Thursday, April 23, 2009

EXCERPT 5 (Jenn and Joy's Blog Blowout Continued)

Continuing Chapter Two of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, by Jennifer Ashley (release date April 28)

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Beth could stand up in a huff, point her nose in the air as Mrs. Barrington had taught her, and march out. Mrs. Barrington had said she’d slapped a good many would-be suitors in her time, though Beth would leave off the slap. She couldn’t imagine Lord Ian being fazed by any blow she could land, anyway.

“If I said yes, what would you do?” she asked in true curiosity. “Balk and try to talk your way out of it?”

“I would find a bishop, pry a license out of him, and make him marry us tonight.”

She widened her eyes in mock horror. “What, no wedding gown, no bridesmaids? What about all the flowers?”

“You were married once before.”

“So that ought to have satisfied my need for white gowns and lilies of the valley? I must warn you that ladies are quite particular about their weddings, my lord. You might want to know that in case you decide to propose to another lady in the next half hour.”

Ian closed hard fingers around her hand. “I am asking you. Yes or no?”

“You don’t know anything about me. I might have a sordid past.”

“I know everything about you.” His gaze went remote, and his hand closed more tightly on hers.

“Your maiden name is Villiers. Your father was a Frenchman who appeared in England thirty years ago. Your mother was the daughter of an English squire, and he disowned her when she married your father. Your father died a pauper and left you destitute. You and your mother were forced into a workhouse when you were ten years old.”

Beth listened in astonishment. She’d made no secret of her past to Mrs. Barrington or Thomas, but to hear it come out of the mouth of a lofty lord like Ian Mackenzie was unnerving.

“Goodness, is this common knowledge?”

“I told Curry to find out about you. Your mother died when you were fifteen. You were eventually employed by the workhouse as a teacher. When you were nineteen the vicar newly in charge of the workhouse, Thomas Ackerley, met you and married you. He died of fever a year later. Mrs. Barrington of Belgrave Square hired you as her companion.”

Beth blinked as the drama of her life unfolded in the brief sentences. “Is this Curry a Scotland Yard detective?”

“He is my valet.”

“Oh, of course. A valet.” She fanned herself vigorously. “He looks after your clothes, shaves you, and investigates the pasts of obscure young women. Perhaps you should be warning Sir Lyndon about me instead of the other way around.”

“I wanted to discover whether you were genuine or false.”

She had no idea what that meant. “You have your answer, then. I’m certainly no diamond in the rough. More like a pebble that’s been polished a little.”

Ian touched a lock of hair that had drifted to her forehead. “You are real.”

###

PS from Jennifer: That's it for the excerpts! We'll take comments all through Friday and I'll pull and contact the winner on Saturday.

5 comments:

Raonaid Luckwell April 23, 2009 at 7:02 PM  

Definitely putting this book on my "need to buy".

That's the bad thing about excerpts, they wet your appetite enough to say "I want it now".

Thanks Jennifer and Joy for posting all these delicious excerpts to taunt and tease us!!!

Juliet April 23, 2009 at 7:46 PM  

I agree! I love them, but at the same time is kind of a torture when one read some as good as these and them has to wait for the books.
Thanks for posting them! All the excerpts are terrific!

Colleen Thompson April 23, 2009 at 8:19 PM  

I just finished LORD IAN and I loved this book!

I'm missing the RT party, too, to keep my nose to the grindstone editing a ms. Proving once again that life is patently unfair. :)

Pam P April 24, 2009 at 2:19 AM  

Fabulous, I can see I'm going to love this one, to be read soon as I can get it, lol.

Pat April 24, 2009 at 2:51 PM  

I don't read spoilers, but love to read first chapters. Yippee, I have found a new author to buy.

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