Oct 11 2013 2:00pm
Elizabeth Hoyt’s Historical Hookup: An Original Scene
We asked, they wrote! In September, we shared a poll where you could vote for your favorite elements in a story and five authors would write a scene based on the winning elements:
A young heiress heroine who is a mysterious brunette.
A titled gentleman hero whose usual expression is a dark scowl.
This couple has never met before.
The scene takes place in a bedroom.
Heroes and Heartbreakers is thrilled to be hosting the scene Elizabeth Hoyt wrote for the poll. And don't forget to check out our First Look of Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt. Enjoy!
There were several drawbacks to being an aristocratic thief, Hugh Fletcher, Viscount Hampton, reflected as he paused just inside the Duchess of Breckingstoke’s bedroom. The sneaking about wore on one’s nerves and played hell with any sense of style. Having to hock the stolen goods was just tedious. Oh, and being discovered in the act of thieving, yes, that was something of a damper as well.
“What are you doing in Her Grace’s bedroom?” asked the lovely young slip of a thing—Miss Cartwright or Cartwheel or some such. He really hadn’t bothered to commit her name to memory when they’d been introduced at the beginning of the duchess’s house party since virginal heiresses weren’t quite his thing.
Unfortunately, though, this virginal heiress already occupied the bedroom he’d endeavored to sneak into in search of the fabled Breckingstoke ruby—a garishly ugly stone worth a king’s ransom.
“Ah.” Hugh arched an eyebrow that had made more than one matron blush in confusion and look away. He leaned a shoulder against the doorjamb as if being discovered entering a lady’s bedroom were a commonplace occurrence. Which, actually, it was. “Miss, er?”
“Carter,” she supplied in a high, girlish voice. Her face was round and sweet, her eyes wide and innocent. She stood by the ridiculously high bed, her head cocked inquisitively to the side. Really, it was a bit like kicking a kitten.
But needs must. “Miss Carter.” Hugh pursed his lips and flicked away an imaginary speck of lint from the lace at his wrist. “Naturally, you’ve been sheltered from these things, but one really doesn’t question why a gentleman such as myself might be in a lady’s boudoir.”
He waited for the stammered apologies, the swift retreat, but was met with…silence.
After a moment he looked up.
She was still staring at him with those enormous eyes. Perhaps she was lack witted. The aristocracy did have a tendency to inbreed. “Are you saying you’ve embarked on an affair de coeur with the duchess?”
He winced and drew in his breath. Sharply. “Good Lord, child! Have you no sense of propriety?”
At that her eyebrows drew together and Hugh began to feel that at last she’d understood how very déclassé her questions had been.
But no. She opened rosebud lips and said, “Because, the thing is, I believe the duchess is two and eighty this year, and while I admire any activity in one of such advanced years, I do wonder at your…er…proclivities.”
He glared even as he felt heat invade his aristocratic cheekbones. Perhaps the influx of blood helped, for finally his brain supplied the question he should’ve asked to begin with. “Well, what are you doing in Her Grace’s bedroom?”
She smiled brightly and stepped away from the bed, holding up a lace shawl. “I came to fetch this for Her Grace.”
“How very thoughtful of you,” he sneered.
“Yes, wasn’t it?” she chirped and for the first time in his life Hugh felt a strong urge to harm a female.
Fortunately he was saved by a feminine voice from behind him. “Oh, there you are, Charlotte…and Lord Hampton.”
Hugh turned to find Mrs. Burns, one of the worse gossips in existence, staring goggle-eyed at the both of them. He opened his mouth, but for the life of him couldn’t think of a thing to say.
Evidently not a problem for Miss Carter.
“Yes, here I am,” she said sweetly, sailing past Mrs. Burns. “I do hope I haven’t kept the other ladies waiting. I so love a hand of whist.” She turned behind Mrs. Burns, who was still staring at Hugh with narrowed eyes. “Goodbye, my lord. I do hope we can chat again.”
And the minx actually had the nerve to wink…
As she slipped the Breckingstoke ruby into her bosom.
Copyright © 2013 by Elizabeth Hoyt.
Love Elizabeth Hoyt? Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Elizabeth Hoyt's latest book in the Maiden Lane series, Duke of Midnight, before its October 15 release:
And don't forget to check out our First Look of Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt.
The author of the New York Times bestselling Maiden Lane series and the Legend of Four Soldiers series as well as the Prince Trilogy, Elizabeth Hoyt writes “mesmerizing” (Publishers Weekly) historical romances. She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with three untrained dogs, two angelic but bickering children, and one long-suffering husband. Central Illinois can be less than exciting, and Elizabeth is always more than happy to receive missives from her readers. You can write to her at: P.O. Box 17134, Urbana, IL 61873.
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