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Welcome back! Since we're starting a new month, I thought I'd change things up and share an excerpt from my new regency romance novella, Love's Refrain, which is slated for release sometime this summer. Here's the opening scene:
Andrew Bradford, Earl of Covington, took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He needed to calm himself before speaking, lest he invoke the wrath of the person perched gracefully on the settee before him. His mother, the dowager countess, inspected the lace on her new gown.
"Come now, Andrew," she chided. "Your wife has been gone nine years. Certainly long enough for a proper mourning period. It's past time you remarried."
"I've no interest in remarrying, Mother."
"So you've said. But the fact is, you need an heir. Andrew —" She reached out a hand to stop him when he turned away from her. "I know Priscilla's death hurt you. But you are still here. Brentwood Manor needs an heir. And you need someone to help you go on living." She paused to let her words sink in.
"Andrew, I only want to see you happy. You need a companion, someone to be your champion, someone to listen to you and help you achieve your goals."
"I could get a dog," observed Andrew.
Ignoring her son's sarcasm, the countess continued. "Andrew, dear, I know you blame yourself for leaving Priscilla alone so soon after you married. But you were doing your duty to your country, fighting on the Continent. No one can say you abandoned your wife. She was always —delicate. You did your best, and the household staff took good care of her. It was not your fault."
Andrew shook his head in disbelief, but the countess carried on.
"The season is just beginning, and there are hundreds of lovely young women just looking for a dashing earl," she reminded him. "Tonight, Lord and Lady Kentridge are hosting a ball. Go and dance, make some young chit happy."
"Mother, I have better things to do than attend a ball."
"Of course you do. But I've already accepted on your behalf."
Thanks for stopping by! Please let me know what you think, and then check out other excerpts from authors listed at the Sweet Saturday Samples site.