Heart of Delight BLURB:
He’ll do anything to be her heart’s delight—except tell the truth.
Gabriella d’Adventure is on a mission. She has come to England as a lady’s maid in pursuit of the Duke of Rother. When she meets Horace Carpenter, valet to a marquess, she is delighted to enlist his aid in gaining her heart’s desire: a meeting with the duke. But will her growing feelings for the handsome valet interfere with her plans for the duke?
The eccentric Marquess of Halford, Hal to his friends, is tired of the demands of Society, especially his father’s decree that he marry this Season. When a breathtaking young woman intrudes on his solitude, he is captivated and introduces himself as his valet in hopes of learning more about her. Despite his fear about the true motive behind Gabriella’s quest to meet the Duke of Rother, Hal agrees to help her gain an audience with him, all the while praying his deception won’t ruin his chances of winning her love.
Heart of Delight by Jenna Jaxon
“Bonsoir, mademoiselle,” he said, rising from the floor to bow. He hoped she would speak again. Her lilting, vibrant voice would haunt his dreams.
“Bonsoir, monsieur.” She wrinkled her petite nose. “You are English, non?”
“I am. My French is abominable, but I hoped to impress you with what I remember of it.” Hal smiled. He’d never got the hang of languages other than his own.
The girl laughed, tossing her head. “You have a good accent for an Englishman.”
She glanced from the balcony rail to the doorway and bit her lip.
“Is there some way I may be of service to you, Mademoiselle…?” He must know the name of this beautiful creature.
“D’Aventure,” she said, with a small but graceful curtsy. “Gabriella Veronique Marie d’Aventure. Mais, non. I am fine, monsieur.” Again, she slid her gaze toward the balcony railing.
Well, he had a name, at least. Better than complete ignorance. “Have you, come, perhaps, to watch the dancing?”
She nodded, keeping her attention on him. “Yes, my lady does not require me at the moment, so I thought it would be nice to see how the English dance.” Her smile quite took his breath away. “May I?”
“Please.” Hal stepped back and motioned her in front of him.
She moved like air on water, seeming to glide without touching the planked floor. When she reached the railing, she studied the dancers, now engaged in a country dance. “They are very beautiful, the English ladies, in their best gowns.” A glance at him and her smile broadened. “Not as beautiful as the great French ladies of the royal court, of course, but their gowns are well made.” She giggled. “Perhaps they have a French modiste.”
“I suspect many of them do.” Unable to help himself, Hal stared at the charming girl. Fortunately, the dancers held her interest so she missed this lapse of manners.
Entranced, she peered over the rail, her gaze darting from one couple to another, her hand beating time on the rail. Then she frowned and shook her head. “Non, non. C’est impossible.”
“What is impossible, mademoiselle?” She was obviously looking for someone. But who?
Jenna Jaxon is a best-selling, multi-published author of historical romance in periods ranging from medieval to Victorian. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and two rambunctious cats, Marmalade and Suger. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.
Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is very active in Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA.
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.