This novel has been a long time coming and for today’s First Kiss Friday scene, I’m happy to give you an excerpt from my next release that is available for pre-order, One Moment In Time:A Family of Worth, Book Two. In this scene, Lady Roselyn Winslow has been ill and Edmond Worthington, 9th Duke of Hartford has just woken up after falling asleep in Lady Roselyn’s home. Happy reading and enjoy!
Edmond opened his eyes and found himself gazing into the face of an angel. Emerald pools, green as the Scottish moors, stared back at him with an expression of wonder. He reached out to lightly caress her cheek just to ensure she was real. She trembled beneath his touch and he thanked God Roselyn had awoken once more.
Swinging his legs down to the floor, he stood and reached for her hands to help her to rise. Her beautiful face wore a confused frown, and without thought he acted on the urge to assure himself she was real and on the mend, bringing her into his embrace. He knew in his heart his gesture was inappropriate; he should not be so bold, especially considering all that she had been through, but he could not resist.
Stepping back as he should became impossible when she returned his affection by placing her arms around his waist. As if they had a will of their own, his hands made their way up her arms and into her glorious curling hair that cascaded down the length of her back. It felt like the softest silk to his touch and a lock coiled around his fingers taking possession of him.
He took her chin in his fingers and tilted it up so he could see the face she had been hiding in his chest. Once more staring into her eyes, he saw her lips tremble and wondered how sweet they would taste. Leaning forward, he came to within a breath and hesitated. But only for one second. At last, he brought his mouth down to hers in a gentle first kiss.
There could be no mistaking her hesitation nor that she was inexperienced in her technique. Edmond retained enough control to remember she was a young innocent and he did not wish to scare her away. His heart rejoiced when he felt her arms creep up his back and he tightened his hold upon her. One taste would in no way satisfy the sudden desire he had for her and her encouragement gave him the permission he needed to deepen the kiss all the more.
His sanity finally reined in his desire, and he broke the spell by ending their kiss abruptly. Alarm briefly shook him when Roselyn took several steps backwards to put some distance between them. In the silence of the room, the only sound was the two of them attempting to catch their breaths after the heat of the moment.
“Edmond, please…we must… not—” Her voice trailed off in a breathless whisper. “You must forgive me. I do not know what came over me.”
“It is I who should be begging your forgiveness for taking such a liberty.” Edmond was struggling to put his emotions back under control. “I was just so overjoyed to see you that I forgot myself.”
“I thought you were my father and was going to ask him to join me in the kitchen for something to eat. If I had known you were sleeping here as a guest, I would not have disturbed your slumber, Your Grace.”
“No reverting to titles, Roselyn. I have given you permission to use my given name remember?”
He watched her clutch the edges of her robe. She was standing in the middle of her father’s study wearing only her night clothes, and must be embarrassed. He would help her to retain a sense of modesty by pretending not to notice. “Yes, of course, Edmond. I just cannot seem to remember things too clearly at the moment.”
“That is understandable after all you have been through. I believe Mrs. Brimble has been keeping some broth warmed up for when you awoke. Would you like me to assist you into the kitchen?”
At her nod of consent, Edmond took her elbow and walked her the remaining way towards the rear of the house. Once they reached the kitchen, he pulled out a chair for her and filled a bowl of steaming soup. Finding some bread and cheese, he cut her a few pieces and placed it before her in case she wanted something a little more filling. From the seat he took next to her, he watched as she sipped at the soup, ignoring the rest. He was curious what she remembered of the events that led to her current situation.
“You look at me most curiously, Edmond,” she commented in between tastes of her midnight repast. “What is it you wish to ask of me and why are you here at such a late hour?”
Edmond took a moment to collect his thoughts before answering. “I came by this evening to enquire about your health as I have been doing for the past few days since your confinement. We have all been concerned for your health, my lady. Since the hour had grown late, your parents offered me one of the guest rooms so I could stay close but I fell asleep in your father’s study instead. To see you as I awoke from my dreams made me think that perhaps I was still sleeping… I am glad to see that I was not.”
“I do feel quite rested,” she murmured. “Wait one moment. Did you say the past few days?”
