It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. - Seneca

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What does an annoying habit and a Gentleman's Kiss have in common? Eliza Knight explains!

Have you ever been trying to talk to someone and a rude person or two interrupts you constantly? There is one particular family member of mine that does this EVERY time I talk. I feel as though I can not get a word in.  Sometimes for fun, I will trail off on what I’m saying to see if this person will even notice, and you know what? They don’t!

I know I’m not alone in this… Do tell!

Well, the situation is no different for my heroine and hero in my newly expanded short novel, A GENTLEMAN’S KISS… This scene is frustrating, and I can’t wait until these annoying twits get what’s coming to them! Does that make me a sadist? I do love to torture my characters…


Dominick watched the fragile creature who sat opposite him at the table. He was fascinated with her. Her beautiful features and movements mesmerized him. They were distinctly American, and he loved all things American.

To his right sat Lady Tamara and on his left Lady Susannah. They were having a battle of wills across his lap for his attention. His neck would for certes be sore in the morning from twisting back and forth again and again. Who had set the name cards? He would have to flirt with one of the maids to see that at every meal from now the cards were switched so that he was not between the two sisters. Their incessant chatter was driving him to drink—literally. He swilled the glass of red wine and downed its contents, and signaled for the footman to refill it for the third time.

“Well, I think pink ribbons are the very best to have upon one’s hat, don’t you agree, Lord Wessex?” Lady Susannah said batting her lashes.

“Oh, posh! A floral pattern is always best!” Lady Tamara said, swatting at Dominick’s arm.

“I’ll leave those types of decisions to you ladies.”

He sighed deeply and glanced across the table again. Miss Whitmore poked at the food on her plate with her fork. She appeared to be making a design of some sort. Was that a… face? Asparagus formed hair, while a few stewed carrots made eyes and nose. A hunk of beef formed the mouth and mashed into flesh were her herbed potatoes. Dominick stifled a laugh, and suffered another swipe from Lady Tamara, but his eyes were only for Miss Whitmore, who looked bored to tears.

Not one person engaged their American guest in conversation—and indeed she might as well have been absent from the table for all the attention they paid her. Duke Whitmore appeared obliviously happy, smiling in her direction every once in awhile, a nostalgic look on his face, then tears would enter his eyes, and he’d turn away. The other diners blatantly ignored her.

Well, he could no longer watch her form portraits with her food. He had to engage her—and truth be told, he believed her conversation would be much more interesting than froufrou ribbons.

“I have just returned from the Americas myself,” Dominick said, leaning forward and making a point to stare at her plate. A teasing smile played on his lips. He hoped to pique her interest with the topic of her homeland.

“I know silly, we discussed this earlier,” Lady Tamara said playfully, trying to catch his attention.

Miss Whitmore turned a curious gaze his way. From the corner of his eye he saw that both Lady Tamara and Lady Susannah had followed his gaze to their cousin, with their lips jutting out in a pout.

He was glad to have Miss Whitmore’s attention. At first, she looked a little more than shocked that he was speaking to her, perhaps she’d grown accustomed to everyone else ignoring her, but she quickly recovered herself. A becoming blush covered her cheeks when she caught his gaze staring at her plate, and she quickly moved to separate the food into piles.

Dominick’s smile widened and her blush deepened. He thought he could get lost in her eyes, which mirrored a beautiful American sky. He ignored her two cousins, who tried their best to regain his attention, and continued to gaze at Miss Whitmore.

“What part are you from?” he asked her.

New York.” Her voice was strong, but her eyes, which became shiny, showed a softer side.

“No doubt, plenty of squalor there,” Lady Tamara muttered.

“The city or the country?” he asked, pretending not to have heard Lady Tamara.

“Actually both.” She gave a sad smile.

“Not unlike most here in London then.”

“Doubtful,” Lady Susannah said with a loud clink of her fork on her plate.

“I wouldn’t know, my lord,” Miss Whitmore said, her blush deepening. “But it sounds as though my cousins do.”

