This is my ‘H’ post for the Spanking A-Z Blog Challenge. “What’s that?” you ask. Check out my page here for more information and a list of all the wonderful bloggers taking part.
|Buy it now! Even if you have it already. Because, you know, that would make me happy.|
This is a very short and sweet post. You may even call it ‘hastily cobbled together’ if you were feeling uncharitable.
But, blimey, this writing a blog post every day is a bit of a challenge. Especially if you are as disorganised as I am. And, yes, I know I can skip a couple of days what with there being more days in June than there are letters of the alphabet, but hey as today’s letter is ‘H’ and one of my books starts with the letter ‘H’, I figure I can just bung in an excerpt from said book and consider the job done.
So here you go, enjoy a nice long snippet from my very first spanky romance novel, His Lordship’s Apprentice.
There’s no sex or spanking in this excerpt but I am rather fond of this bit. His Lordship’s Apprentice is basically a Cinderella story. The heroine, Violet Plover starts off as an impoverished scullery maid who nevertheless secures the admiration of her titled employer, Lord Hardcastle. Her life is transformed when she becomes the onstage assistant for Lord Hardcastle’s successful magic act. And later, despite her incredibly humble origins, his cherished wife. (I would have put a spoiler warning in there, but, hey, I think it’s fairly obvious from the start where our heroes’ story is headed.)
This scene takes place immediately after Violet has accepted Lord Hardcastle’s offer of working with him onstage as his assistant. Their first task as theatrical colleagues is to go and see the popular Victorian magic act, Maskelyne and Cooke that very evening.
Attending the theatre with a member of the nobility presents a sartorial challenge for a young girl with a limited wardrobe. If only she had a Fairy Godmother to help her out.
Violet stood on tiptoes, trying to see enough of herself in the small oval mirror on her bedroom wall to decide if her attire was suitable for a night at the theatre. Not that it would matter if it wasn’t, she thought glumly. She only had one dress to wear which wasn’t a maid’s uniform. Her simple blue dress had seemed pretty enough at the Spring Fair but she knew it wasn’t really smart enough for an evening spent in the company of a Lord.
She had polished her boots so that they gleamed but they were still practical leather boots designed for working. She had been excited by Lord Hardcastle’s offer to take her to the Egyptian Hall, but looking at her limited wardrobe made Violet think that the whole idea was hopeless.
There was a sharp knock on the door and in walked Mrs Davenport, the Housekeeper. Violet would admit to be slightly frightened of Mrs Davenport. She was always brusque with the girls and brooked no nonsense while the maids were on duty.
“I hear you are attending the theatre with his Lordship tonight.” She looked Violet up and down. “This won’t do.”
Could she stop me attending? thought Violet, panicked. She didn’t think so but she would have no idea what to say to Mrs Davenport if she tried.
“I could have done with a bit more notice,” Mrs Davenport continued. “Like as not his Lordship would have been happy to buy you a gown suitable but there’s no time now. Still I’ve brought a few things as might help.” She placed some items on Violet’s bed. There was a delicate shawl, some shoes and a silver comb decorated with sparkling jewels that Violet suspected might be sapphires. “These were given to me by his mother, Lady Hardcastle as was, when I was her lady’s maid. God rest her soul. I doubt they’re much the fashion now but you may as well borrow them. Lord knows, I have little chance to use ‘em.” She passed the shoes to Violet. They were kidskin leather with silk ribbons. “Put these on. They’ll do better than them boots you’re wearing.”
Violet tried the shoes on eagerly. They were a little large but not so anyone would notice. She felt more elegant already.
Mrs Davenport draped the shawl around Violet’s shoulders. It was made of a thin silver fabric which complimented the blue of her dress nicely.
“Now let’s sort your hair out,” said Mrs Davenport undoing the plait that Violet had fastened in her hair earlier. She brushed through Violet’s hair and then with nimble fingers styled it into an elegant chignon which she secured with the silver comb.
Mrs Davenport took a step back and looked at Violet critically. “Well you’ll not be fooling anyone you’re a Duchess, that’s for sure. Still, you’re certainly pretty enough and that covers a multitude of sins.”
“Thank you so much, Mrs Davenport,” said Violet “This was very kind of you.”
“Hmmph.” said Mrs Davenport. “Well you’d best not keep his Lordship waiting.”
His Lordship’s Apprentice is available from the following retailers: