Appropriately enough, now we’re in the month of May, it’s time for the release of my new novella, May Wedding! This is the sixth story in my Regency romp Twelve Letters series with an established ensemble cast.
The story diverted to new characters Luc and Harry in The Misfit, book 5 in the series, but now we’re back with the usual crew. May Wedding is mainly from the point of view of Regency himbo Percy Havilland and the good-natured Jo Everett and might possibly be my most romantic story yet in this series!
May Wedding is in the 20% pre-release/new release sale at JMS Books until Friday, May 12th and is also available at Amazon and all other outlets.
Some of the gentlemen who meet weekly for supper at The Golden Lion in London’s St. James’ are preoccupied with the prospect of matrimony.
The Honourable Percy Havilland is at full organisational pelt for his sister’s triumphant society marriage, ably backed by his friends. His frequent stress-induced outbursts are endured by his ever-patient lover, Nathan.
Percy has mixed feelings about the upcoming nuptials, the sorrow at losing one of his precious sisters balanced by the opportunity of exhibiting his exquisite good taste to make this the wedding of the Season.
His friend Jo Everett reacts differently to the wedding, desiring an equivalent opportunity to mark his enduring love for Daniel Walters.
Will Percy manage to survive the wedding without falling out irreparably with Nathan? And might Jo and Daniel discover they have the support of their close circle to celebrate their own special day?
Nathan, more than anyone, comprehended how much Percy agonised over relinquishing his sister. Partly because Percy no longer practised caution with Nathan where his feelings were concerned. But also because his lover bore the brunt of Percy’s feverish exertions for the wedding.
Percy recalled when they were in Nathan’s private sitting room in his great house off Leicester Square, during a rare hour together before Percy returned to Little Chelsea to accompany his sisters to an evening’s revels. Nathan sat in his favourite Chesterfield armchair while Percy paced before him in a manner that Nathan remarked reminded him of a caged tiger.
When holding forth at great length on selecting the exact shade of soft pink for the bridesmaids’ dresses, Percy started to argue with Nathan, despite the gentleman’s indifference to whether the ladies should wear muslin or sackcloth.
Instead of justifiably losing his temper with Percy in this wildly unreasonable mood, Nathan said, “Come here,” and patted his thighs encouragingly. After a brief hesitation, while formulating a heated debate between the virtues of a bright peach hue or a subtle shade of apricot, Percy rather sulkily sat on Nathan’s lap, holding himself stiffly.
“That’s better,” Nathan said, pulling him close. All Percy’s nervous tension started to dissolve as he breathed in Nathan’s familiar Bay Rum cologne, listened to the steady rhythm of his breath, and felt the warmth and strength of his body that Percy relied on and frequently enjoyed.
“Whatever you choose,” Nathan opined, “will be perfect, not only in tribute to your excellent taste but because of your insurmountable care.”
At this disarming statement, rather than bristling, Percy found himself weeping copiously on Nathan’s broad shoulder while his paramour patiently stroked his back and kissed his neck between reassuring endearments.
Needless to say, that had not been the only circumstance when Percy had relieved his raw nerves on Nathan. The degree of toleration Nathan exhibited on account of Percy’s mental and emotional strain in the run-up to the wedding had resulted in far fewer spats than was their habit.
On the odd stolen night in Nathan’s bed during the Season, Percy lay wrapped in his strong arms, momentarily soothed and protected from all his fears, demands, and struggles. He didn’t know how he would have survived the headlong months of Araminta’s betrothal without Nathan’s support and even managed to admit that once or twice.
With a rush of affection and gratitude, Percy raised a grin and his glass in a private toast. Nathan’s frown disappeared, replaced by an answering smile as he emulated the gesture. Percy presumed that when the last slice of cake was consumed, and they all gathered on the front steps of the house to wave off the bride and bridegroom, he would feel a discreet touch on his shoulder, or a hand briefly grasping his waist, Nathan’s way of showing solidarity.
Naturally, after the splendid formality of the Seymours’ hospitality, Percy’s wider family and even a few friends might convene at Little Chelsea for a dish of tea or something stronger to discuss the joyous event. But after Simeon and Cordelia departed to collect Harriet and bestow a similar rehash of events with a new audience in Emma, Percy idly wondered if he could excuse himself for the afternoon and decamp to Leicester Square.
He had caught that brief heated flash of interest when Nathan first laid eyes on Percy in church, delectable in tight-fitting dove grey. It seemed only fair to allow Nathan to appreciate Percy’s new clothing behind closed doors and slowly remove every layer. After being such a faithful knight during the wedding campaign, tolerating the worst of Percy’s barbs and inconsistencies, Nathan deserved a leisurely reward.
Also, losing himself in the intense, deliberate, and mind-numbing loving that only Nathan could give, Percy could glory in the achievement of the nuptials without dwelling too much on the lack of Araminta at home.
Anticipating such a sweet release, Percy put his glass on the table and ran an elegant middle finger around the rim before dipping it in the fizzing liquid. As he raised the digit to his lips, he looked directly at Nathan, allowing the promise of a flash of tongue as he delicately sucked on his fingertip.
Nathan adroitly responded to a remark from his near neighbour, only a faint flush of colour on his cheekbones betraying his response to Percy’s teasing. I’ll pay for that later, Percy thought with a pleasurable squirm.
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