Lindsay Chase

Historical Romance Author




Excerpts

In this scene from Honor, the heroine confronts Nevada LaRouche, the hero, in his office to inform him that a former mistress is suing him for breach of promise.


Three days later, immediately upon Honor's arrival at the Wall Street offices of Delancy and LaRouche, a woman ushered her into the inner office and announced, "Mrs. Honor Davis to see you, Mr. LaRouche."


He stood before a tall arched window bathed in spring sunlight, with his back to Honor. "Thank you, Miss Fields. If I need anything, I'll call."


Lillie Troy's description of his voice as low and musical didn't do it justice. Seductive, Honor thought, a drawling velvet voice that could soothe a high-strung horse and then, in the same breath, charm the pantalets off a duchess. She raised her guard.


He turned, and Honor's first thought was that he looked out of place amid the uncluttered pedimented desk and cabinets, the banal accoutrements of commerce. His tall, lanky frame, which topped Robert's six feet by a good two inches, didn't account for it, and neither did the fact that he wore his sun-streaked blond hair and mustache longer than current male fashion decreed. The hand-tooled black leather cowboy boots he wore certainly set him apart from the average New Yorker, but the reason for that other indefinable quality kept eluding her.


When he nodded curtly and said, "Mrs. Davis," she realized that while his eyes were as blue as Lillie Troy's fanciful prairie sky, they had wild, untamed depths that conjured up in Honor's own mind equally fanciful images of wide open spaces inhabited by rough, lawless men.


Be careful, Honor. This man will be a formidable opponent. She returned his nod. "Mr. LaRouche."


He walked toward her, his step light and soundless on a plush Turkish carpet. He smiled, a disarming white grin even more charming than his voice. "I know lady doctors, but I've never met a lady lawyer before."


She braced herself for lavish references to her beauty and was relieved when he made none. Then she surprised him by extending her hand.


When he placed his hand in hers, she shook it firmly. "I'm something of a rarity, but I can assure you that I am indeed a fully qualified lawyer, and I represent Miss Lillie Troy." Honor watched him carefully for any sign of recognition, and when his eyes turned wary and he quickly released her hand, she said, "I see you know Miss Troy."


He indicated a comfortable leather chair, then rounded his enormous desk, where he remained standing, his thumbs hooked in his belt, his weight resting easily on one leg. "Ma'am, I don't deny knowing Lillie. I'm just puzzled as to why she needs a lawyer and why that lawyer has come calling on me."


Honor opened her valise and removed her notes. "She claims you knew each other so well that you promised to marry her." She looked up at him. "Is this true?"


He reached up to stroke his drooping mustache. "Mrs. Davis," he said softly, "what in damnation is this all about?"


"I'd advise you to have your own attorney present while you hear what I have to say."


"No need, ma'am. I fight my own battles."


"Suit yourself." She leaned back in her chair. "Miss Troy intends to sue you for breach of promise."


In this scene from The Vow, Hannah, the heroine, has some wonderful news for her husband, Reiver. His reaction, however, is not what she had hoped.

Hannah told him later that night, just as they were getting ready to retire.

She was sitting on the edge of the bed, just finishing plaiting her hair into one long braid for the night, when Reiver came in and headed for the oil lamp, which he always extinguished before undressing himself and joining her in bed.

"Don't turn out the light yet," Hannah said, her heart pounding. "I have something to tell you."

Reiver's hand fell away, and he looked at her, puzzled. "What is it?"

Hannah swallowed hard, and focused her attention on the thin blue ribbon at the end of her braid. "You're going to be a father."

Silence. Stillness.

She risked a glance at her husband. He stood there, his wide jaw slack, his face as white as the first snowfall.

When he found his voice, he managed to croak, "You're...?"

Hannah nodded, her cheeks flaming.

"Oh, my God! Hannah, that's wonderful." He reached her in two strides and knelt at her feet, his head bowed as he took her hands and brought them to his lips as if paying homage to a queen.

Again, Hannah felt this new life conferring a strange and wonderful power on her.

"You're pleased?"

"Please...I'm the happiest man in the world." He rose, but to her dismay he didn't take her in his arms and hug her to him like the cherished wife she wanted to be. "This child shall be the first Shaw of my generation, and if it's a son..." His eyes sparkled in anticipation.

"I hope it will be."

Reiver stepped back, his customary reserve returning. "Under the circumstances, I think it best that I sleep in the spare room. I wouldn't want to hurt you or the baby."

So Hannah would be spared her husband's advances until the baby's birth, sometime in the spring, if Mrs. Hardy's calculations were correct.

"I think that would be best," she agreed.

To her surprise, he leaned down and brushed his lips stiffly across her own. "Thank you, Hannah." Then he blew out the lamp and left her to the darkness and her own thoughts.

In this scene from The Oath, Catherine, the heroine, sees Damon, the hero, for the first time while ice skating in Central Park.



Absorbed in the skaters gliding and twirling across the ice like figures on a music box lid, Catherine particularly noticed a tall man and his elegant partner as they skated toward them, for they were an arresting couple as perfectly matched as Kim's bay carriage horses. Broad-shouldered and solid, the man moved with lightness and grace. The woman, held as close as he could manage, matched his stride so well they moved as one in perfect harmony.


She was as ravishing as he was dashing, and they both had black hair, though the woman's was mostly concealed by a large sable cossack hat that teased the man's cheek. A wide sable border trimmed her coat collar and hem, and she carried a huge muff of the same rare, expensive fur.


They knew their place in the world, and it was right up there with the sun, moon, and stars.


As the perfect couple sailed past with a sharp scraping of metal against ice, the man deigned to glance at Catherine. Eyes as gray and cold as the ice beneath his skates met hers for a brief second, then drifted away without so much as a glimmer of interest, but she was left feeling strangely lightheaded, as if she had inhaled ether.


Catherine blinked, and the couple was gone.


She turned to Kim. "Who was that?"


"Who?"


"That striking woman everyone is staring at, dripping in sable, with the dark-haired man by her side."


Kim squinted. "The woman is Francine Ballard, a well-known heiress, and the man with her is Damon Delancy."


Damon Delancy...the man with the cold gray eyes.


"I've never heard of him."


Kim looked surprised. "I thought everyone had heard of Damon Delancy. He's one of the Arizona copper kings. A very wealthy man."


"He looks it. So does she." Her curiosity satisfied, Catherine said,"Shall we take another turn around the pond?"


"Are you sure you've got the stamina for it?"


Catherine caught the teasing tone in his voice and managed an affronted sniff. "We'll just see who's got the stamina for it."


This time, before Kim could take her hand, Catherine darted out onto the ice ahead of him. "Come and catch me, if you can, Dr. Flanders," she taunted over her shoulder as she skated away.


Had she been looking where she was going, Catherine would have noticed the small strip of half-frozen grasses roughening the ice's smooth, glassy surface. The next thing she knew, one skate caught on the rough patch and stopped short, pitching her forward. Before she even had time to throw out her hands and break her fall, the ice was rushing up to meet her.


Catherine saw stars and felt a shooting pain as the ice cracked against her head. Then the rest of her body slammed down, knocking the breath out of her. She heard someone shout her name, and as she managed to struggle into a sitting position, she felt warm, sticky blood oozing onto her eyelid.


She was aware of someone kneeling beside her even before a deep, rough voice said, "Are you all right, miss?"


Catherine raised her head and looked into the cold gray eyes of Damon Delancy. "I--I think so."


"This should stop the bleeding," he said, pressing a white handkerchief into her hand.


Before Catherine could thank him, Kim was coming between them.



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