I have a guest with me today. Hot Scot is here — Leam, the Earl of Blackwood.
He’s already met Lady B. He’s been charming her for the last thirty minutes with his rolling r’s and dark eyes. Shameless flirt. (I mean Leam, though Lady B holds her own when it comes to flirting, of course.) She doesn’t even mind that his gigantic dogs are sprawled out by the door.
But I can see Bourne glowering at Sarah over there, so I’m thinking it might be time for Lady B to step into that tête-a-tête again before things get too heated. It’s definitely time to call Leam away from our hostess.
I lift my hand and do a little nervous wave. He looks straight at me, quirks that sexy mouth of his up at one side, and saunters over.
Now here’s a truth I’ve got to admit to you lovelies as I watch him come toward me: I’m a little overwhelmed by him. My sister authoresses are so wonderfully confident around their heroes. I mean, we’re in control of these guys! And I’m usually pretty put together too when it comes to my heroes. But for some reason it’s different with Leam. He’s so… so…
Or maybe it’s just that beneath that tall, dark, rugged exterior, I know who he really is.
He stops before me.
Me: Well, hello, Leam. I’m so glad you came tonight.
Him: Ye’ve no given me the choice, lass.
Me: I didn’t drag you in here physically, if that’s what you mean. As if I could.
I look meaningfully up and down his six-three, broad-shouldered yumminess, pretending I’m not lying through my teeth and that I didn’t actually write this scene into the book, which I did of course. (See? I’m totally gutless.)
Him: Ye be full wi’ bletherie the nicht, lass.
Me: I’m not flattering you. You’re a bona fide big guy. Oh, and actually, you can drop the Scots accent. After tomorrow everybody is going to know you don’t usually sound like that.
He quirks a brow. (Of course he quirks a brow. What sexy alpha hero doesn’t?)
Leam: Will they, nou?
Me: Yes, sir. (My palms are a little damp, but I forge ahead. You lovelies are all here, after all, the wind beneath my wings to give me courage.) And they’re going to find out something else about you, too.
The handsome brow comes down. A lock of dark hair falls over his poet’s eyes.
Leam: Whit be that, lass?
Me: They’re going to find out you’re a poet.
I bite my lip and squinch up my face, ready for the worst. But he doesn’t react as I expect.
He smiles. And bows.
I gape a little. Then I smile back. He has that effect on women, even me. See? I’m hopeless.
Me: So you’re fine with everybody knowing?
But his attention has shifted to the door, and I know without looking by the glimmer in his dark eyes who has arrived. Lady Kitty Savege. Gentlemen crowd around her. She’s beautiful in a gown of shimmering silvery-white. An ice princess. But her cheeks flushed with rose belie her otherwise cool façade. I wonder if she knows Leam is here now? I wonder if she realizes he isn’t going to respect her wishes and stay away from her? I wonder if…
Then I hear Leam murmur, as though unable to remain silent –
“Merely the sight of her makes all things bow.”
He’s quoting Dante, the fourteenth-century Italian poet. He’s recited Dante to her before. And not only Dante. And it wasn’t in a ballroom.
As though recalled to his duty to me he turns for a moment, gives me a private sort of smile as though to say “Thank you”, sketches me a bow, and heads across the room to her.
But I know what’s in store for him, and I can’t help but murmur a little verse myself. Shakespeare this time –
“The course of true love never did run smooth.”
Oh, my poor Hot Scot. He has no idea what’s coming. Just the way I like it best.
“Lady B! Good evening!” I swing around, looking around for Sarah and Bourne. “But I thou–”
Did I hear you say that you have written my ballroom into a scene in your new book?
“I did.” I didn’t say it! I have no idea how she read my thoughts. Unless she’s reading this post. O.M.G. I give her a toothy grin anyway. “I hope you like it.”
She preens a little (possibly learned from Albert). She glances over at Leam who is approaching Kitty, and I hear her say very clearly –
“‘Two lovely berries moulded on one stem; so, with two seeming bodies, but one heart.’ Ah, romance!”
There you have it, lovelies — Shakespeare from our redoubtable hostess!
Now it’s your turn. In honor of my Scottish earl’s love of poetry (and his shameless use of it to win his lady), share with us a line of verse today that you love. Or if you’d rather, make up a line or two of poetry yourself. One commenter will win an autographed copy of When a Scot Loves a Lady.
If you need a bit of inspiration, here’s a first line to get started: There once was a hero from Scotland…