A Scandal in Newport: Excerpt


Trouble in Paradise…

He’d taken her ring, the swine.

Shifting uncomfortably on the hard mattress beneath her, Amy glared down at the circle of bare skin on the third finger of her left hand. Easy enough to understand why it had been taken, but it still made her want to scream with rage.

Not that she could right now, thanks to the gag. And she suspected that, even without the gag, no one would be able to hear her if she screamed. What had Geneva told her? A room with all the windows boarded up—in an abandoned building, most likely.

Amy shifted position again, as best she could. The ropes were tight about her wrists, even tighter about her ankles. Trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey… perhaps if she wriggled about enough, she could manage to loosen her bonds—or at least lessen the horrid “pins and needles” sensation growing in her feet.

In that latter aim, she managed to succeed, and lay quietly until her feet stopped tingling. Her mind, however, was far from quiet, furiously turning over the events of the previous night.

Had Sally gotten away? She prayed the younger girl had had the sense to run back into the ballroom, in the direction of light and noise and people. Her heart gave a sudden lurch at the thought of her people. Mama. Papa. Andrew. Even Relia, far off in Cornwall. And Thomas.

Oh, dear God, Thomas. He must know by now—and he’d be frantic. Just as her family would be. She could see his face in her mind’s eye, strained and taut, his beautiful eyes gone that muddy green they always became in times of intense disquiet.

So outwardly self-contained, the man she loved. And so passionate, so unexpectedly vulnerable, beneath his polished surface…

A wave of longing washed over her, and she shut her eyes against the unwelcome sting of tears. No, she wasn’t going to cry. She was far too angry to cry, then or now.

Best to keep a cool head. To remember what she’d already discovered about these kidnappings. Had the ransom demand come yet? And how long would it take for Papa to get such a sum together?

No fear that he would, of course. That was why her captors had started this filthy business in the first place. Rich men’s daughters, sheltered, trusting, and naïve. No more able to fend for themselves than babes in the wood. As Alice, Geneva, and poor Maisie had been.

Her lips formed a grim smile about the gag. They’d gotten more than they bargained for when they snatched her. She only hoped that some of her scratches had drawn blood, and that at least one of the swine had black and blue shins from all the kicks she’d dealt him as they hustled her off. They’d probably be all too glad to get her off their hands.

She had only to wait, after all. Two days, three at the most—if she couldn’t find a way out of this predicament by herself, before then. Keep a cool head, Amy told herself. A cool head and all her wits about her, and she’d come out of this all right.

But in spite of her resolve, she found her gaze still straying to her now-bare finger, and her thoughts drifting as well. Back to the night Thomas had put that ring on her finger.

The happiest night of her life…

Available from Blue Castle Publishing

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