“♥Spring Waltz -YIRUMA♥.” Video created for and uploaded to YouTube by Andreea Petcu, 25 Feb. 2012.
THE LINK BETWEEN MUSIC AND STORY:
Spring is here! I am enjoying the extra hours of sunlight and looking forward to soon leaving the heavy jackets behind. I love how everything begins to feel fresh and new after the grayness of winter. Since spring is a time of newness, I decided that this week I would share an excerpt from my story where a new character (and a possible new love interest for Anne) is introduced.
EXCERPT FROM Her Heart’s Choice:
Anne gave a quick glance at her aunt as Lady Sophia returned to the sitting room. The last caller of the day, Sir Hugh, sat beside her. She wondered at the length of time her aunt had been gone from the room. Surely she was not in conversation with Alex for so long a period of time. She would have to make it plain to her aunt that Mr. Madoch was not an acceptable suitor as soon as she finished with Sir Hugh ─ she glanced at the papers in her lap ─ Mattingly. She tilted her head to the side. Lady Anne Mattingly. Yes, it sounded acceptable. She turned her attention to the papers once again. He was not wealthy beyond measure, but he was solvent and substantially so. She flipped through the papers, looking at his holdings and financial records. Then, she sat them aside in the stack that was slowly building on the table next to her. She looked carefully at the gentleman before her. He was not plain. In fact, his face was very like a chiselled marble. He held himself with dignity under her scrutiny and merely smiled. That could be a weakness, she noted. He might be far too self-assured to be pleasant. She leaned forward feigning a need to fix something on her shoe.
“It is such an annoyance when one’s slip catches on one’s dress.” She had inhaled deeply as she had reached for her foot. He smelled very pleasant. She marked off good hygiene on her mental list. So far, he seemed a very likely candidate. “Sir Hugh,” she said situating herself back in a proper upright position. “You are a knight, is that correct?”
“It is, Miss de Bourgh.” He waited for her next question. Then, as she simply held his gaze, he determined that she might want a further explanation of his title. “There was a matter of some money owed that was forgiven and as a sign of gratitude, the title was bestowed.”
“You gamble?” That would be a sad thing, she was beginning to like looking at him and his voice was very pleasant.
“On occasion, but never more than I can afford and always when the prince demands it.”
She raised an eyebrow and contemplated that. “You are often with the prince?”
“No, I have only been invited to play with him a handful of times.”
She nodded. To be included in a group so close to the prince did have its merits. It was not as if this man had been born to it. “Never to excess?” She needed the reassurance. Debt was a very easy way for one man, and therefore, his whole family, to fall under the power of another.
“Never.” He assured. “My estate and legacy are far too important to risk on an evening’s entertainment.”
She smiled and relaxed just a bit. He did seem to know the proper answer to give. “And what other forms of entertainment do you partake? The theatre? Concerts? Riding?”
“I do enjoy an invigorating ride either on horseback or in a curricle. I would be happy to escort you to the park on a drive.”
She tipped her head and bit her lip. He was the first to ask it of her, and his voice and that smile did make it hard to resist. She smiled. “I think I should like that Sir Hugh; however, and you must forgive me for being so forward, there are still two vices about which I must question you.”
He chuckled, and Anne suddenly became less concerned with his uprightness. “I do not drink to excess,” he said with a smile. “And I would never consider a mistress after I was married unless my wife made it necessary.” He smirk slightly as Anne’s eyes grew wide, and she blushed at what he implied. “So do I pass? Might I take you for a drive tomorrow?”
Anne bit her lip again and considered the invitation for what she deemed was an appropriate length of time before giving a small nod of her head and extending her hand. “You have succeeded so far as a ride is concerned. We are not yet acquainted well enough to determine if your suit shall succeed above all.”
He took her hand and instead of shaking it as she had extended it for him to do, he turned it and placed a kiss gently on her knuckles. “Until tomorrow at five, then, Miss de Bourgh,” he said as he rose.
Anne mumbled something in farewell. He cut quite a stirring figure as he left the room, and since all others had left, she did not bother to check her pleasure at watching him leave.
“He is quite acceptable, I think,” she said to Lady Sophia when the front door to Matlock House had closed behind Sir Hugh.
“He is rather attractive,” said her aunt.
Anne picked up his financial reports. “And he is both titled and wealthy.”
“He seems practiced,” said her aunt in an attempt to shed some less positive light on the man. To have Anne so enamoured with another would do Mr. Madoch no favours, and she did not particularly care for the look in Sir Hugh’s eyes. Perhaps she was being partial, but she did not particularly care. Mr. Madoch was the one who would love Anne as she deserved.