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Monday Puzzler > October 16, 2017 - A lesson in looks

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message 1: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1184 comments Hi All :)
I found this little gem of a book just last week. I am enjoying it! This excerpt is where the Heroine is getting advice on how to deal with leering gentleman!
Enjoy!
xxxx

She sighed. “Mr. Hero, if I cannot be frank with you, then there’s no one. Except for Lady Friend, the ladies do not invite confidences. If I were frank with most of the gentlemen, they’d get an earful, I promise you. But I must be unspeakably proper and pretend they’re properly respectful, even when they stare at me in that disgusting way.”
“They’re bound to stare, Miss Heroine. But disgusting?”
“They leer, and I assure you it is not at all agreeable.”
“I’d have thought you’d be accustomed to attracting attention,” he said philosophically. “If the men do leer sometimes, you must understand that they may be unable to help themselves.”
“They ought to help it. They could if they wished to. They don’t treat other young women so. Imagine any of them daring to ogle Miss M.”
“Miss M is not as beautiful as you are.”
“She’s accounted a diamond of the first water—and I am not begging for compliments, Mr. Hero,” she added, though to her distress she did feel unspeakably gratified. “They look at me the way they do because they’re all waiting for my wicked character to reveal itself.”
“That is a grave error on their part,” he said. “You’re not at all wicked. What you are is dangerous. I only wonder you haven’t shot anyone so far, if you’re so displeased.”
She could not help smiling.
“I cannot shoot them, since I cannot carry my pistol about with me,” she said. “Evening dress is a tad too revealing, and a weapon does weigh down one’s reticule.”
“Still, if this behaviour distresses you so, we must put a stop to it. I could, I suppose, call the fellows out—but there seem to be a great many of them, which means a lot of rising at dawn and spoiling my boots in some muddy field. No,” he said gravely, “Mr. Man-Servant would never countenance that.”
“I suppose he would not,” she sadly agreed.
“You’ll have to fight the duel yourself,” he said as they approached the Serpentine. “But instead of swords or pistols, you must use a more formidable weapon—your eyes.”
He drew the carriage to a halt.
“Now,” he went on, “look at me—not at my cravat, Miss Heroine, though I admit it is an astounding sight. Full into my face.”
Puzzled, she obeyed, though the instant she met his gaze she felt so uneasy that it took all her concentration not to look away. She’d never noticed before how thick and dark his lashes were or the faint beginnings of laugh lines at the corners of his eyes. She grew more uncomfortable still when the dreamy grey eyes abruptly became those of a stranger.
An exceedingly wicked stranger, moreover, whose bold survey began at her bonnet and continued appraisingly down to her neckline, at which point she felt she might as well not be wearing anything at all. He had not touched her—had not moved a fraction closer, yet it seemed as though his mouth and hands had been everywhere his glance had been. An eternity later, it seemed—though it had been but a moment—the feral expression vanished.
“Was that the way of it?” he asked, quite as though he had merely recited a verse from the Iliad, instead of practically ravishing her with his gaze.
“Y-yes.”
“I thought so. You nearly turned purple, Miss Heroine.”
Heedless of her sputter of indignation, he continued, “What you must do is immediately fix your mind elsewhere and stare right through the fellow.”
“Elsewhere? How in blazes am I to do that with you—you leering so?”
“If you concentrate on what he’s doing to you, you’re bound to blush and appear discomfited, which will please the chap no end. If, however, you appear coldly indifferent, both to the stare and to him, you’ll discomfit and confuse him. It does work, I assure you,” he added. “I’ve seen Lady G do it countless times, on far less provocation.”
Whatever Lady G could do, Miss Heroine must obviously be twice as capable of doing, she adjured herself as her companion once again commenced his visual assault.
Though her pulse rate had apparently quadrupled and her entire body seemed to be burning up under his impudent appraisal, Heroine did as he ordered. She stiffened her spine, adopted an expression of ineffable ennui, and let her own gaze flicker coldly over his face, as though instead of beholding a disturbingly handsome countenance, she were regarding a slug. Since they were only playacting, it was with some surprise that she observed his colour deepening. A muscle twitched under his left cheekbone.
“Well done, Miss Heroine,” he said rather stiffly. “Not that I’m surprised. I’ve been subjected to that withering expression before.”
“That’s impossible. You’ve just instructed me.”
“Actually, it was more in the nature of the reminder. The skill you already possessed. You simply didn’t realise it would be as effective on these occasions as on others.”
“So long as it does work,” she said, “I don’t care whether I just learned it or knew it all along.” “I assure you it works admirably,” he answered as he gave the horses leave to start.
“That particular brand of aristocratic disdain cannot be learned. One is born with it. Keep that in mind the next time anyone tries to make you feel like—” he hesitated.
“A trollop, I think you mean.”
He uttered an exaggerated sigh. “Madam,” he said sorrowfully, “have you never heard of euphemism?”


Stacey is Sassy (staceyissassy) | 1275 comments This one looks good. Don't know it, though. :-)


message 3: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2093 comments Mod
I definitely haven’t read this. Eager to learn what it is.


message 4: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1916 comments Mod
Don't know it, but this is a fun!


message 5: by Janga (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
I don't think I've read this one, but I'm looking forward to the reveal.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1017 comments Miss Trollop is about to take her next ballroom like a tornado! I can't wait to find out the title of this one.


message 7: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (nikanne) | 222 comments Sounds fun!


message 8: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Hill | 487 comments Ooooh Leigh-Ayn- good choice (:


message 9: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 896 comments No clue but sounds like a fun read!


message 10: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1184 comments the book is The Devil's Delilah by Loretta Chase :)
I loved the Hero in this book :)


message 11: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1916 comments Mod
I thought maybe it was Chase but didn't know the book. These shorter novels are delightful!


message 12: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1184 comments Manda wrote: "I thought maybe it was Chase but didn't know the book. These shorter novels are delightful!"

I found it through a podcast i listen too when they did recommendations! Smart Podcasts trashy books :)
I hadn't read any of her older books so was such a good find!


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