But at least I’ve managed to torment my heroine for a bit (my heroine, the Dowager Lady Clifford, has just arrived at a dinner party & is announced by a footman) (excerpt that follows is rough – just so it can’t be said I haven’t warned you!):
The party, Frances saw with relief, was indeed a small one. There were no more than ten or twelve people present. In one corner of the room a small gaggle had formed around a tall, blond man, who stood with his back to the door.
Frances frowned. A small shiver of foreboding slid down her spine.
“—and the Dowager Lady Clifford.”
The man turned.
He was older, of course, and his face deeply tanned by the Eastern sun. There were new lines in his face that had not been there seven years ago.
Their gazes met and clung—for one endless, awful, wonderful moment.
Her breathing stopped, perhaps even her heartbeat. Oh Alex, she thought. Alex…
But the moment passed, and his eyes slid away, and he gave no sign that he knew her at all.