Thursday, 6 September 2012

Romantic Friday Writers - Challenge/blogfest 44

The RFW Challenge for this Friday is "I Should Have Kissed You". 

Should this be your first visit to a Romantic Friday Challenge feel free to join in the fun: just visit RFW, sign up on the linky and post your prose!


Word count: 596

Code: NCCO

And again, yes, wicked, I know, I've selected a passage from my published Historical Murder Mystery and Romance: Venetian Encounter


Brief: Lieutenant Herne and Countess Roscoff have become acquainted whilst staying at the English Emissary's Residence in Naples, Italy.  Attracted to one another, the countess nevertheless dare not let herself fall for the Lt's charming manner. He too is reticent in the belief she is far more than she seems, after a daring jewel theft occurred within the residency. They are also intrigued by the close relationship between Admiral Lord Nelson, Emma Lady Hamilton and William Lord Hamilton. Anyhoo, attractions and desires are sometimes tempting indeed and not as easily dismissed as one might wish for! ;)

~
   
   Therese glanced one to the other of the trio. Perhaps, thinking the WE significant and a little bold in the circumstance of the present predicament presented to the ménage à trios.
   “How soon?” enquired Therese, her china blues finally fixed on Emma Lady Hamilton.
   “A day or two for preparation and then, well . . . Take our leave I presume.”
   William Lord Hamilton stomped off to his study, Nelson headed for the terrace, and Emma looked utterly torn between both, and instead turned and fled up the grand staircase.
   Therese turned her china blues on him, her expression speculative. “And did you know nothing of this?”
   Hand pressed to heart, he declared, “I can honest say I had not a hand in this.”
   “But you knew, or at least had a suspicion something was afoot.” Hint of a smile streaked her face. “Is that not so?”
   “Rumour is one thing, evidence of imminent event another.”
   She laughed, a soft laugh. “Come now Lieutenant Herne, you arrive a few days in advance of bad news and then claim no hand in what is to come of this upset.”
   Had she overheard Nelson before entry to the salon, for her words mirrored his almost word for word?
   “Given that I am to take leave from here tomorrow, I fail to see how blame for letters delivered this very day can be levelled on my head.”
   “You are leaving, then? It has been confirmed?”
   If he didn’t know better, he could believe Therese was disappointed at news of his imminent departure. “Duty calls.”
   “And where does duty call you away to?”
   “That I am not at liberty to reveal.”
   She pouted her lips, amusement dancing in her eyes. “Oh, I see. Secret Admiralty business.”
   “Afraid so.”
   To tell her he would be sailing south and then into the Adriatic might set alarm bells ringing, and in any case he might never make it to Venice if orders due on the morrow dictated otherwise. Like Nelson, he had pleasurable pursuits in mind but no inclination to conduct such aboard ship.
   She smiled, a temptingly brazen smile, and strolled toward the open doors leading to the terrace. “Then this evening must be a goodbye celebration, for I too will be homeward bound in a few days time.”
   “Venice?”
   “But of course. Where else?” She leaned forward and glanced in both directions along the terrace. “It seems your sea lord has taken himself off for a walk.”
   “That, or . . .”
   “Would he?” she exclaimed, curl of lip hinting amusement to the idea of a man sneaking to a lady’s bedchamber in broad daylight.
   “Why not?”
   She stepped forward and glanced toward steps leading up to the second floor balcony. He in turn stepped closer, equally curious, and in doing so blocked her retreat to the drawing room. She turned suddenly and stumbled into him. From his perspective the collision could not have been better timed to perfection, and she was clearly not immune to the physicality of it all.
    A blush to her cheeks was charming in its innocence for she had not expected him to be that close. He leaned forward as though about to kiss her, and her eyes declared such was a pleasing gesture. As much as he wanted to devour her kissable lips, he stepped aside allowing her the opportunity to slip past him, which she did with a swish of skirts and not a glance backward as she left the room. No matter, he now knew she had wanted him to press his lips to hers.
   
If interested in this novel or others of mine inclusive 1st Chapters -  all can be found here.

To see entries by other participants go here.


34 comments:

Anna said...

Dear Francine,
Love the atmosphere with the well-known historical figures of Nelson and Hamilton. Your snippet follows the challenge perfectly - all about hesitation and wordless communication in a passing moment! Well done.
Best wishes,
Anna
RFW - I should have kissed you

Heather Murphy said...

Francine, your entry is unique to all the others I have read so far. Not only did she not get kissed but she gave herself away as well. I couldn't help but feel bad for her

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Francine
Another brilliant excerpt. Well done. I loved the innuendos and lovers tension, implied and never spoken. I wasn't aware that their title, 'Lord,' was used as a second name. One for my notebook.
Nancy

Denise Covey said...

Hi Francine. Deeper into Venetian encounters. I love Therese's 'china blues finally fixed on Emma Lady Hamilton.'
Will the countess bow to the charms of the Lieutenant?' Ha! Read the book and find out...

Thanks for sharing the extract Francine.

Denise

Yolanda Renee said...

Love historical romance, and with murder added...excellent, the innocence, the lust, the settings, even the language.

