How about we do a teaser Tuesday? Post from your Work in Progress, (or your release, with buy links) any excerpt (500 words or less please!) that gives a hint of a secret or something one of your characters wishes to hide.
This is from my very rough draft of my newest WIP, The Marquess and his Lady.
It was only in the last few miles or so that Hunter’s nerves began to get the best of him. He rationalized seven years absence was the reason, yet if he thought hard upon it, he knew that wasn’t the reason. The thought of entering the house where his life came crashing down around him left him almost breathless with grief.
The carriage lumbered over the crest of the hill, and there she was. Redburn Abbey. The turrets stood just as tall and proud as he remembered, the lawns a verdant green, sparkling with the dew that had yet to dry in the coolness of the morning air. The grey stone façade looked the same as ever, with glossy green ivy snaking upwards, all outlined against a brilliant blue autumn sky. All the windows sparkled and there was a new roof and bricked chimneys.
“I haven’t seen the Abbey in almost a decade.” Ash peered out the carriage window. “Your father would be proud of how you’ve kept the estate.”
Hunter’s mirthless laugh echoed within the carriage. “You needn’t be kind. I’m a grown man. I am aware of how I’ve neglected my duties to the Marquesette.” He exhaled and raked his hand through his hair, welcoming the pain of pulling the tangles from his scalp. “My father would’ve been appalled at my disregard for my inheritance and taken a switch to me as if I were a lad of ten years of age.”
As they drew closer he could see the bustle of activity about the estate and watched as the front door opened servants pouring out to line up at the entrance for his arrival. He recognized few, save for the butler and the housekeeper, but then again, did it really matter?
This house had never truly been a home. There were no loving memories of picnics or parties, no birthday celebrations. His mother had died birthing Marshall and his father, busy with his position in the House of Lords, had never remarried and rarely came home when they were young, except to see to pressing matters of the estate. The only comfort he and his brother had ever received for scraped knees or fear of storms, had come from nurses, nannies or the housekeeper. There was never a tender smile to greet him in the morning or a bedtime story to be shared. Before he bedded his first girl at fifteen, a local wench from the village, he couldn’t recall a single time he had ever been kissed.
No one had ever told him that they loved him.
A sting of tears in his eyes almost sent him reeling. Needing to fill the silence he blurted out. “We’re here.” Master of the obvious, Hunter.
Ash looked at him strangely. “Quite so.”