A stinger! She would get herself into trouble with that mouth… and oh, how he wanted to kiss her.

“Enough about America, before we all die of boredom,” the duchess interrupted. Every head swiveled her way. She sat ramrod straight in her chair, her face looking pinched. “Lord Wessex, will you be attending the musicale tomorrow at Sir Trenton’s?”

Dominick bit back his irritation. The duke and duchess were his hosts and even if he felt Her Grace was being rude, he could say nothing to the contrary.

“Indeed, Your Grace, it will be a lively event to kick off the Season. I hear Sir Trenton has written more of the music himself and has quite a string of talent appearing. No doubt this musicale will surpass his previous events.”

“You are quite right. Lady Tamara and Lady Susannah will also be in attendance,” the duchess replied.

“As will, my niece, Miss Whitmore,” the duke interjected.

“Indeed, she will,” the duchess said through thinned lips, obviously displeased with the idea.

Dominick’s heart went out to Miss. Whitmore. It appeared she would receive no manner of favor or good will from her aunt and cousins.

Across from him, he saw Miss Whitmore’s dainty hand come up to discreetly swipe a tear. Tears she must have been fighting all night. And especially with this latest blow to her ego.

“Have you been to a musicale, Miss Whitmore?” he asked, trying in vain to pull her back into the conversation.

“Yes,” she said quietly.

But at the same time, Lady Susannah spoke loud enough to drown her out, “I doubt the savage Americans even know what music is.”

Miss Whitmore, sucked in a visible breath and opened her mouth—no doubt to retort in a similar fashion as she had earlier.

Dominick moved quick to supersede her, “Perhaps a walk in the garden?”

Her gaze met his and a small smile curved her lips, taking his breath away. She wiped at her lips and set her napkin down, but before she could reply Lady Tamara’s spoke out of turn.

“I would love too, Lord Wessex.”

Dominick turned to see Lady Tamara sneak a glare at Miss Whitmore before smiling at him, her lashes beating furiously against her cheeks.

He didn’t want to offend the family by refusing her. Flashing Miss Whitmore an apologetic glance, he stood and offered his arm to her cousin. His gaze was still directed on the beautiful American, he didn’t want to leave without a sign from her. She nodded, and offered a weak smile.

He was glad she understood—even if she shouldn’t have to. Perhaps he could catch her tomorrow at breakfast and continue their conversation. Everything about America intrigued him, especially his latest discovery—her.

He couldn’t wait to learn everything he could about Miss Whitmore.


1852 ~ After the death of her parents, Miss Lillian Whitmore travels to London to live with her aunt and uncle, the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk. Sick with grief, guilt and loneliness, and shunned by her aunt and cousins, Lillian is constantly reminded of her ignorance of society customs. Forced to find a husband, she encounters two men who vie for her affections--handsome, poised Lord Dominick Wade and the sensuous rake, Sir Trenton--but the skeletons in Lillian's closet keep her from making a choice.
Expectations are high for Lord Dominick Wade to marry a woman of social stature, but the American beauty has literally wreaked havoc with his senses. Lillian is everything Dominick wants in a companion, lover and wife. Even more rankling is his competition, Sir Trenton, and the influence he holds over her.

Which man will Lillian choose? Fate lies in his kiss...

*A shorter version previously published in 2009 with The Wild Rose Press

Available now as an Ebook: 


derekd said...

Often, shorts leave me wanting more, which can be a bit frustrating. I tend to avoid them because of that. However, I found A Gentleman's Kiss to be a fun and satisfying read.

Nice job Eliza.

Eliza Knight said...

Thank you Derek!! I think in its original version which was about half the length the readers were left wanting more, which is why I went back and enhanced it. I've found the same things. Novellas are tough to write because you do have to make sure you get everything in there, without it seeming crowded. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

Vonda Sinclair said...

Awesome scene!! I enjoyed it!!

Eliza Knight said...

Thank you Vonda!!!

hotcha12 said...


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