Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Egg-cerpt from Denise Patrick
Gypsy Legacy: The Earl (Book 3)
by Denise Patrick
A panther. A prince. A promise. Can destiny tie the knot?
During a magical childhood summer, a gypsy woman gave Lady Amanda Cookeson a black panther statuette, promising that the man who came to claim it would also claim her heart. Amanda believes the Earl of Wynton is the prince she has awaited. Yet his reluctance to declare them anything more than friends leaves her wondering if she waited in vain.
If he wasn’t the last of his line, Jon Kenton, Earl of Wynton, wouldn’t marry at all. Since leaving his inheritance to the Crown is out of the question, however, he is compelled to search for the statuette his great-grandmother promised him. His quest leaves him empty handed—and secretly relieved. Finding the statuette would mean embracing the gypsy roots he has long denied.
Amanda is perfect countess material: lovely, admirable and—he thinks—statueless. Their passion is unquenchable…until the gypsy magic Jon thought he’d buried nearly destroys his future with Amanda.
Amanda was having difficulty concentrating on the drama unfolding on the stage before her. She could not stop her eyes from straying to the Warringham box, where Jon sat with his sisters and their husbands, and wishing she was there instead of with her parents.
She wondered to herself what it was about him that drew her. He was handsome, but so were at least a dozen or so others she knew. He was unfailingly polite and welcoming, but that was a product of breeding and upbringing. He cared deeply for his family. That set him apart from some of the young men she knew. He wasn’t a rake or rogue—nor was he trying to be. He was confident of who he was without being labeled something else.
He could kiss her senseless. No one had ever been able to do that. Not Lord Thurston, not Lord Darlington, not Lord Seevers. Their kisses had been more brotherly than lover-like. Not one of them had tried to kiss her anywhere other than her knuckles or cheek. Only Jon had been able to cause her heart to beat erratically by his mere presence, and her breath to catch by a mere touch. But was the physical attraction enough? And how would she find out?
The curtain fell and she suddenly realized she had been woolgathering the night away. She looked up as the curtain behind her parted to reveal Brand and Felicia. Jon entered behind them.
“I spoke with Shaftesbury today,” he said as they strolled, ostensibly toward the refreshment area.
“He promised to find another post for Mr. Cooper as soon as possible. He isn’t quite willing to convince the Board to turn a blind eye to the school, but he agreed to allow me to run the school as I see fit.”
She bristled at the implication.
“You? Why you?”
“I think you and I both know why. Certainly Shaftesbury and I understood that you and my grandmother, but mainly you, run the school. We also understand that the London Board is made up of men who are impressed by their own importance and, therefore, not about to let a woman seem more capable than they.”
“It’s no wonder children live on the streets,” she muttered angrily, “with such idiots running the city. And it’s no wonder that in this day and age a ten-year-old girl doesn’t know her own father’s name. If she’d been a boy, she’d know.”
“Perhaps,” he said placatingly. “But there’s little to do about it now. And you are getting what you wanted.”
“Only as long as I’m willing to hide behind you,” she huffed.
“I wouldn’t call it hiding.”
“Then what would you call it?”
“I’m not sure. But I’m perfectly willing to tell anyone who asks that I’m definitely not in charge. Unlike the men on the Board, I’m not so enamored of myself as to think I could competently run a school for girls.”
A large canvas in a wooden frame was propped against a wall. In the dim light, she could see a wash of brown, blue and green. He led her around to the other side of it, shielding them from anyone who might glance down the small hallway. She knew better than to be alone with him too often, but she couldn’t help herself. She wondered if he’d missed her over the past few days. She had certainly missed him.
“Where are we?” Was that her squeaky, nervous voice?
“Does it matter?”
A golden eyebrow raised. “That depends on why we are here.”
He pulled her closer and bent his head. “Has anyone ever told you, you talk too much?”
Heaven begins with an HEA. . .
Thanks for sharing,