My current work-in-progress is my first Regency novel (oh, what a fan I am of that genre). I’m hoping to have it ready by spring, 2017.
In the meantime, here is a snippet from chapter 2.
Eleanor, returning from her morning ride close to noon, found the ambiance at the manor changed from the previous night. She spotted three carriages unloading passengers in front of the circular stone staircase and paused to watch the bustle that ensued. A thin gentleman, encased in a padded coat the color of jaundiced yellow, called out in stringent accents, “You there! Take Lady Wolverington’s portmanteau. You will need to remove these two trunks first. Each of you take an end. Take care what you’re about, man!”
She turned and rode toward the stables and allowed the groom to assist her in dismounting before she led the horse towards the entryway. On the far end, the earl addressed a gentleman whose spine was as stiff as his collar. Everything, from his hairstyle à la Brutus down to his spotless Hessians, spoke a gentleman of means.
The earl was speaking. “I see you still don’t trust anyone but your own groom—”
“—or yourself, which is a ridiculous notion. Are you still racing Thunder?”
“He’s retired from the lists. Shame. He brought me a fair profit. I had high hopes for Salamander—you ain’t seen her yet—but she’s foaling and won’t be racing again.” The gentleman flicked his riding crop against the stall and turned when Eleanor’s horse blocked the light pouring into the stable. He threw a surprised look at his friend.
The earl walked forward, took the reins from her hands, and handed them to the groom trailing behind. “Jesse, Mr. Jameson will be returning to Salisbury after our meeting, and you’ll need to have the carriage ready any time from six o’clock.” The groom nodded his acquiescence.
Flicking a glance at Eleanor, he turned back. “Mr. Amesbury, allow me to present Miss Daventry. She was my uncle’s ward and is here to attend the meeting with the solicitor. Miss Daventry, this is Mr. Amesbury.” She sank into a graceful curtsy as he executed a correct bow.
“It’s a pleasure.” The fashionable gentleman turned to watch the stable hand lead her horse into the stall.
A small pause ensued, and she wondered if she should attempt to make conversation, but the earl spoke. “Jesse will care for the horse. We sit down to lunch at one o’clock.”
Eleanor, dismissed, nodded and turned on her heel without offering a response. She skirted past the groom and picked her way across the stable floor before exiting into the sunshine.
“A dab of a thing, isn’t she?” —words she knew were not meant for her to hear.
Yes, yes, she thought, marching towards the house. I know I’m a dab of a thing. Not at all to your liking. It’s fortunate I’m not out to catch a husband or I would be quite out.