Gertrude's Grace is part of an anthology of Regency short stories that I have planned for publication this year. The following excerpt is taken from the rough draft of the opening scene. Enjoy!
Lady Gertrude Shiveley's backside connected with the floor. Her pink muslin skirts flew up, revealing a pair of plump legs in pale pink stockings.
Masculine chuckles and feminine giggles followed on the heels of her ignominious downfall. Gertrude winced, the fall itself causing little damage but her pride bruised beyond repair.
And just when she thought she couldn't possibly feel worse, she glanced toward the drawing room door. The newest arrivals stared at her, faces frozen in shock. Amongst them was Eric, Duke of Chatterton. His sister Lady Tilly stood beside him, her gloved fingers over her lips while her eyes danced with silent laughter. Gertrude wanted to crawl under the sofa and die.
As Lady Gertrude sat on the floor trying to muster the courage to rise and face her guests, Lord Chatterton set aside his hat, gloves, and walking stick, and approached. He silently held out a hand to the fallen young lady.
Gertrude gazed up into the angelic countenance above her. He was so handsome, she mused, her mind on his pleasing features rather than his offer of assistance. His eyes were the same grass green as her own, clear and fringed with thick, dark lashes. He was beauty personified, a Greek Adonis, the type of gentleman who gave Lady Gertrude Shiveley wide berth for fear of her legendary clumsiness.
Except.... he wasn't avoiding her, as he reminded her with a little shake of his proffered hand.
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