Well hello! If you’re reading this, you must have survived the holiday and the frenzy in the stores! This week, try a taste of Something Like a Lady, Regency in progress with Kim Bowman.
Annabella held the rosebud to her face and sniffed. The sweet perfume filled her nostrils until she found herself giddy with taking so many deep breaths. Her stomach rumbled and she splayed her fingers across her abdomen until the grinding pain of her hunger passed. Of all her discomforts, she decided the hunger was the worst. But at least she had no horrid rules to follow. None of her mother’s harping and pushing about marriage.
No one to talk to. She sighed.
But now that she had the attention of a maid willing to help her, most of her discomforts were about to vanish. No more horrid lemons, food prepared by the competent kitchen staff. Would Abby serve her meals? Or would that cause her to be missed from other duties? Oh, what did it matter? She was about to be delivered a meal, the first true meal since she’d packed Juliet off to London. What a brilliant stroke of good fortune that the maid had been sent to clean the cottage. Annabella hadn’t known anyone bothered with the decrepit building any more. Apparently it was still cleaned every so often after all.
She glanced up the narrow track. When would Abby return with her food? And some of her own clothing? To eat again and not have to fight the mice for the last crumb of stale bread, surely that would be as close to heaven as she was likely to get before she died.
She lifted the rose again and inhaled deeply. Nearby, a bird sang. Annabella tried to imitate its call but she’d never learned to whistle—no matter how many times Juliet had tried to teach her. So she started humming. The bird trilled a reply and Annabella opened her mouth and sang an upward scale of “ah-ah-ah’s.”
She launched into one of the hymns they often sang in church and began to dance around the yard, but stopped short. That seemed too irreverent. With a sigh, she hummed a bit from a Beethoven piece. Her feet picked their way over the rocks as she hopped and kicked.
Soon she would have food…and her own dresses. She closed her eyes and twirled, imagining the handsomest prince as her dancing partner. Juliet might think it a child’s tale to dream of true love, but Annabella didn’t think that at—
Strong arms caught her in mid-spin and a hand settled at her waist. Annabella’s eyes flew open. She opened her mouth to scream but the dashing stranger grinned and whirled her around then released her.
Annabella stumbled and then scrambled backward, intent on putting distance between her and the stranger.
“What are you doing?” she demanded, placing her hands on her hips. And why must her heart race so?
The stranger had the daring to laugh outright. He aimed a courtly bow in her direction. “I beg your pardon. I saw a lady dancing and in need of a partner and thought to oblige with my services.”
………………………….. Like Regencies?
HAPPY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY READING!
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