“Why yes, Roselyn. You awoke for a brief time and spoke with your friend Lady Abigail, but then you drifted back to sleep after your parents and William came to see you. You have been sleeping off and on ever since.”
Her distress flashed in her eyes before Roselyn raised her hands to cover her face. Edmond wrapped an arm around her shoulders as she wept, and felt the cad for being the cause of her anguish.
“Hush now, little one.” The endearment slipped easily from his lips. “Perhaps this excursion downstairs was too much too soon. Let me help you back to your room and all will look brighter in the morning.”
“Oh, Edmond,” she sobbed, “I cannot fathom I have been unconscious for so long. Everyone must have been so worried. What if I go to sleep again and do not wake for another long period of time?”
Edmond took a moment to stroke her hair and offer what comfort he could. “You must not think of such things, Roselyn. Tell me, can you remember everything from the time of the ball?”
He watched her brows furrow as she concentrated on the past events. When her face flushed red, he assumed she remembered everything, including her trip through the forest.
“Yes, I remember,” she said quietly as she lowered her head.
The evident shame she felt over her actions required no further censorship from him. After all, who was he to remind her of her foolishness? Had he not been rash himself in his younger days?
“There, you see?” he brightly declared. “All will be well with just a little more rest. You shall be back into Society attending all the parties in no time.”
“I have already missed so many,” she said with a small pout.
Edmond chuckled. The look of childlike disappointment on her beautiful young face seemed incongruous, but one of her characteristics he admired was that her one person encompassed both youthful enthusiasm and lovely young woman.
Yes, she would be back to her old self in no time. Still, he could not resist placing a quick kiss on those pouting lips. Her shock was once more visible as she reached up to touch her lips. He was immensely pleased at her innocent gesture.
“Believe me, Roselyn, after a while all these parties become one in the same, especially when it feels as if you have attended hundreds in one season,” he said with another chuckle. She reminded him that he was still young, even if he was eight years her senior.
He took her elbow once more and helped her to rise, then started guiding her back up the stairs. It was slow going, as Roselyn needed to rest several times during the climb. Keeping his voice to a whisper, he asked, “Roselyn, I would like to see again when you are feeling up to it that is. Would this please you as well?”
Roselyn stopped in mid-stride on one of the stairs to search his face. “Yes, Edmond. This would please me very well indeed.”
“Then I shall look forward to when I may call so we can attend an event or two,” he said, with a slight nod of his head.
They reached the top of the stairs and Edmond continued escorting Roselyn the rest of the way to her room. He opened the door for her and watched as she turned to face him once more. Detaining him but a moment, she rested her small hand on his forearm and, as he leaned down, she reached up on her toes and placed a small kiss on his cheek.
Roselyn shyly chanced one brief glance at him before quietly closing the door with a captivating smile. He paused briefly and placed the palm of his hand upon her door, knowing she rested just on the other side. Shaking his head, he made his way to his appointed room for what remained of the night.
One Moment In Time
A Family of Worth, Book Two
Special pre-order price of $2.99
Sherry Ewing is pleased to announce that One Moment In Time: A Family of Worth, Book Two is now available for pre-order. Get your copy at the special pre-order price of only $2.99!
One moment in time may be enough, if it lasts forever…
When the man Lady Roselyn Ann Winslow has loved since she was a young girl begins to court her, Roselyn thinks all her dreams have come true… until the dream turns into a nightmare.
Lady Roselyn is everything Edmond Worthington, 9th Duke of Hartford, could ask for in a wife and he is delighted to find she returns his love… until he loses her, not once but twice.
From England’s ballrooms, to Berwyck Castle and a tropical island that is anything but paradise, Edmond and Roselyn face ruthless enemies who will do anything to tear them apart. Can they recover their one moment in time?
Sherry Ewing picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time at night. You can learn more about Sherry and her published work at the links below or on any of the tabs above.
Find Sherry Ewing at:
Website & Books: www.SherryEwing.com
Bluestocking Belles: http://bluestockingbelles.net/
Hearts Through Time: http://heartsthroughtime.com