Please join me in welcoming Elizabeth Michels to Debbie's Book Bag today. Elizabeth is here promoting her book, Desperately Seeking Suzanna. Please enjoy her guest post and see the giveaway details for your chance to win a copy of her book.
Scandal at the Refreshment Table
Thank you for hosting me here on Debbie’s Book Bag today! I’m so excited to be celebrating the release of the second book in the Trick of the Ton series, Desperately Seeking Suzanna. This story is a fun one to share with everyone because it takes place at the same time as book 1 in the series, Must Love Dukes. There are even a few scenes that cross over from one book to the other.
One of my favorite scenes in Desperately Seeking Suzanna occurs just after one of these meeting points between books. Holden and Sue just left Devon and Lily from Must Love Dukes to dance in the ballroom while they go in search of the refreshment table. Sue is a little irritated that Holden is on his search for Suzanna when Suzanna is standing right in front of him. Although, unlike the night they first met, tonight she is dressed in a plain gown, not made-over by her cousins and not wearing a masquerade mask…
“Listen, I…” He looked away and ran a hand through his hair. “Do you argue with all gentlemen?”
“No, only with you.”
“I feel so special.” He flinched as if surprised by some thought, then shook it off.
Her eyes narrowed on him. What was he thinking?
“This evening hasn’t gone the way I’d intended. I’m usually charming.”
“Really? I couldn’t tell.”
“May we begin again? I will swear on this most delicious tea cake that I am here in a friendly capacity.”
“All right then. I swear on the very same delicious tea cake that I am here in a friendly capacity as well.”
She watched as he tore the small cake into two pieces and ate half of it. He held out the other half for her to take, his fingers hovering a breath away from her lips. She froze, gazing up into his face. She couldn’t eat from his hand, could she?
“You have to eat the cake, or the vow of friendship is null and void. It’s written in the great law of swears on sweets.” He smiled and shot her an “I dare you” look.
After another moment’s hesitation and a glance around the room to ensure they were indeed alone, she leaned forward to take the cake from his out-stretched fingers. Only he moved his hand, causing her to stumble forward. She glared at him as he lifted the cake out of her reach.
“Oh, my mistake.” He held the cake out again and waited for her to take it. Then once again pulled his hand away with a chuckle.
“All right. I’ll play fair.” He grinned and moved to feed her the cake before snatching it away again.
With a narrow-eyed glare, she reached up and grabbed his wrist, lifting herself off the ground for a moment, her satin slippers swinging in the air.
His muscles tensed under her grasp. “Oh, now who’s not playing fair? I can’t very well let you fall of your arse, can I?”
“That’s what I’m counting on,” she struggled to say as she strained to reach his hand with her mouth.
She would achieve her goal and take the piece of cake from him. He’d won at their last meeting, and he would not win again. She stretched up one last time and trapped the cake with her lips, flicking her tongue out to lick the icing from the palm of his hand. That was the moment when he dropped her.
Her knees buckled and she landed on the floor in a heap of pale rose skirts. The pain in her backside was well worth it to see the stunned look in Holden’s eyes. She was still laughing as she licked a bit of strawberry filling from her lip.
He knelt down beside her with slow movements. Before she knew what was happening, his hand was cupping her jaw. The laughter drained from her as she looked up into his face. Did he know now? Had her laughter given away her secret? Her lips parted to say something, although she didn’t know what to say. Heat rose from her cheeks. He was too close to her, too close by far.
His thumb brushed across the corner of her mouth. “You missed a crumb.”
I love this scene. The first reason that this exchange makes my list of favorites is the constant battle of wills between Holden and Sue. The second reason is I like to see the unexpected happen at a ball in London and this vow of friendship that turns into game of sorts is definitely unexpected. And the third reason is because they are scarfing down tea cakes like they’re getting paid for every bite. I hope you enjoy Desperately Seeking Suzanna as much as Holden and Sue enjoy snacking on sweets.
What is your favorite party snack? …Even if you don’t eat it from the hand of a gentleman at a ball in London.
Look for my review of Desperately Seeking Suzanna later today!
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Desperately Seeking Suzanna by Elizabeth Michels.
~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, April 1st.
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