Did she give herself away or is he presuming too much. Just the right tension, will she bow to his charms or will he succumb to hers?

Kiru Taye said...

Ooh. This is certainly intriguing. He is a cunning fella. Now, I wonder what will happen when they get to Venice.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Anna,

Thanks for dropping in to comment. Yep, I like slipping real-life characters from the era depicted into my novels.

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Heather,

Don't worry he's champing at the bit, later on! ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Nancy,

Thanks for the compliment. I know, correct address re lords, dukes and earls is a tad complicated in differing circumstances. ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi,

She maybe charmed but she has charms that soon have him in dire straits! ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Yolande,

Mysterious element has its appeal, and Lt Herne has it in mind to unravel the mysterious countess in the nicest possible way! ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Kiru,

Cunning fella, indeed. Ah yes, Venice! Murder, mystery, abduction and lustful pursuits... ;)

best
F

Anna said...

Dear Francine,
Just stopping by for a second read and to thank you for your kind and encouraging comment about my post. You really understand the corner that I have painted myself into with my story!
Hope you are having a pleasant weekend with beautiful weather!
Kind regards,
Anna
For the benefit of other readers:
RFW - I should have kissed you

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Francine,


You know how much I enjoy your historical romance snippets and this one is no exception. Description, tension, and intrigue ... all there. Nicely done.

Crystal Hobbs said...

witty, sarcastic and yet you can sense the magnetic tension the two main characters seem to have towards one another. They're drawn to each other. very clever!

Anne said...

Francine, you got me hooked to your story from beginning to end. I was hoping he'd kiss her but I think that makes the tension even stronger between them. Now that he knows she wanted that kiss, I wonder what will happen next?

Thanks for your kind words on my post.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Sparkling! Enjoyed the tension and the repartee...

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi,

You're welcome, Anna. I never intended when I co-hosted RFW to critique people's work. I look at the greater picture of what I see... I think on the whole writers know when something isn't quite right or working as hoped for, and when time of revision is upon them they see what needs to be done if anything. Yes, a second eye may see a fault re typo, lapse in grammar etc., but even then one has to look at the overall picture of what is happening and who the characters are. Too many writers who readily criticise others often have characters that not only sound grammatically correct but also think grammatically correct, hence stilted dialogue and lack of individual thought mode characterisation = they all sound as though of one voice!

How often do we think in grammatical terms? Thoughts often as not barely make sense, i.e.

Damn. Should have. Oh hell. Why let him go and no word - as opposed to:

Damn. I should have. Oh Hell. Why did I let him go and not a word said?

Where one character may think very precise in wordage another will not,. Same goes for dialogue. ;)

See,I'm a rebel at heart, and will kick grammar out of the window if need be, simply because my characters are NOT ME!

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the compliment!

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Crystal,

Thanks for stopping by. Oh the magnetism between these two started on page one, line one!

best
F

Charmaine Clancy said...

Love that term 'something was afoot' and swishing of skirts. Nice sexual tension building here :)

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Anne,

Thanks for stopping by to comment. Ha ha, Lt Herne has a kiss on his agenda and when it does occur he's by then utterly smitten, and Therese, too! But each remains wary of the other for differing reasons... ;)

best
F

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi,

Thanks for stopping by to comment. It's much appreciated. ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Charmaine,

Thanks for dropping by. Re sexual tension, and yes the sex occurs in a most delightful way and unexpected place, which blows the Lt's mind! ;)

best
F

Adura Ojo said...

Hi Francine,

Love the frisson between them. Brings some...er memories back to Moi;)

Nicely built tension. Now you've wet my appetite with that promise of a hot and sexy sex scene(not all sex scenes are sexy but I'll bet this one is!:)

Rek said...

Hi,

I loved this charming and naughty little conversation. I see a lot more left unsaid between the lines, and the tension between them seems perfect for the passionate explosion/exploration later on. :)
I aught to try one of your books. I don't read much of romance, but you tempt me with your wordplay and old world charm.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Adura,

Memories, eh... Yes, well, sex scenes are always a matter of personal preference. Mine tend steamy erring raunchy from time to time! I even dared with a rape scene in one novel (Her Favoured Captain) not of the hero's doing, though. ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Rek,

Thank you for stopping by to comment.

Most of my romances have thrill or fear factor as well as sexual tension. This one in particular because it's also a Murder Mystery. ;)

best
F

Ghazala Hossain said...

Hi,

I like the protagonist, she is real heroin material. This read like a classic :)

Donna Hole said...

So spicy; tempers and passions rampant. Loved the "slamming doors" effect with everyone disappearing in separate directions.

Thanks for participating in this weeks RFW challenge Francine.

......dhole

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Ghazala,

Thank you so much for dropping in to comment, and for the classic comment! ;)

best
F

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi D,

Yep, nothing like a bit of angst and temper tantrums as a backdrop to a romance in the making! ;)

best
F

Madeleine Sara said...

I love the mischievious tone to this piece! The last line is pure gold.

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Madeleine,

Thanks for dropping in... It's a wickedly sensual story, full of mischief! ;)

best
F