Thursday, 20 September 2012

Oh How I Hate my Beautiful Friend - Challenge/Blogfest 45



Code NCCO

Just over word count: (((slaps hand)))

I know, I know, I've cheated with a snippet from my upcoming book due out on release next month. Brief: It's 1650 England. The hero has been beaten up during a highway robbery and confined to bed with suspected broken ribs The story leads onto the famed escape of Charles II from Worcester post English Civil War. The heroine is not his wife, merely his betrothed at present...






“The two most beautiful women in the district,” said Thomas, a cheery smile, “and which of the two I wonder will tenderly feel my brow and declare me fit for a kiss.”
  This was the moment, the moment she had feared, the moment when Thomas’ eyes seemed as though embracing Anna. It was always thus the instant her ladyship entered a room; his eyes following her every movement. She had no right to feel jealous of the close bond between them, yet pain of rancour came upon her without warning, for Anna was younger and breathtakingly beautiful.
  To envy Anna could ruin her own relationship with her most treasured friend, for her ladyship gave no reason to suspect her guilty of inner heartfelt desires for Thomas. Nevertheless her ladyship went straight to his side, hand to brow a stern expression. “I do declare you are most unwell, Thomas. A fever no less.” Anna stepped back a pace, as though fearful of taint from a sick man, yet appeared to bestow a secretive smile for him alone? “You are in need of cold cloths applied to your heated body, and I cannot assist you in this.”
  He laughed heartily, winced with effort to sit up a little, and said, “Ha, yet Morton in fever and you slaved for days over his body to save his life.”
  “That I did, but he knew nothing of my hand in his recovery until you revealed all.”
  “And if I told you what he said you’d blush as you have never blushed in your life, my lady.” His eyes fell from Anna’s face, and instead settled on her own and her heart melted. “Her ladyship is a wicked tease, Bess, and  . . .”
  “I am aware of that,” she said, her outburst unnecessarily bitter.
  “What have I done or not done, Bess? Something ails you. I’ve never known you so quiet.”
  “Nothing ails me, bar your sister.”
  “Come here, Bess,” he said, tapping the bed beside him. “We have little enough time together as it is, and you choose to stand there when I know you are keen to leap atop me.”
  Anna laughed. “I shall leave now, for I am more than reassured you are back to your old self.” With that she smiled, the like bestowed only on close friends. “Make the most of this time, Elizabeth. I shall detain Catherine for as long as I am able.”


To see entries by other participants go here.

I'll be doing the rounds to comment on Sunday afternoon/evening...

26 comments:

Anna said...

Dear Francine,
Your heroine, Elizabeth, has smoldering feelings of love, hate, desire and jealousy. But it turns out that her love is not unrequited. Hooray for Bess!
Great text! Perfect for the theme.
Best wishes,
Anna
RFW No. 45 - 'Oh how I hate my beautiful friend'

Yolanda Renee said...

The confusion of friendship with a more popular Anna -- at first misread and then the relief at knowing an ally.
Well done!

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Francine
There you go again with that voice. You amaze me. So true to the time period. I love the description and smoldering jealousy only to have her found out and loved anyway. Well done.
Nancy

Nilanjana Bose said...

I hope she did make most of the time they had together...love how the "period" feel is so subtly evoked in the narrative..brilliant!

Scheherazade said...

The period dialog seems spot on. Very well written as well as the description.

Candilynn Fite said...

I agree with Anna! Perfect selection for the challenge. :)

Denise Covey said...

Hi Francine!
Another snippet, and a sharp little snippet it is. I was misinterpreting the storyline, but I'm glad Anna turned out to be his sister, not a rival. Quite sensuous with that leaping atop, lol!

Adura Ojo said...

Hi Francine,

The 'leaping atop' got me too. Hope she was able to make the most of it indeed! They were naughty in those days. Probably naughtier than we give credit for. What with everything covered, they had to be imaginative and inventive;)

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Anna,

Glad you liked it! ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Yolande,

Nothing like misread eyes and expressions for upping tension within romance novels! ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Nancy,

Poor Bess, and she has a lot to get through as time marches on. She's a true heroine! ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Nilanjana,

Oh believe it, Bess has her way with him! ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks for stopping by.

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Candiflynn,

Thanks for dropping by to comment, and the copliment! ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi D,

Anna is the one he adored: the one that got away... :o

best
F

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Francine,

I always enjoy your "period" voice. A terrific scene with a great little twist!

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Thank you, Michael... Luv your new profile pic! ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Adura,

Hee hee, oh yes Bess has her way with him. All that pent up emotion has to have an outlet! ;)

best
F

Heather Murphy said...

I have a difficult time reading historical pieces but this one was steamier than most. Fun!

Crystal said...

I LOVED it! Once again, my mind wanders back to Pride and Prejudice, and all the other historical fiction pieces. I think you captured the essence of the England, it's characters, the dialect, which is really important, and the essence of that time frame all together. I enjoyed reading this tremendously based on the dialogue alone! I found myself laughing out loud right along with the main character and I could hear the sass in both their voices and that famous, "I declare!" Brilliant!!

Donna Hole said...

This was a fun excerpt; loved how he played the two women against each other. The dialogue kept the tease going nicely, and fit Bess' internalization. I see cat fights brewing :)

......dhole

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Heather,

Thank you for dropping by to comment. It gets steamier! ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Crystal,

Thanks for the compliment! ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Donna,

Thanks for your kind words. Cat fights before and after... ;)

best
F

Clare said...

Nice twist at the end. I liked the banter throughout, and Thomas seems like a loveable rouge.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Clare,

Thank you for stopping by. Believe it, Thomas has something special about him. ;)

best
F