With the weather being so fine, I’ve been spending a lot of time outside with the girls. And early morning is my favourite time to venture out to find fresh air. The grass is still damp with dew, and at this time of year, the low sun casts a dappled light through branches filled with newly formed leaves. We sit at the edge of the shadows, legs stretched out into the sun, enjoying the contrasts of the warming rays and the cool residue of the evening, knowing in a few short hours the decking will be transformed into a baking expanse and we’ll be forced to seek shelter inside. But for just that moment, it is perfect.
And then of course we go and build sandcastles. Who wouldn’t?
This extract is from Braving Madness, and the hero Edward has just dared Betty to an early morning waltz.
She rested her fingers on his shoulder like a wild bird poised for flight, her whole body taught with tension. Not unlike his own. If she’d stroked him he would vibrated like a violin string.
He groaned inwardly. Thinking about her stroking him had been a bad idea. “Ready?” he said in a strangled voice. “Der da da, der da da, der da da.”
Feeling the rhythm, Edward swept Betty in the dance, petticoats whirling about his legs, the decorative tassels of his Hessians swinging drunkenly about his shins.
She looked at him, a smile playing about the corners of her full rose lips and he was undone. He’d heard the phrase many times but he’d never fully comprehended the feeling. He-was-undone. Utterly undone. So utterly undone he nearly lost his footing. Gravel crunched beneath his feet, his boots crushing grass stiff with frost in the shadows.