A month ago, I introduced Lady Elinor Ashworth, heroine of Lady Elinor's Escape, in a Sneak Peek Sunday post. Today's snippet introduces Stephen over breakfast at a country inn, after reuniting the proprietors with their runaway daughter Nancy.
Sweet Regency Romance
by Linda McLaughlin
Nancy fisted her hands on her hips. “Now that isn’t enough breakfast for the long trip to London. I’ll bring ye some of our fine Wiltshire bacon, too.”
Stephen laughed. Ever since he’d arrived, one Wainwright or another had been pressing food and drink on him. “Very well, Nancy. Toast and bacon.”
She turned and walked away, weaving between the crowded tables. She seemed like a different girl than the half-starved waif his housekeeper had taken in two months ago. He frowned, remembering her tale of being lured to London by a smooth-talking stranger only to be abandoned as soon as she had conceived. What kind of cad deserted a woman in a delicate condition? The only thing worse was a man who used his fists on a female, like that blackguard Northam.
Stephen closed his mind to that line of thought. Deborah had been gone for six years now, and if not forgotten, at least the pain of her death had faded. At her funeral Stephen had vowed never again to walk away from a woman in need, which was how he found himself at an inn in Wiltshire during the Season.
When Nancy returned with his breakfast, he applied himself to the large slab of bacon and toast dripping with butter, and then washed it all down with strong black coffee.
Rescuing damsels in distress was hungry work.
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