“Have you ever kept a secret diary?”
I kept a secret diary in my teen years, mostly full of the names of the boys for whom I longed, as well as lengthy descriptions of my painfully unsatisfying encounters with them. My diaries were a marvelous outlet for all those overwhelming feelings I had back then. Also, I couldn’t have possibly kept track of the ten to twelve crushes I always had at once without some sort of record-keeping system. But Lady B seems peculiarly adamant, so I must ask: “Why not?”
“You should know better than anyone,” she replies with a single lifted brow (lifted brows being stock and trade in this ballroom).
“Because secret diaries rarely remain secret, of course,” I say with a knowing nod. Across the ballroom among a group of admirers stands Cam Westfall, the golden, rakish Earl of Bedwyr. He has not yet discovered the secret diary of shy Princess Jacqueline of Sensaire. That happens tomorrow. Today he is as yet unaware of her burning infatuation for him. Her secrets are still safe.
Not for long…
“Have you scandalous secrets in your past that you wouldn’t want anyone to know about?” I ask Lady B, smiling as I watch the sublimely confident man that will shortly fall helplessly to his knees before a wallflower. “Such as how you came to wear only peacock colored gloves, own a parrot named Albert, and married Lord B?”
“Dear gel, if I wanted anybody to know that, I would have long since written a diary and accidentally left it for you and your sister authoresses to discover.”
The trill of a flute vibrates through her last words, and the candlelight strikes her eyes at just such an angle that one of those feelings abruptly overwhelms me — one of those feelings that makes me sharply turn my attention from the rakish lord to my hostess.
Accidentally left it? Impossible. If Lady B ever did anything by accident I’d eat my next hero’s cravat. So it can only mean that after lo these years we’ve spent in her ballroom sharing the stories of other ladies and gentlemen…
Lady B wants us to tell her story.
“Oh– Well– I–” My tongue is apparently as shocked as the rest of me. Abruptly I’m impatient to be off and tell my sister authoresses this news. “I’d better go– um– find someone!”
She peers at me closely. “Haven’t you a new book you wish to tell everybody about now? I reserved the ball for that purpose today, of course. And there is Bedwyr with his spectacularly well shaped legs awaiting your pleasure.”
“Oh, right. Okay then… When a rakish lord discovers a wallflower’s torrid diary, will her wildest Christmas wishes be fulfilled in its pages… or in his arms?” I say upon a rush. How’s that for getting right to the point? (I look out at our lovely readers.) Right? I mean, I’ve already told you all about Cam a’plenty, in past posts, and for gosh sakes he’s a major character in I Married the Duke, just like Jacqueline. You know everything I have to say already! (Back at Lady B) “How was that?”
I flash her a smile like Cam’s, all confidence and dash. “La! Okay, gotta split. Ta ta, Lady B!”
Now I’m off to tell Sarah, Miranda, Kate, Sabrina, Tessa and Lauren the news, that Lady B is about to “accidentally” misplace her non-existent diary and we– we!– get to find it. Oh, I’m so excited, I’m bursting! Two and a half years ago when we first walked into this ballroom, who would have ever thought Lady B had a story of her own to tell…
Have you ever kept a diary? If you did, what sorts of things did you write in it? If not, whyever not?
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I adore Christmas romances! So I’ve compiled a list of dozens of new and re-released holiday romances for everybody’s pleasure. You can peruse it here.