children infesting London’s streets, for example.”
His head turned toward her, but she could not make out his expression in the dark. “We are back to that, are we?”
She clenched her hands, caution advising her to subside into silence, to admit defeat the way she had with Denbigh, yet knowing she would not forgive herself if she did.
“Why won’t you let the vicar hold the fête on your lands? Annie Dunning tells me that your grandfather always did so.”
“Now you mention it, I recall something of the sort.” He sounded surprised. “I haven’t recalled it for years. My mother didn’t like the fuss and bother after my grandfather’s death. She wasn’t well, you understand,” he added quickly. “I do remember having a splendid time as a small lad, though.”
“It would be a wonderful way to begin your tenure as earl. With your support, we are sure to get a good turnout. No doubt all the gentry in the county will also want to welcome you.”
“Kind of you to think of my welfare, Mrs. Graham.” He heaved a sigh. “Before I know it, they will be parading their eligible daughters under my nose.”
A smile forced its way to her lips at his gloomy tone. “A daunting prospect indeed.”
“Terrifying. I’d sooner face Marshal Ney.” He chuckled, a warm deep sound in the dark.
With studied nonchalance, she leaned against the seat back, ignoring a tingle of awareness that seemed to raise the hairs on her arms and the back of her neck. Awareness of him as a man. Of his heat dashing against her side in waves, of his interest in her as a female. She couldn’t remember a time when she felt quite so alive, or so much a woman. Sadly, her body lied.
I hope I managed to tickle your curiosity with this little glimpse.