I’d like to welcome Jean Hart Stewart to the Perils of Pauline! Jean is a multi-published author of romance and I pulled this tag line from her website:
We know I like an author with a sense of humor, so I’m delighted she stopped by my blog to talk excerpts. Without further ado, take it away, Jean!
What makes the perfect excerpt? I post a lot of these, and would like to know what my readers really like. The hot ones? The sweetly sensual ones? The intriquing ones that leave a bit of mystery? Here’s one from my latest book, The Third Rose. It’s close to the beginning, and I think has some suspense, a little sexy feel to it, and I’d love to know how it goes over with readers. Do rate it for me, would you please?
“The night of the opera found Sara dressed early, and sitting in the parlor as rigid as one of its porcelain ornaments. She’d sent Samantha and her aunt to their rooms, saying merely she needed time alone to compose herself. Instead she found she could barely put one thought in order. She finally just sat, twisting her lace handkerchief, with her eyes fastened on the door.
She heard Walters open the door to a distinctly masculine knock, and still sat motionless. His deep voice greeted Walters, and then Wolf stood in the doorway. A magnificent Wolf, in black formal attire which became him enormously, its close fit emphasizing his virile, muscular body. He was impossibly handsome and elegant.
She raised great, wounded eyes to his.
He reached her side in an instant.
“My dear Sara,” he said, pulling her to her feet and holding her lightly against him. “Whatever is the matter? Surely you are not frightened of appearing in public with me?”
“It’s not you, my lord, it’s appearing in public.” Her voice quivered as she found she could no longer meet his eyes.
“But I will be with you every moment.” His tone was puzzled as he did not quite understand what so upset her. This intrepid girl, who’d accosted him with a pistol? And proudly assured him she was equally adept with a rapier?
She would not look at him.
“I should never have consented to this, my lord. What if your friends remember my father’s scandal? I’m sure you must have pieced the story together by now. What if somehow it reflects on you? It will, you know, and then I’ll have injured your mission instead of helping it. I’ve been purely selfish.”
She was looking at the floor and didn’t see his eyes fill with pity, but she felt the small shake he gave her.
He knew sympathy would ruin what was left of her composure. “All years ago. The ton needs a new scandal every fortnight, and generally finds one. They don’t have the brains to keep nattering away at one subject for long. Your name will probably only bring blank stares. Do you think some old story can compete with the fact the Duke of Danfield’s granddaughter just eloped with her French tutor?”
She raised her golden eyes, a spark of laughter in them.
“She didn’t!” Sara exclaimed.
“She did. And just yesterday. You are stale news, my dear. Not really very interesting.” He lifted her chin with one finger and smiled at her.
He found his smile getting warmer as she gazed at him with eyes not nearly as wounded as before. He breathed a small sigh of relief. Whether for himself or for her he didn’t stop to analyze.
After that excerpt, I’m sure my readers are anxious to know more about The Third Rose so here’s a blurb: