I’m excited to share a new release from my author friend, Caroline Warfield!
Music on the Waters
Sir Alexander Bradshaw needs a wife, a sensible woman to manage his unruly sons and sullen daughter. No suitable candidates appear, however, and Alec resigns himself to spend another long, dark Orkney winter companionless. When an acquaintance suggests a music teacher might occupy his daughter, he embraces the idea.
Ann Dunwood travels to Orkney for the opportunity to play the Kirkwall organ. For the beauty of the instrument, Ann endures the conservative choir members who wish to perform the most banal of hymns; she’s done it before. She knows how to fade into the shadows and keep to her place.
When he happens upon Ann in the cathedral, Alec is enchanted by the woman at the keyboard, who fills the room with a Bach fugue. Yet, when the music ends, the object of his fascination turns into a demure mouse. Alec determines to reignite the passion he glimpsed in her and fill his home with music.
Enjoy this excerpt:
Halfway through, their playing became entangled, until Alec broke off laughing, bowing his head to the piano. Ann convulsed, as if his laughter infected her with madness. They laughed until tears ran.
“How could we—” she began, gasping for air.
“The arrogance of it!” he replied.
“Maybe with a year of practice,” she said, catching her breath.
“A year? Surely a month or two would suffice,” he asserted.
She beamed at him; he thought it the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. When she opened her mouth to reply, the luscious line of her lower lip drew him. He froze, unable to pull his gaze away.
She closed her mouth slowly, and he leaned forward longing to kiss, his common sense in full retreat.
When she licked her lower lip, he was lost. He closed the distance until their breaths mingled.
“Sir Alec?” she murmured before he touched his lips to hers.
“Alec,” he said against her mouth, moving his lips and touching hers with his tongue. She didn’t pull away. He moved back mere inches, enough to look for any sign of distress. Her wide, expectant eyes sent him back for more.
Just a taste, he thought.
When she opened for him, he was lost. He pushed the bench back from the piano and pulled her into his lap, one arm about her shoulders anchoring her to him, the other caressing her waist and hip.
She gripped his shoulders, holding on as if for life. Her untutored responses to his kisses sent a warning through him, but he ignored it. When the hand at her waist slipped up to cup one breast, she stiffened, and he pulled it away, lifting his head to look at her again. She whimpered and shivered in his arms, leaning her mouth toward his, but he pulled her against his shoulder.
He dropped his head to hers, reveling in the silken feel of her hair. “I should apologize.”
She pulled herself up. “No, I—”
She didn’t object when he pulled her back. “Don’t. You’re a beautiful woman and a brilliant musician. I refuse to regret kissing you.” They sat together for long moments, her head nestled against his shoulder and his arm around her waist, until he kissed her neck and set her back on the bench.
About the Author
Traveler, poet, librarian, technology manager–award winning and Amazon best-selling author Caroline Warfield has been many things (even a nun), but above all she is a romantic. Having retired to the urban wilds of eastern Pennsylvania, she reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures while she nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart. She is also a regular contributor to History Imagined, a blog at the intersection of history and fiction, and (on a much lighter note) The Teatime Tattler, a blog in the shape of a fictional nineteenth century gossip rag.
This one is on my Kindle TBR pile! Thank you, Caro, for letting me share your story.
Images courtesy of Caroline Warfield.
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