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Monday Puzzler > September 2 Puzzler: When an author shows an unexpected side

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message 1: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2079 comments Mod
I love this author for many reasons. A ridiculous sense of humor is not a prominent feature of her work, but I cannot read this scene without giggling.
It helps to understand this scene to know that Heroine is trying to get engaged to a wealthy man I shall call Gunmad, and pretending to be a good shot, and Hero is on to her.



Hero didn't have to be asked twice. He stepped forward, slung his musket up to his shoulder, and murmured "Stand back, Heroine. It kicks. But then you know that, don't you? As you are such an experienced shooter."

She'd just taken that precautionary step back when there was an explosion, and a cloud of smoke, and the glint of sun on the musket stock jumping backward in Hero's hands from the force of the shot. A tiny red apple shattered into millions of pieces.

It had been such a quick, casual motion. Fluid, natural and deadly.

Heroine was peculiarly shaken. What an interesting skill to possess. To walk around with the ability to shoot some distant thing into tiny bits.

Everyone was silent with admiration for a moment.

And then they applauded enthusiastically. Hero had just set the bar.

He threw her an enigmatic look, then stepped back and began swiftly and deftly reloading the musket, tearing the paper in his teeth, ramming in a ball, locking it.

"Your turn....Gunmad," Hero said without looking at Gunmad.

Gunmad spared him an odd glance. But he was buffered by happiness, and his attention was really all for Heroine. "Well, Heroine. Ladies, that is. Shall I impress you now?"

"Oh! Please do," Heroine encouraged, beaming. I'm certain you shall."

Gunmad smiled. And like Hero, he shouldered the musket, eyed his target, and in a moment there was another boom, another great cloud of cough-inducing smoke, and another red apple became smithereens.

Gunmad turned around and beamed again, particularly for Heroine. Everyone applauded him happily.

Men. They're so pleased about shooting things, she thought again desperately.

"Why don't you have a go, Heroine," Gunmad suggested, aglow from his success and the applause.

She hesitated. But then Hero, with mocking ceremony, held out to her the musket he'd just loaded. And levered, ever so slowly, one of his brows.

She hesitantly took it in her hands and promptly nearly dropped it.

There were a few gasps and a muffled "Goodness!" from near the ladies.

Good God, why hadn't she known how heavy guns were? Men made them look as though they weighed nothing at all.

Gunmad looked troubled. "You ...hold it like so?" he said politely, as if hating to remind her of something she supposedly already knew how to do. He demonstrated with motions of his hands the raising of a musket to a shooting position.

All eyes were on her in total and silent fascination. Which helped not at all.

"I'll catch you, dear, if you fall," Gunmad vowed. "This 'un has a good kick. Watch your shoulder."

The prospect of catching a falling Heroine galvanized the men. They all--save Hero--scrambled for position behind her. She could hear the happy, overly familiar spaniel panting noisily and hotly somewhere down around her ankles, released in Gunmad's jostle to help catch her.

The women had all gone quiet. She couldn't resist a glance in that direction.

Hero remained protectively near the ladies, arms crossed, legs planted apart, an unholy glint in his eye behind his spectacles:See what you've gotten yourself into, Heroine.

Well, no one was more aware of that than she was.

She took a deep breath. Raised the gun to her shoulder. Closed one eye into a squint in order to properly aim at that shining red sphere in the distance. Held the pose for a moment to accustom her body to it, and began to feel more confident. Perhaps she wouldn't shame herself.

She took a deep breath.

And pulled the trigger just as the dog inserted his nose into her behind.

She leaped, squeaked, and there was a boom and a shattering pling as the musket ball struck the statue of David's penis and hurtled it westward toward Mr. Goodkind.

"Duck, Goodkind!" Hero screamed.

Mr. Goodkind threw himself to the ground instantly: he'd been in the army, and he did not think of waterfowl when he heard the word "duck".

The penis of David slammed into Goodkind's hat and sailed away across the lawn with it. The shooters heard a faint yelp. Heroine staggered on the recoil, and about six arms flew out to prevent her from failing and to set her upright again.

Mr. Goodkind remained flat on the lawn, motionless, arms folded over his hatless head.

Oh, God, I've killed a man with a marble penis.

Perhaps there was a horrible sort of poetry in this, she though. She was trying to impress one man and killed another. I'm a horrible, terrible, person.

The shooting party stood as frozen as the statuary, staring at Goodkind.

A bird tra-la-la'd merrily into the silence.

There was a noisy collective exhalation then. Goodkind's hands began to crawl experimentally, making sure it was still intact. And then he stood up and gave a cheery wave, indicating all was intact and unwounded.

Then he put his hands on his hips and shook his head sadly, slowly. As if to say: See? If you'd all had the good sense to read psalms, you would not have shot a penis off a statue.


message 2: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1895 comments Mod
I know it!


message 3: by Phoenix77 (new)

Phoenix77 | 346 comments I don't know this one, but I'd like to!


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1002 comments I know this story... Did you know that a company is now making replica Muskets into 10-inch long ballpoint pens this year? She really needs one of those instead of the real thing.


message 5: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Mcgrath | 12 comments I know it and love this series can't wait for the next one. the drinking scene in this book is hilarious.


message 6: by Janga (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
She's one of my favorite authors too. Great scene! Great choice, Deb!


message 7: by Okie (new)

Okie (okieb) | 2064 comments Mod
hahahaha!! loved this scene!


message 8: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 892 comments I'm pretty sure this scene would have stayed with me. So, I'm saying no I don't think I've read this. :)


message 9: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2079 comments Mod
This is Julie Anne Long's Like No Other Lover.
It's from her Pennyroyal green series which may be the best long series in romance.


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