Read An Excerpt

AN HEIRESS AT HEART
by Jennifer Delamere

Genre: Historical Romance, Inspirational

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The orchestra struck up a waltz.

Lady Thornborough said, “We must also find you a dance partner, Ria.”

“I think I would like that,” Lizzie replied. She was truly enjoying herself this evening, in a lighthearted way that she had not experienced for a long time.

And then she heard Geoffrey’s voice behind her. “Will I suffice?”

Lizzie turned around. How had she gone almost an entire hour without thinking about this man? Now as he stood there, looking alarmingly handsome, she could think of little else. His dark eyes and the fine cut of his jaw took her breath away. He flashed one of his rare smiles and extended his hand.

Her heart lost several beats as she felt the warmth of his touch through her thin gloves. A joyous, heady feeling pulsed through her—one she had not known for too many years. Yes, she would dance. How had she even considered not coming tonight? How had she not realized she might have given up an opportunity to be in his arms again—if only for a dance?

He led her through the crowd. Lizzie was aware of curious and admiring glances as they passed. When they reached the center of the dance floor, Geoffrey turned to her and rested his hand confidently on the small of her back, setting her alight with anticipation. She brought her hand up to his shoulder, marveling again at how broad it was, and looked into his eyes.

And then they began to dance.

It was the easiest thing in the world to follow Geoffrey’s lead. Her steps melted into his as they joined the rhythm of the music. In no time they were gliding expertly around the room as though they had practiced for years. Moving so effortlessly, so beautifully, the whole time Geoffrey’s eyes never leaving her face. Perhaps she had had too much punch as well, for she became giddy and light-headed as they swirled around the floor. Geoffrey was a fine dancer. Yet another anomaly of this clergyman turned peer. How many other surprises did he hold? She fervently hoped she would have the opportunity to find out. She felt her heart slipping away to this man more and more with each encounter.

Gradually Lizzie became aware that she and Geoffrey were beginning to receive more than just a few casual glances. “I do believe,” she murmured, “that everyone is staring at us.” She had leaned in to say this, and now felt the heat of his cheek, so close to hers.

“Does it make you uncomfortable? Do you wish to stop?”

“No,” she breathed. “I wish never to stop.”

He laughed and whirled her again, and she gave herself up to the pleasure of it. She reveled in the music that moved her soul, in the thrill of being in Geoffrey’s arms, in the pleasing sound of his laughter, in the way everything and everyone blurred to a delightful palette of colors as they kept time with the waltz and the beating of her own heart.