That’s right, Book Three in my erotic Regency trilogy is about to be finished. Then it needs critiques, editing, beta readers, and final edits. Just a lot of fun all around. At least the cover has already been created.

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I thought you might like to have a chance to read excerpts so that you can make up your mind to buy it when it comes out. The story follows Bernard Curtis, the twin who stayed in London and pretended to be his brother Roland. The family receives news that Roland is missing in battle and presumed dead. Because of the switch, however, the letter actually says that Bernard is dead.

Bernard hadn’t moved when the library door opened an hour later and a maid brought in a tray. She set it down next to the now empty decanter, uncovered a dish of broth, and turned to go.

“Wait. You’re Bessie, aren’t you?” He lifted his gaze to stare at her.

She kept her eyes down but bobbed a curtsey in reply.

“Bessie. I shall tell you a secret. You can’t tell anyone else, do you hear?”

The maid did look up then, appearing frightened. “Yes, sir.”

“I am not dead. I don’t care what it says in this letter. I am not dead.” Through his brandy haze, Bernard saw pity filling her eyes.

“No, sir. You are here and didn’t go haring off to war. Not that anyone thought Mr. Bernard would do such a thing. But he did, and that’s the end of it.”

“But I didn’t go haring off to war, did I? I am not dead.”

The maid shook her head, curtseyed, and left the room.

Didn’t say it right, he thought.

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Meanwhile, Roland married a French emigree who happens to be a Princess. Their story is in Book Two, Entree: Pure Captivation. As they make their way home from Dover to London, Princess Maryse encounters someone from her past.

 

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My inspiration for Maryse

 

She paid no attention to the people hurrying around in front of her. She concentrated on the sounds of the sea birds and the ships creaking at their moorings. So when someone stopped and addressed her, she needed a moment to understand the man did, indeed, speak to her.

“Pardon, Princess! I am not mistaken, you are Princess Maryse de Brabant, oui?”

The man addressing her seemed short, but Maryse realized that was due to her comparing him to Roland. This person also was stout and dressed as a merchant. Studying his face, a flicker of recognition arose in her mind.

“Monsieur Lecuyer! You are in Dover, too!” She extended her hand to him, happy to see a countryman, even if he had been a clerk in the palace where she grew up. She had last seen him the night of the horrible attack on the palace that caused her parents to send herself and her brother, plus an uncle and two aunts, away in fear of their lives.

“Oui, madam!” He took her hand and bent over it. “Are you here alone? The prince is not with you?”

A glint in Lecuyer’s eyes made Maryse cautious. “I am here with my husband. I believe that my brother has gone to America.”

“Ah. Good. He will be safe there, n‘est-ce pas?”

“As God wills it.” Maryse rose and turned toward the road. “Very nice to see you, m’suier. Do remember me to your wife. She was very kind to me when I was a child.”

“She will be happy to have been remembered, highness. Good day.” The clerk turned and walked away from her.

Relieved that he had left her alone, she turned toward the inn and started walking slowly. They would be out of this place in the morning and she could shake this odd feeling of trouble ahead. She wanted nothing more than to feel Roland’s arms around, to hear him tell her everything would be fine. Maryse picked up her pace, hoping to find him back at the inn when she got there.

 

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Inspiration for Bernard and Roland

 

As you may imagine, Roland and Maryse arrive in London just in time for the memorial for Bernard. Or for Roland. Well, you’ll just have to wait to see. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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