I'm happy to announce I'm participating in my local RWA's chapter of the 12 Days of Christmas.
Each day one author from our chapter will be posting a short story. All of the stories take place at the same ball on Christmas Day at Pemberton Hall in England in 1814.
I wrote the second story "Two Turtle Doves."
When Nathan, the Duke of Hastings, discovers that his long lost love, Theodosia Swann is attending the ball at Pemberton, he can't believe his luck. After breaking off their love affair ten years before when his father hadn't approved of the match, Nathan has regretted letting his one great love get away.
Now, with snow on the ground, mistletoe hanging above doorways, and Christmas magic in the air, Nathan hopes to find Thia and make her fall in love with him all over again.
Will he find a way to make her forgive him for breaking her heart and will she still love him? Come by and see!
Here's a brief teaser of Two Turtle Doves:
His mouth dried, and he struggled to swallow past the lump in his throat. His body froze at the sight of her, stiff and taut with indecision. Should he go to her? What would she want? Would she be happy to see him? Perhaps she hated him? Or had she dreamt of him every night, as she lay alone in her bed, as he did her?
Lady Theodosia Swann stood out in the midst of her six younger sisters like a northern star in the winter skies, shimmering, glittering, all alone in the dark expanse of the inky universe. Yet, she was none the weaker for it. She was brighter, more enchanting.
Thia. My Thia.
As tiny as she was—he towered over her by a head and a half—she captured his full attention. He was enraptured by her as he watched her whisper something to one of her sisters. Her amber hair caught the light of the candles nearest her, a beacon shining for him. Her eyes, jade pools frosted with silver, glanced about the room, unaware of the steady heat of his own gaze.
Nathan sucked in a harsh breath as his body stirred to life with a level of arousal he’d thought he’d never feel again. Ten years had wrought great changes in her. In them both. The lithe-bodied girl of nineteen he’d swept across ballrooms in her first season was gone. In her place was a woman infinitely more alluring, with luscious curves his hands itched to shape, and pale pink lips he longed to explore with his own. Were they as soft as he remembered?
She smoothed her hands over her dark green gown and tugged at the puffed sleeves trimmed with lace. Her full breasts were accented by a square cut neckline and a bodice embroidered with holly leaves. When she shifted, he caught a glimpse of the shape of her legs as the silk, drawn up in festoons with more holly leaves, rustled and clung to her. Most men preferred younger women, barely out of their first Season, but Nathan couldn’t think of anything more lovely, more sensual, than a full-grown woman, who had a body worth holding, worth making love to endlessly into the night.
Her gaze swept the room and his gut clenched a second before her eyes hit him with the force of a physical blow. He swallowed hard as he watched as her cheeks turned from pink to ash. The look on her face robbed him of breath. Sadness haunted her, and he hated seeing it, seeing her so wounded. She looked as destroyed on the outside at seeing him, as he was on the inside since the day he’d broken both their hearts.
His heart cried out for her. Things are different now. I’m not the fool I once was, and I’m not under my father’s control.Thia stared at him for a moment longer, and then turned and moved swiftly away, running from him. He had to speak to her, apologize for everything he’d done to ruin their happiness ten years ago. He prayed he wasn’t too late.
Dying to know what happens next?
Go here to read the rest of the story and stayed tuned to the Wild Okies Blog for the rest of the stories!