Let’s end the weekend with something sweet.
by Gloria Gay
GENRE – Regency Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – May 14, 2015
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 329
PUBLISHER – Kindle Books/Gloria Gay
COVER ARTIST – Killion Group
When Celia Meade’s uncle impulsively offers Celia and her family a chance at a better life by inviting them to live at his estate near Bath, he is surprised by his daughter Caroline’s animosity against the Meades. Caroline’s hatred of Celia began when Celia attended her aunt’s funeral and Caroline noted the immediate attraction between Celia and Caroline’s choice for a husband, Lord Robert Merrick. Running into each other again in the woods that adjoin Lord Merrick’s property the attraction between Lord Merrick and Celia blossoms into love in the warm days of summer. Enraged that Lord Robert’s sister encourages her brother by planning trips and picnics with Celia, Caroline calls a meeting with her father and Celia, and extracts a promise from Celia to not see Lord Merrick again with the threat that she will force the Meades to leave her house. To ease the tension, Celia accepts a month-long stay at a friend’s home but while Celia is away Caroline plans the downfall of Celia’s family.
She sighed as she saw him busy filling the kettle with water from a keg and measuring tea leaves. He then took two blue and white mugs from a shelf, set them on the table and smiled at Celia. Celia smiled back. It was so easy to smile at Robert.
He seemed at home in the place and knew where everything was kept. Celia had never seen a man engaged in such domestic occupations and he seemed even more endearing to her, if such a thing were possible, as he went about in his preparations.
If there was such a thing as paradise, thought Celia, this was it in essence: a blissful, forbidden paradise. She would never again be as happy as she was at this moment, with the warmth that was beginning to give forth from the fire warming her to a delicious shiver, the scent of pinecones and fir in the air and the woodsy feel of the cabin.
All that was left now for Robert to do was to wait for the water to boil and he came and sat in the sofa near Celia. He seemed at a loss for words, and stood up quickly. He fetched spoons and napkins from a drawer in the table from a cupboard. Celia gazed at him as he did this and when their glances met Robert smiled again at her.
“Have you enjoyed your walk,” he asked and his voice was strained. When she nodded he said, “I hope you will walk here often and I hope…”
Celia waited for him to go on and realized he must have been embarrassed that he had said the word ‘hope’ several times, for a blush was stealing up his neck and cheek and he turned away.
Celia looked at his hands and noticed that they trembled. On impulse she placed her hand over his. The connection was instant. She felt rays of pleasure stealing up her arms clear up to her brain, stunning her with a swirl of pleasure she had never felt before.
Robert took one of her hands and kissed it, slowly and as slowly he pulled her up with him and they embraced. His lips on her neck gave her a floating feeling and as he pressed her closer to him an explosion of feeling coursed in skipping waves along her skin and nerves.
“I love you, Celia,” he whispered in her ear and Celia turned her face so that his lips found hers quickly and the kiss was unlike anything Celia had felt in her life. “I have loved you since the first day I saw you in that awful black gown,” he whispered in her ear, making her smile widely. It was as if she became part of him. He kissed her again and his tongue sent waves of erotic pleasure throughout her body. His hand softly on her breast made her gasp and quietly he led her up to a bed in the loft.
Like a sleepwalker led by a force she was unable to resist, Celia walked up the wooden stairs to the loft with Robert behind her, and when they reached the wide bed and Robert nodded toward it, she lay down on it. She noted vaguely that Robert was taking off her boots and then her bonnet. She floated in a soft cloud as she heard Robert take off his boots and coat, then his cravat.
She knew she would never be alone with Robert again. And she also knew she could not turn away from the swirl of almost unbearable tremors that shook her body with unfamiliar pleasure. He did not insist she take her clothes off as he lay beside her after having taken off his boots. He put his arm under her head and pressed her close to him and Celia felt that she would never in her life feel as sheltered and loved as she was at this moment as she looked deep into Robert’s eyes…
I enjoyed this one, although it isn’t as tight as I usually like my stories. It was a little more embellished in the writing and there weren’t a lot of true interactions between the characters – more internal dialogue and observations. It kinda reminded me of what I remember Barbara Cartland books being like (and what I imagine Georgette Hayer’s books are like, although I’ve never read any). They are super sweet, with flowery dialogue, and a plot where love triumphs in the end – the good guys get what they deserve and so does the bad guy.
I did like the heroine, who is the character we follow for about 97% of the story – she’s got a very strong sense of familial responsibility and is willing to make sacrifices for them. And I think I could have really liked the hero if we’d had a chance to know him more. He also seems to have a strong family connection but there just wasn’t enough dealings with him to get a good read.
I think that authors like this definitely have an audience and if this is your kind of thing then Gay is definitely a good choice. The trials that these characters go thru on their way to a HEA make for a fun read and you’ll be happy when everything wraps up nicely at the end.
(There were some editing issues in the copy I had but I don’t know if those were cleaned up in the final copy. I saw somewhere that someone else complained about them but I’m not one of those that it bothers so much and they didn’t impact my reading in any way, but that is something else to keep in mind.)
Writing and painting have been Gloria’s main obsessions ever since she can remember. She and her husband consider themselves very lucky to be living in a beautiful place like San Diego, California, but most of all to have their children and grandchildren living nearby.
Enchanted Summer is Gloria’s seventh Regency romance and she has recently published her first time travel romance, A Bridge Through Time. Her other Regencies include the recently published Lovely Little Liar and Scandal at Almack’s, both with Boroughs Publishing Group, as well as Love In A Dangerous Season and Kissed In The Dark which she self-published with Kindle Books.
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE – http://www.amazon.com/Gloria-Gay/e/B0065TEP9M/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
WEBSITE / BLOG – http://gloriagay.com
TWITTER – https://twitter.com/gloria_gay