I’ve promised to send Farewell to Kindness to the proofreader by the end of next weekend. Still lots to do. Pressure. Pressure. Here’s another snippet to be going on with. My heroine has just talked my hero into donating prizes for the children’s races at the village fête.
He would have liked to continue their private conversation a while longer, a realisation that startled him. What was it about this woman that made him want to spend time with her? She was, of course, delectable. But many women had faces and forms as lovely.
Since Marie-Josèphe died, he’d felt the stirrings of lust from time to time—and more than stirrings. Acting on those stirrings always felt like too much trouble, though.
In his private desires, as in all the rest of his life, he saw the world as if through a thick blanket that numbed feeling. He went through the motions of looking after his business interests and the Earldom, of acting appropriately in social occasions, of charming his tenants and his neighbours—but all the time, he was acting a part, as if he had been buried with his wife and children, and was reaching from the grave to operate his own body like a puppet.
Except when he woke each morning with his grief still raw. Except when he was planning how to make his enemies pay. Except when he read the reports David sent him every week.
And now, something beyond his vengeance was reaching through the blanket of unfeeling and bringing him back to life. Or, rather, someone.