Today on First Sight Saturday, Allison Knight shares an excerpt from her historical romance Lynbrook’s Lady.
Setup of the scene: After the death of her father, Abby Whitmore is ordered to England by her half-brother, family she didn’t know she had. He told her to wait for him, but he hasn’t shown up yet and
her merger funds are almost gone. She doesn’t know what to do. Enter an acquaintance of her brother who has no idea who she is and has a bone to pick with her brother. He decides to get even, as he says, “a mistress for a mistress.”
“Bodkins, we’ll go to the young woman, and you can introduce me. Tell her that I’ll be delighted to offer aid. Yes,” he added when Bodkins hesitated, “we’ll go and assure her that we can help. In fact, I can’t wait to discuss her future.”
Brad didn’t even try to conceal the pleasure he felt. A mistress for a mistress, he told himself as he started for the door. If she was all that desirable, he would give her the house Rosemarie occupied. Women loved clothes. He’d outfit her like a queen.
Brad preceded Bodkins up the stairs to the third floor, then
stood waiting for the man. The woman who opened the door to Bodkins was more than attractive. She was stunning, absolutely beautiful. Her face shone like fresh cream, no splotches, no ghastly white countenance. He’d describe her as small boned, delicate, and he suspected the top of her head would fit nicely on his shoulder. He stared into an elfin face with large, dark eyes, full of fear. Bodkins, he decided, was a master of understatement.
Bodkins presented him, and he stepped forward. “Let me assure you I mean you no harm. My man has told me a bit of your plight, and I believe I can help.” Brad watched as she hesitated.
He rushed to add, “Miss, I am Bradford St. James. I am acquainted with Carrington, and I believe I can help with this difficult situation in which you find yourself. Lady… Miss…”
He waited for her to supply the name. The woman glanced at Bodkins, standing to the left, then turned back to him. Brad waited several seconds before she gave him a fragile smile, hope lighting her bright blue eyes.
“You know Harry Whitmore, the Earl of Carrington? Sir, I will accept your help, and my name is Abigail Moore,” she said, her voice whisper soft. “My friends call me Abby. Your man says you are an earl, as well.”
Brad nodded and smiled at the sound of her voice. Her well- modulated tones suggested some education. A whiff of her fragrance, a delicate scent of wild flowers, teased his senses, and he felt a sudden rush of desire. “May I call you Abby? I would like to be your friend.”
He glanced at the tiny chamber. She couldn’t be comfortable here. “Won’t you join me in my suite? I thought that perhaps you would be willing to join me for a meal. Bodkins can serve as chaperon.”
He gave her time to consider his offer and watched her cheeks flame as she weighed her options. He stood, waiting patiently, knowing if she was a lady, she could answer in only one way. “All right, sir, I’ll join you for dinner.”
Brad hid his grin. So, she wasn’t a lady. Well, that made things so much easier. He turned around and nodded to Bodkins. Damn, but the sight of her had sent a surge of lust through him. He waited for her to precede him down the stairs.
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