You have all been waiting so patiently for the release of 'A Gentle Grace' that I just had to give you something to nibble on. While the fourth and final installment in the Wedded Women Quartet is still slated for a late November release, there is quite a bit of work to be done. First and foremost, I need to write the ending. Now, this might seem quite obvious -- after all, when one writes a romance don't they know from the beginning who the heroine will end up with? Alas, such is most definitely not the case with this story. In fact, Grace will have TWO gentlemen to choose from when all is said and done. If we should all be so lucky...
This excerpt is taken from the end of the first chapter. Grace isn't in it, but Catherine, Margaret, and Josephine are. They are determined to make their friend happy, even if that means taking matters into their own hands. Since this is the last novella of the quartet, I have made it a point to include all four friends. Grace does, of course, have the starring role and as always AGG can be read as part of the quartet or as a standalone, but for those of you who have followed these four friends from the beginning, I wanted to send them all off with a bang. Or, in this case, a scheme.
EXCERPT FROM A GENTLE GRACE
Outside in the chilly February air, the three women exchanged uneasy glances as they waited for their respective carriages to be brought around.
“Do you think she will be all right?” Margaret asked.
“Heavens if I know,” Josephine said. “But did you see the state of that house? Everything save the furniture has been sold off.”
Catherine nodded solemnly. “The rumors are true, then. What should we do?”
“Do?” Josephine echoed, arching one brow. “There is nothing to do. If we offer to help her she would see it as pity. No, the only thing to do is to hold our tongues and pretend we do not know Grace’s family is on the brink of financial ruin.”
“I hate Lord Melbourne,” Margaret declared vehemently, kicking at a ball of snow and sending it rolling out across the cobblestone street.
“As do I,” said Catherine.
“If he were on fire I would not spare him a thimbleful of water. What?” Josephine asked when Margaret and Catherine both turned to stare at her. “I wouldn’t. The man is no better than a low lying snake and I tried to tell her—”
“We all tried to tell her,” Catherine interceded.
“No, you tried to tell her in the beginning. But you gave up after a while. I was the only one who besmirched his character on a regular basis.”
Margaret pursed her lips. “What she needs is a husband. Someone wealthy, but not so wealthy as to make him arrogant.”
“And someone kind, but not so kind as to have no ideas of his own,” Catherine said.
“And someone handsome, so she will have a splendid time in bed. What now?” Josephine asked in exasperation when Catherine sighed and Margaret rolled her eyes.
“I believe you missed the point,” Catherine said.
“I did not realize there was one.”
“The point,” Margaret called over her shoulder as her carriage pulled up and she hurried towards it, “is that it is up to us to find Grace a suitable husband before her family loses everything. I will see you on the morrow! Have a lovely night.” And she was gone.
“Up to us?” Josephine echoed as she stood up on her tip toes to peer down the street, searching for her own carriage amidst the growing traffic. The hour was getting late, and everyone was eager to return to their homes before night set in and the temperature dropped even further.
“Up to us,” Catherine confirmed with a nod. “Do you think you are up for the task?”
“Of finding Grace a husband before her family finds themselves on the streets?”
Catherine nodded again, and Josephine smiled.
“Darling, I have just the man in mind.”