Here’s another snippet from my Regency romance, Lady Elinor’s Escape, in the hero’s point of view for this week’s Book Hooks! a weekly meme hosted by Marketing for Romance Writers.
In January, I shared a snippet where Stephen debates about whether to offer his assistance to an agitated female swathed in widow’s weeds who arrives at a coaching inn where he is breakfasting. He does, of course, since he’s a gentleman. In this snippet, he gets his first good look at the young woman, who has a visible bruise on one eye.
Stephen Chaplin studied his unexpected traveling companion, her head now turned to look out the window, giving him a clear view of her profile. Her features were regular, her nose straight and not too long, and her full lips hinted at emotional depths he’d yet to see. Though she’d pulled her shining brown hair back into a severe chignon, a few strands had escaped to curl around her ears. Still, try as he might, his gaze always returned to the reddened area under her eye, marring the perfection of her porcelain skin.
His gut tightened. Who had hit her? A husband, a father, or a lover?
Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him.
There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a ‘rescuer’ of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with his secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.
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Linda / Lyndi