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Monday Puzzler > January 19th Puzzler

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message 1: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (cvenable16) | 136 comments Sorry so late, had it all ready last night to copy and paste this morning and then completely forgot before I left for work. Not sure if anyone else was having problems getting on goodreads tonight or not but have been trying for hours and finally was successful :)

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Hero made his way toward the herd of waiting females. Several heiresses were among them, ready and willing to trade their dowries in order to bring a title into the family. Amelia seemed the least offensive of the lot, though they all shared a simpering mediocrity.

“My lord.”

He stopped short at the sound of the female voice behind him. “Lady Heroine,” he said, facing her.

“I, ah, recall from several years ago that there was one thing you did quite well,” she said quietly, a blush touching her smooth cheeks.

She couldn’t be discussing what he thought she was discussing. “Beg pardon?” he asked, which seemed safer than risking his knuckles again.

“Your waltz,” she said, her voice clipped and abrupt, and her color deepening. “I recall that you waltz well.”

Hero tilted his head at her, trying to read her expression. “Are you suggesting that I ask you to dance?”

“For your aunts’ sake, I think we should at least appear to be friends.”

This was unexpected, but for the moment he was willing to play along. “At the risk of being turned down then, Lady Heroine, will you waltz with me?”

“I will, my lord.”

As he held out his hand, he noted that her fingers shook. “Would you prefer to wait for a quadrille? We’ll look just as friendly.”

“Of course not. I am not afraid of you.”

With that she gripped his fingers and allowed him to lead her onto the dance floor. Hero hesitated as he faced her, taking her hand more firmly in his and sliding his arm with slow care around her waist. She shivered again, but lifted her free hand to his shoulder.

“If you’re not afraid,” he murmured, swaying her into the dance, “then why do you tremble?”

“Because I don’t like you, remember?”

“You haven’t allowed me to forget.”

For a moment she met his gaze, then looked down at his cravat again. Across the room he caught sight of her cousin, the Duke, looking at the two of them in obvious amazement, but he had no answer except to shrug.

“I think the Duke may faint,” he offered, to have something to say to her.

“I said we should dance to reassure your aunts of our ability to get along,” she returned. “That doesn’t mean you have to converse with me.”

If they couldn’t converse, at least he did enjoy dancing with her; she was lithe and graceful, as much a pleasure to waltz with as she had been six years before. That was part of the problem with having her in his house now—he’d never fallen completely out of lust with her. She had been eager and willing and passionate, and he was perversely pleased to have been her first, even with the eternity of torture she seemed determined to inflict upon him because of it.

“If we’re being friendly, allow me to recommend that you not close your lips so tightly,” he murmured.

“Do not look at my lips,” she ordered, glaring at him.

“Shall I look at your eyes, then, or your nose? Your lovely bosom?”

She flushed scarlet, then lifted her chin. “My left ear,” she stated.

Hero chuckled. “Very well. It’s a nice ear, I have to admit. And fairly level with the right one. All in all, quite acceptable.”

Her lips twitched, though he pretended not to notice. After all, he was gazing at her ear. And though he wasn’t looking at the rest of her, he could certainly feel her. Her azure skirt swirled against his legs, the fingers of her hand clenched and unclenched against his, and as he turned her, their hips brushed.

“Don’t hold me so closely,” she muttered, her fingers tightening in his again.

“Sorry,” he said, putting the proper distance between them once more. “Old habit.”

“We haven’t waltzed for six years, my lord.”

“You’re difficult to forget.”

Emerald ice looked into his eyes again. “Is that supposed to be a compliment?”

Good Lord, he was going to get himself killed. “No. A statement of fact. Since our…parting of ways, you have broken seventeen fans on me, and now left me with two crushed toes. That is difficult to forget.”

The waltz ended, and she quickly pulled away. “That was friendly enough for one evening,” she said, and with a curtsy glided away.
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My favorite part was Chapter 13, which I’ve included below:

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Chapter 13
Author’s Note: There will be no chapter thirteen. It is my feeling that Hero and Heroine have enough work cut out for them without adding unlucky numbers into the mix.

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message 2: by Daniellegn (new)

Daniellegn | 213 comments Haha, love the humor of that chapter 13 :) I don't think I've read it, but it sounds good. (and yes, was very hard to access goodreads this evening)


message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Hill | 487 comments Haha the animosity is hilarious. I don't know if I have read it, sounds familiar though.


message 4: by Calila (new)

Calila Ohh I know I've read this! That "ear" conversation sticks out in my mind, but I can't place it!


message 5: by Charlene (new)

Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 320 comments I also had trouble earlier. This surely sounds familiar; did you want to eliminate the heroine's name at the beginning?


message 6: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (cvenable16) | 136 comments The name at the beginning is actually not the heroine's name, it is another character. I wasn't sure how we not include other names so I just left it. I did change the Hero and Heroine's name though.

Glad to know I wasn't the only one having trouble getting on the website.


message 7: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2081 comments Mod
Definitely haven't read it; definitely want to.


message 8: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2081 comments Mod
It's fine to leave other character names in


message 9: by Charlene (last edited Jan 20, 2015 01:26PM) (new)

Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 320 comments Thanks, all. Good to know. I was intentionally blocking the name above when thinking whether I'd read this book. You are all so nice and helpful.

...and I definitely want to read this book if I haven't. It still seems so familiar...


message 10: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (cvenable16) | 136 comments The Rake by Suzanne Enoch, I love a book that makes me laugh and sigh :)


message 11: by Charlene (new)

Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 320 comments I think I've read everything by Suzanne Enoch, so no wonder this sounded familiar! Good reminder to sometime go back and read my books by favorite authors. Thanks.


message 12: by Calila (new)

Calila Cheri wrote: "The Rake by Suzanne Enoch, I love a book that makes me laugh and sigh :)"

Ah! I love her books so much. I knew I had read it!


message 13: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1004 comments Oooh, ahhhh. Yummy. The Rake is now 3.99 for the ebook at Barnes and Noble. Duly bought today. Thanks for the excerpt!


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