She knew he stood behind her without turning around. The now familiar scent of bergamot, horses, and starched linen surrounded her. Her body tingled, and butterflies took up residence in her stomach. Her awareness of everything surrounding her increased. The air was crisper, the flowers along the edge of the patio, brighter. But all conversation on the patio receded until the only thing she heard was Redgrave’s voice.
“Grayson, Draper. I’m glad to be here.” Redgrave moved into their circle and looked first at Genevieve. “Lady Genevieve, you are looking lovely, as usual.” He bowed over her extended hand.
He turned to Mary. “Lady Mary, I had hoped you would be attending. Is Her Grace with you, as well?”
“Yes. She is resting in her room.” Thankfully her voice came out normal, despite her dry mouth. This was ridiculous. Even when she’d been fascinated with Claremont—before he’d turned into such a scoundrel, she had never had this reaction to the man.
“I hope she is not ill?” His piercing gaze had the butterflies in her stomach dancing a lively cotillion.
She offered him a slight smile, hoping the flush she felt on her face was not visible to all. “No, merely tired from the trip. She will be joining us for dinner.”
He continued to stare at her. “Ah. I shall plan on wishing her a pleasant visit.”
“I am sure she would like that.”
“As will I.”
Silence descended on the group, until Grayson said, “Well. It seems the rest of us have been forgotten, eh?”
Mary’s gaze swung from Redgrave to Grayson, who regarded the two of them with a puzzled expression. Whatever am I thinking? By dinnertime rumor would have them practically betrothed and headed to Gretna Green.
Author: Callie Hutton
Genre: Regency Romance
London, 1819. Four years ago, Darius, the Earl of Redgrave fled London two weeks before his wedding to Lady Mary’s sister and married another woman. Now a widower, he has returned to seek a new wife.
One woman catches his eye . . .
At first, Lady Mary doesn’t recognize the handsome lord as the cad who ran out on her sister. After giving him the cut direct in a London ballroom, she finds herself running into him everywhere she goes, and fighting a forbidden attraction. Not only has Mary sworn off men, Redgrave is so very wrong for her. But she cannot stop thinking of his kisses. Redgrave means to stay away from Mary but it is impossible. Passion between two people who can never be together is a dangerous game.
The USA Today best selling author of The Elusive Wife writes both Western Historical and Regency romance, with “historic elements and sensory details” (The Romance Reviews). She also pens an occasional contemporary or two. Callie lives in Oklahoma with several rescue dogs, two adult children, and daughter-in-law (thankfully all not in the same house), and her top cheerleader husband of thirty-eight years. She recently welcomed twin grandsons and loves being a grandma. Callie loves to hear from readers, and would welcome you as a “friend” on Facebook. You can contact her through her website: www.calliehutton.com, or write her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
She is past president of the Oklahoma chapter of The Romance Writers of America and PAN Liaison for Hearts Through History Romance Writers chapter of RWA.