The annual NJRW “Put Your Heart in a Book” Conference is less than a month away! To help share our excitement, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of our Golden Leaf finalists leading up until the conference.
The Golden Leaf is awarded annually for excellence in romance fiction by authors who are NJRW members or in Romance Writers of America (RWA) Region One. Winners will be announced during the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference award ceremony on October 17, 2014.
Spotlight on Historical: “A Marriage of Notoriety,” by Diane Gaston (Harlequin)
They stepped out into the cool night air.
Her spirits were so high, she seemed irrepressible. It reminded him of that long ago ball.
“You enjoyed yourself tonight?” he guessed.
She almost danced down the pavement. “I did. No one seemed disappointed in my playing.”
“You did very well.”
She did more than very well.
“Did I?” She skipped ahead of him and faced him while walking backwards. “Do you truly think so?”
She pulled off her mask and, the gas lamps illuminated her face, making it glow. Her happiness made her beautiful.
His heart swelled for her. “I know little of music, but I enjoyed what I heard.”
She grinned and twirled around. “That is all I wish!”
She chattered on about the songs she’d sung and played, reviewing her mistakes, assessing what went well. He liked listening to her. It reminded him of when she’d been a little girl and he’d been able to get her to happily chatter on.
In no time at all they reached her door and he put the key in the lock.
She reached up on tiptoe and kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you so much, Xavier. You have made me very happy tonight.”
Her lips felt soft and warm.
He wrapped his arms around her and brought his lips within a hair’s breadth of hers. He felt her breasts rise and fall against his chest, further tantalizing him. Her eyes grew wide as her mouth opened in alarm.
Banking his impulses, he lightly touched his lips to hers.
When he released her, his breath came faster. “I want you always to be happy, Phillipa,” he murmured. “Same time tomorrow?”
She blinked up him, her brow puzzled. “Same time tomorrow.”
He opened the door and she slipped inside.
It took him a moment to move away.
He’d appointed himself her protector, but perhaps his hardest task would be to protect her from himself.
(Work is copyright of the author; may not be reused without permission.)
Good luck to Diane and all our Golden Leaf finalists!
It’s not too late to register for the conference. Visit our website for more information. But hurry, registration closes October 4th!