Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Nobody Trusts a Warriner...

I am almost beside myself with excitement because I have finally written my first series. Well almost.
I’m still writing book four, but the rest are done and will soon all be released into the wild- which is apt because they are called The Wild Warriners. Four sinfully handsome, down-on-their-luck brothers ostracised from society thanks to the antics of their troublesome ancestors.

The first in the quartet- A Warriner to Protect Her- came out a few weeks ago and is doing really well. The reviewers seem to like it (thank goodness!) and there has already been a bit of a buzz about book two, A Warriner to Rescue Her, which doesn’t come out till July. I suppose I could waffle on about what it’s about and what my inspiration was, but instead I thought I’d share with you a little taster…

Jack strode on to the landing, only to be confronted by the sight of Letty looking deliciously sleep rumpled at her door. She had only opened the door enough to poke her head around, but Jack saw the tantalising glimpse of a female leg where it poked beneath the hem of yet another one of his shirts and the sight irritated him. The blasted woman was handy with a needle. She had started embroidering little patterns on everything from napkins to pillowcases. Weeks ago, she had begun making a dress—which was still not finished—so why could she not fashion herself a proper nightdress? One that came to the floor and covered all of her soft, silken skin. And while she was about it, she should probably plait the wild, golden riot of curls that hung past her shoulders and tempted him to touch. An ugly nightcap would not go amiss either.
‘What’s happening?’ she asked.
‘There’s a storm. We need to round up the animals. Go back to bed Letty. You’re in no danger.’
‘I can help.’
Jack was in no mood to be tactful. ‘No, you can’t. Go back to bed.’

The storm would take his mind off her; he didn’t need the additional burden of an heiress faffing about and getting in his way when he had a serious job to do. He saw her fine eyes narrow just before she slammed the door shut and he turned away, striding briskly to the stairs. It was just as well. If she had argued with him, he would have bitten back twice as hard. Lack of sleep always brought his temper close to the surface and, as Letty was responsible for the deficiency, he doubted any confrontation would end well tonight. Not after their splendid chat in the barn earlier, when she had thanked him for being so sensible about not pursuing their mutual attraction, then blithely gone about her day as if the words he had wrenched out of his gut and choked hollowly out of his mouth had not sounded the death knell on all his secret hopes of a miracle.

She might have argued then, as she was prone to when she heartily disagreed with something, and perhaps given some credence to the idea that their two worlds could merge if they both wanted them to. But of course she hadn’t. Only a tiny part of him had expected her to—a part which he hadn’t even realised existed until he had categorically listed for her all the reasons why there was nothing except lust between them. Even as he said the words he knew them to be false. What he felt for Letty was more than just desire. He genuinely admired her tenacity and her sunny disposition. Her indomitable spirit. The woman never let anything beat her, whether that be kidnappers or roasted chickens. And since the very first moment he had found her frozen and terrified in the road, a part of his jaded, wary, Warriner heart would always be hers. Yearned to be hers. Maybe those rash feelings were due to his customary and ever-present sense of responsibility—but if that was entirely the case, why, when he had held her chilled body in his arms that night, had her presence in them felt so very…right?

If only she had been a random, ordinary girl of no consequence instead of The Tea Heiress. Then maybe he would have stood a chance and taken a gamble. It didn’t help knowing, thanks to hours of rifling through Jacob’s collection of newspapers when nobody was looking, that when the newsmen wrote the words Tea Heiress they were always put in italics, as if she were so special, so above everyone else, that only a select few in society were on a par with her. Now he knew her, he realised they were right. Letty was an incomparable…and so very far out of his reach as to be laughable.

Unfortunately, that same tiny part of him which had held out for the miracle earlier was now disproportionately grieving the inevitable loss of her in his life, even though he never really stood a chance of her remaining in it. He had also read about her life in those same newspapers and it was a life he could never hope to give her. The finest clothes, balls, jewels and a prominent and revered place in society. The moment Jack had reminded her of her wealthy Duke, she’d nodded and smiled and immediately switched her thoughts to getting home to Mayfair. Which had been his intention. Because any hope of a future between them was ridiculous. Wasn’t it? So he should be happy he had been the sensible one.

But he wasn’t.

‘We need all the ropes we can carry.’ His three brothers were assembled in the kitchen, the lanterns already lit. ‘The river has burst its banks. If one of us has to venture into it, then we’ll be tethered to something first. If we drive the sheep to the west pasture, they will be safe. Jamie—check on the horses, then the cows. See that none of them have injured themselves.’
His brother’s face clouded with barely suppressed fury. ‘I am not a blasted invalid, Jack. I’ll help you three with the sheep first. The horses and damned cows can wait!’
‘I’ll see to the horses and cows.’ Jack spun around to see Letty marching towards him in a greatcoat that swamped her and wearing an expression of complete and total defiance. Jamie nodded and handed her a lantern, clearly delighted not to be relegated to lighter duties because of his injuries.

‘Go back to bed, Letty! It’s dangerous out there.’ And Jack could already feel the beginnings of a knot of worry at the thought of her out in that storm. The last time she had been exposed to bad weather she had almost died. ‘This is no place for a woman like you.’

She marched fearlessly in front of him and stuck out her chin, not the slightest bit intimidated by the angry way he loomed over her. ‘I am not some silly, spoiled, empty-headed fool.’ Her finger prodded him firmly in the chest. ‘And whilst your brothers might well listen to your orders, you are not my master Jack Warriner. Or my husband. And you never will be. So don’t expect me to obey you. I am helping. Deal with it.’ She spun on her heel and stomped stubbornly towards the back door. Without a backward glance, she flung it open and flounced into the raging tempest...

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...