“The course of true love never did run smooth.”
––William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
“Finally, we meet again,” he said so low, so deeply, she almost couldn’t hear it. Truth be told, she probably wouldn’t have been able to hear much of anything he said, her heartbeat was rattling so loudly inside her chest.
When he took her hand to kiss it, it amazed her how wobbly and unsteady her knees felt, as if she had just been hit hard by a low-lying branch. Yet, she didn’t fall. Instead, for the first time in weeks, a broad smile appeared on her face.
“Oh Hannah,” he murmured and leaned in close, still holding her hand. “Why didn’t you ever come back to me?”
“I swear I tried, truly I did, but I kept being stopped by my family.”
He gave her a quizzical look, but she knew now was not the time to be truthful. So much had escalated since their last meeting.
“Shall we go out onto the balcony?” he asked.
Nodding, she let him guide her outdoors, away from the waltzes, and the general conversation growing more sonorous by the hour. The evening chill had remained at its peak and the distant sound of soldiers maneuvering in their tented camps served as a soft, pleasant background.
On their way outside, he glanced over at another woman, then hesitated.
“Who is that?” she asked.
He stared at her, gave a quick shrug, and said nothing.
At least, he wasn’t connected with the woman. A wave of relief washed over her.
“How is your vest?” She giggled at the stains. “So sorry.”Grinning, he shook his head. “That’s all right. Our bumping into one another is one of the better things happening these days.”
Excerpt from Genteel Secrets by S.R. Mallery
Included in Love in Times of War
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Sail into danger, explore passion and intrigue in these twelve love stories about the heart of men called to serve in dangerous locales and the valiance of women who long for them to come home. You will find yourself inspired by this collection, written by multi award-winning, USA Today and International bestselling authors.
"This anthology consists of twelve wonderful stories with the inherent theme of love and war contained in them. Out of the twelve authors, Uvi Poznansky is the only one that I was familiar with previously. So, in addition to becoming acquainted with new authors in this set, my 'to be read' pile has grown considerably. That is not a bad thing with the wind chill of a minus 10 as I write this review!!"