Highlighting Historical Romance: Gloria Gay
I fell in love when I was thirteen. It was one warm summer afternoon. I was well hidden with my poetry book in a thicket of bushes and had almost dozed off. I was trespassing in land that adjoined my father’s as I often did. It was at that moment that Richard Branston, Earl of Berrington, alit from his horse, took off all his clothes and dipped into the stream. I stared at him transfixed, at his full frontal nudity, at his dark hair and eyes and never again looked at another man.
Five years later Mama found out about my secret obsession and used it to her advantage.
It was no use resisting Mama. Ever since my beautiful sister, Roselle, on whom she had placed her hopes of social advancement, had died, she had transferred her obsession to me. I was now to be the one to restore the family position in society, a position that had been lost many years ago.
Mama convinced me that a note written by Richard Branston, Earl of Berrington was addressed to me. I could not believe that the young earl, whom everyone called Berrington and who always ignored me in each and every ball we had both attended, could have written such a note to me and with such a request: a meeting in the wine cellar of the estate where we were both guests at a house party, a cellar that was more like a vast dungeon.
I realized later when it was already too late that Mama had locked me in the cellar with Lord Berrington, in order to compromise him. I had fallen into her trap. A wallflower like me, ignored by everyone, including her family, was desperate to believe that the earl, for whom I still harbored a fierce, secret love, could really be attracted to me. But once Mama had planted the seed in my brain it grew like a weed.
Berrington blamed me, of course, as all society did. He believed I had plotted it with my mother. I felt as though I were falling in an abyss from which I could never recover. I hardly knew which was worse, the embarrassment or the humiliation I was drowning in.
About the Book
Tricked by her mother into spending a night trapped in a wine cellar with the man she is secretly in love with, timid Belinda Presleigh must decide between a life of loneliness or marriage to a man who despises her for the trick played on him.
Belinda, who had been unable to close her eyes, had during the last few minutes, started to doze off. She froze as the door opened and Lord Berrington walked into the bedroom. Her hands, lying by her sides, shook.
The room shrank in size with his presence, a presence that overwhelmed Belinda with its maleness and authority.
In the dim candlelight she followed his progress as he tossed his coat over a chair. He then placed a bottle of wine and two wineglasses on a small table and proceeded to fill both glasses with wine. He walked over to the bed where Belinda lay, her body as straight and tense as a board, and sat on a chair by the bed. He handed her one of the wineglasses.
His eyes raked over her as she began to tremble from head to toe.
“Drink this,” Berrington ordered. “It will ease the tension in you. I don’t know what you’ve been told about this night, but it’s obvious you were terrorized by their words. Forget what you’ve been told. This business is very much like learning to swim. The best thing to do is to plunge right into it. It won’t be as bad as you imagine, I assure you.
“Drink all your wine, now.”
Belinda straightened up in the bed to a sitting position and with a shaking hand took the large heavy goblet. Then with trembling lips and without looking at him, she sipped it once and stopped.
“All of it,” he ordered. “If ever anyone needed a glass of wine to relax a little, it is you.”
Buy it here.
Author Gloria Gay’s love of painting and writing has always been entwined in her life. Her debut novel, First Season, earned a four-star review from Romantic Times Book Review. She recently published a new, expanded version of First Season under the title, LOVE IN A DANGEROUS SEASON.
Recently, Boroughs Publishing Group published her Regency historical romances, Scandal at Almack’s and Lovely Little Liar.
Gloria also published a new edition of Canceled Courtship under the title, KISSED IN THE DARK, as well as ENCHANTED SUMMER, a Regency romance and A BRIDGE THROUGH TIME, a time travel romance.
Gloria and her husband Enrique, an architect, have three grown children and six grand-children and they are lucky to have them all living near them in San Diego, California.
Find out more here.