Monday, October 27, 2014

Meet The Countess of Huntleigh in Mariana Gabrielle's "Royal Regard"

After fifteen years roaming the globe, the Countess of Huntleigh returns to England with her dying husband. She soon finds herself plagued by terrible troubles: a new title, estate, and sizable fortune; marked attentions from the marriage mart; the long-awaited reunion with her loving family; and a growing friendship with King George IV.

Settling into her new life, this shy-but-not-timid, not-so-young lady faces society’s censure, the Earl’s decline, false friends with wicked agendas, and the singular sufferings of a world-wise wallflower. Guided by her well-meaning husband, subject to interference by a meddlesome monarch, she must now choose the dastardly rogue who says he loves her, the charming French devil with a silver tongue, or the quiet country life she has traveled the world to find.

When she made a point of seeking him out at the end of the evening to say she and Lord Huntleigh would be leaving soon, he blocked her husband’s view of them, then everyone else’s, half-hidden behind a pillar, just on the right side of proper. She looked over his shoulder to make sure no one was watching while he gently tugged the glove from her left hand.
“I shall return this to you one day soon,” he said, putting it in the pocket of his tailcoat. “Until I do,” he ran his fingertip over the back of her hand, then dragged his fingernails across her palm, “you might consider what skin you next want to bare to me.” She gasped. “I have ideas of my own, of course, but I would hate to disappoint if you were longing for me to touch you elsewhere.”
Her face lost both its color and its objections, so he pushed his luck, moving his light contact from wrist to forearm to elbow, “How I wish it were your stocking I had just removed and the back of your knee inviting my kiss, not the crook of your elbow.” She looked as though the breath caught in her throat might keep her from speaking the rest of her life.

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