Here is this weekend snippet from the start of a historical novel set in Victorian London called THE VEILED HEART.
This is in the beginning of the book, Chapter 1, pages 7& 8, You can listen to / read pages 1 & 2 here & pages 3 & 4 here and pages 5 & 6 here.
I’m going to start reading in order from this weekend on as THE VEILED HEART will be available from 14th July.
Audio File ( seems to work best with google chrome)
Miriam looked away as her pulse raced.
“Perhaps you would need one less than you have purchased?”
His breath infiltrated the lace of her veil and tickled her cheek. A clean, minty scent.
It was an act of will to keep her face averted as a shiver of awareness ran over her.
A thousand retorts flashed somewhere in her mind, but he’d captured her voice as surely as a canary trapped in a miner’s cage.
She managed to shake her head, no, with a modicum of conviction.
“Surely madam has not counted how many there are? One more or less would not disrupt your purpose.”
A snicker came from behind a set of shelves.
She should be embarrassed to be here, to be bargaining with a man about sexual aids. Fortunately, shame had long gone from her suite of emotions.
She pushed her spine up straighter and turned her body further away from him, yet her voice was still in hiding.
What was wrong with her? A further shake of her head, no, was all that was possible.
That all too solid pulse of hers thumped as if it were pushing gallons of blood through her body in heavy hard beats.
The angel stepped in. “We’ll have more next week. If madam wants them all, she can have them all. What matter how many there are?”
“Or that you can reuse them,” came another snicker from a dark corner.
The hand that clasped her upper arm was firm. He didn’t let go. A touch that showed purpose, not coercion as he turned her to face him.
The reality was she had left her station at the door.
It was natural to look at the hand first. It was large with thick square-tipped fingers, the nails neatly trimmed and manicured. Not the pale, slender hands of her late husband. These were masculine, earthier in their solid rectangular length.
Her focus moved up his arm and looked at his coat. Black or maybe dark blue? It was hard to say looking through her veil and given the low light in the shop. The collar was lifted up as if against the wind; but in here, more likely against perusal.
His neck showed signs of dark stubble as did a firm square chin that creased in the middle.
Inside her chest was an odd tremor, but she continued her inspection as she shook off his hold. He let go and didn’t step back.
Miriam tucked her reticule closer to her chest.
Through the translucent spaces in her veil, she could see full, lush lips. Instinctively, she knew this was where she should stop. That she should step back, look down, and ignore him. But how did you stop when there was a slight twist of a smile at one corner of his mouth? He was enjoying this.
Her eyebrows came down; however that strange tremor returned making it hard to hold on to her annoyance.
“Perhaps madam would be tempted with double the price? A return even the stock exchange will not be able to match.”