Hump Day Hook is a weekly blog hop where authors post bits of published works or WIPs that excite the interest of the reader and make them want to carry on reading. Or at least that’s the idea. I generally post right up to the punchline, because that’s the way I roll, and I can never really bring myself to believe that readers will be bothered to come back next week to see what happened. Just click on the picture to go to the blog with a list of participants.
Anyhow – as per usual, I’m posting an excerpt of my old Regency romance, written after I asked myself what Georgette Heyer might have written like after a couple of bottles of Rioja and half a spliff.
At this point Sir Patrick Fitzgerald has woken up, horribly hungover, to some rather startling news.
Lord Patrick picked up the newssheet that Phelim tossed onto his lap and his eyes opened fully for the first time. A moment later he was cursing and scrabbling through his pockets. He found Aubrey’s note of hand and cursed even louder.
“I’ll kill Poulson,” he raged. “He must have crawled out from under the table and straight round to his office. The Post is going to need a new editor. They’ll never hold me to it, you know. I’ll be damned before I marry some jumped up baronets sister.”
“And there was me thinking you’d done rather well for yourself,” said Phelim, shaking his head. Pat stopped in mid-snarl and glared at him.
“Why?” he demanded.
“Because she’s a beauty, that’s why, and an heiress. The Stanton-Riverses have no need of your ill-gotten cash. The only reason she hasn’t been snapped up long before is because she’s a bit of a blue-stocking but at least she’ll be able to occupy herself while you’re out throwing up in a gutter somewhere. Her father died the best part of two years ago and every fortune hunter in Town has been licking his chops and prowling around her. One almost won her a month or so back but she was too sharp for him.” Phelim considered his master for a moment then sighed. “You know, I always thought it would take someone special to tempt Lady Cicely down from her shelf and instead you’ve taken a broomstick and knocked her down. Look, before you do anything stupid, see the girl. I promise you, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, though what she will think is anybody’s guess.”
Pat re-read the announcement in the paper then gingerly rose from his bed. He was very tall with the build of a prizefighter, an impression accentuated by his slightly crooked nose and the scar tissue on his knuckles. He swayed as he walked towards the door.
“I’ll look her over,” he promised. “Pump in the stable yard, you said?”
Phelim watched him go with a grin. “I was only joking,” he said quietly to the closing door. “God help the poor lass if she takes him.”
But will she?