Fans of Eloisa James & Julia Quinn discussion

Monday Puzzler > A glimpse into the future, Nov 7th

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message 1: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2059 comments Mod
I’ve always thought that authors who write dark romances have a particular challenge—to convince us that hero and heroine will find joy and happiness at the end. I’m not sure that was what was in this author’s mind, but this scene in the middle of the book gave me the sense that this couple would find fun together if they could ever get through the complexities of the plot.

“I would have slid down this banister, past all your gaping servants, and shimmied on out the door.”
“The balustrade?” He ran a skeptical eye down its length. “A happy thing you decided to tarry, then. You’d have broken your neck.”
She snorted. “This here is a prime prospect for sliding, hero.”
He opened his mouth but was startled by a dim recollection that caused him instead to laugh. “You’re right.” As a boy he’d had these exact thoughts: it was the perfect banister for sliding. He’d never done it, of course; it hadn’t taken long to realize that banisters in this house were not meant even for gripping: a proper gentleman should make his way downs the stairs straight and stern and untroubled by any obstacle, even a missed step.
A devil seized hold of him. “Let’s do it,” he said. Why not?
Disbelief deepened her smile. “You can’t be serious.”
“God help us, butr that’s a phrase nobody should have taught you,” he said. “Now you sound like every stuffed-up lady I’ve ever known.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Stuffed up, am I? I’ll wager you can’t keep your seat past the curve.”
He eyed the drop from the aforementioned curve. A good ten feet to the marble flagstones below. It could crack a man’s head. “For the sake of the family line, one hopes otherwise. But I supposed there’s only one way to find out.” He leapt up to sit on the rail.
She shrieked. “No! I wasn’t—“
“Serious?” He finished for her, and then let go.
Like flight. No friction: his staff was too well trained; they oiled this banister morning and night. Heroine continued to shriek above him. He laughed as he leaned into the curve, exhilarated and also aware of how absurd this was, to laugh his head off at a boy’s game. Such a simple pleasure. Such joy.
The bend flew by; he was home free now, bound at startling speeds for the bottom of the staircase. He remembered this skill at the level of muscle and sinew; he pushed himself off the rail and landed on his feet at the base of the stairs.
He turned around. She stood at the top of the stairs, hands cupped over her mouth.
“Graceful as the breeze,” he called up.
She dropped her hands to her hips. “More like a lunatic!”
“And you’re a braggart. All talk. No follow-through.”
He could see from here the sudden tilt of her chin. Another laugh welled in him as she stalked over to the banister, her movements jerky with spite. She was too easy.
But she didn’t hop up on the railing quite as easily as he had. Of course. Her skirts would impede her.
Concern overlaid his amusement. “Don’t,” he said. “I was only jesting. You’re not dressed for—“
She launched herself down.
He made an aborted movement to mount the stairs. But she was moving too quickly; he would be as likely to knock her off as catch her. His mind began to calculate the best place to position himself on the ground floor, so that when she fell backward and came tumbling down, he could break the fall—
And she whooped. “Here I come,” she cried and he realized she was going to make it.
Laughing himself—from relief as much as from delight—he stepped backward to provide her space to land.
She made nearly a perfect dismount. But the speed caught up to her, so that she came stumbling forward, right into his arms.
No, he thought—a perfect dismount all around

Aly is so frigging bored | 848 comments Mod
That was so sweet! I can't wait to see from which book this is :)

message 3: by Monica (new)

Monica | 548 comments Mod
I've read it, and recently.... But I CAN'T remember. It'll come to me, I just KNOW it will! Lol!

message 4: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1878 comments Mod
Me too, Monica! Kills me when I recognize the scene but can't come up with the title.

message 5: by Kasey (new)

Kasey | 560 comments Mod
I know I have read this too, but for the life of me I can't remember which book it is in either!

message 6: by Okie (new)

Okie (okieb) | 2037 comments Mod
Hmmmm, doesn't ring a bell. But what a fun scene.

message 7: by Irisheyes (new)

Irisheyes | 892 comments It's unanimous! I've read it too and cannot think of the book it's from! LOL

message 8: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2059 comments Mod
I think its harder to recognize because it really does come from a fairly dark book. I'll post teh answer tomorrow.

message 9: by Monica (new)

Monica | 548 comments Mod
DLS, I KNOW IT!!! I thought it was this one, but then wasn't sure... I love this author!

message 10: by Janga (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
Wonderful book! In fact, this is my favorite of hers. Superb characterization.

Aly is so frigging bored | 848 comments Mod
What is it? The wait is killing me! :P

message 12: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2059 comments Mod
Its Meredith Duran's latest, A Lady's Lesson in Scandal.
I love this book, but it really is fairly dark, and so this little scene of levity is wonderful. Usually we see what the HEA will look like at the end--here, I don't know if she did it intentionally but she offers it in the middle.

Aly is so frigging bored | 848 comments Mod
Nice, that'll make me move it up on my reading pile :D

message 14: by Kasey (new)

Kasey | 560 comments Mod
I should have known this. It was the first Meredith Duran book that I have read and it wasn't too long ago! It was our book club read a few months ago!

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