The Comtesse of Midnight
A Scottish Earl on a quest for the elusive Comtesse de Fontenay, rescues a French lady smuggler from the surf during a devastating storm and takes shelter with her. As the stormy night drags on, he suspects his companion knows the lady he’s seeking, the lady who holds the secret to his identity. When she admits she’s in fact the Comtesse Fontenay, just not the particular one he was seeking, she dashes all his hopes—and promises him new ones.
A Sequel to Fated Hearts
Publisher: Havenlock Press
The Scotsman, however, was dead on his feet. She could almost feel sorry for him. He was far from home, and had been traveling for several days. His neckcloth was limp, his cuffs soiled, his coat wrinkled. His boots, well and carefully crafted, if not by Hoby then by some equally fashionable bootmaker in Edinburgh, had not been properly polished in the last few days.
He’d shaved though, probably very early that morning, because a delicious dark stubble had sprouted along his strong jaws.
Did he have a razor in his interesting valise? She wouldn’t molest him, unless he thought to do the same to her. If it came to that, and she prayed that it wouldn’t, she would use her own blade and not some unfamiliar shaving instrument.
“Is this one of your imports?” he asked, swirling the amber liquid. “It’s very good.”READ MORE
His words stirred her out of her imaginings about handsome young men, and she realized she must manage the conversation else she’d slip into sleep, or perhaps something more inconvenient, without thinking.
The Comte had always succumbed to sleep when they’d conversed, no matter the topic. She must soothe this fine-looking and very fatigued man the same way.
Outside, the thunderstorm had moved on, and the rain pounded in a comforting downpour. With the warm fire, and the heavy blankets, and the sleeping dog, it was quite cozy.
But what to talk about? Most certainly not the free trade. It would be far too diverting to put him to sleep, and besides she had no idea what he would do with the knowledge.
The countryside? She might slip and drop a hint about her home at Bloodmoor Hill.
She thought back to her time on the fringes of a London society that she’d found unbearably dull.
“I am glad you are enjoying the brandy,” she said. “But I daresay you are not liking this weather. It is quite the worst storm in many seasons, people are saying. Normally at this time of year the sea has quietened.” A lie, of course, but how would he know?
He sipped his drink, eyeing her over the glass.
Oh. Given that it might remind him of her activities that evening and spark questions, the sea was an inappropriate topic, whether or not one was fudging a weather report. “Winters, however are generally mild.”
He yawned, and she went on, discussing the number of rainstorms in March and going back to February, and then January, and making up the story as she went along, until his eyes drooped and the empty glass fell into his lap and lodged itself next to his fall.
Warmth uncurled in her. His trousers were tight in the usual fashion for gentlemen, outlining masculine endowments that sparked her interest far too much. Retrieving the fallen tumbler was out of the question.
She set down her own glass and fought the urge to join him in slumber.