Diarist: Stolen Kisses

This is not an excerpt from A Widow’s Guide to Scandal. It was a fun, little exercise in seeing Henrietta and Marcus’s fated kiss from a witness’s perspective.


Wednesday—29th July, 1763… This afternoon, while removing ink stains from shirts, I watched that meddlesome miss from the house across the field, Miss Henrietta Smith, kiss Marcus Hardwicke. Just the thought of it brings me fits of giggles that leave me hiccupping. I know I should feel sorry for her, but the look on Marcus’s face can never be unseen. Instead of closing his eyes like he taught me last summer, his eyes grew twice as large as turkey eggs. He stood there, stiller than the statue at the center of town, arms like oak limbs, stiff and hanging at his sides, and pallor as pale as putty.

The Laundress, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1761
(Public Domain)

I can’t keep my quill from shaking, I’m laughing all over again.

You could tell by the enthusiastic way she leaned into him, color high on her cheeks, she intended the kiss as a conquest. It lasted, and lasted, and lasted, to the point where I almost stepped away from my chores to save them both from the misery of it. Finally, she released him. Poor girl had a face like a kicked kitten—and now I’m feeling sorry for her! Miss Smith lifted handfuls of her skirts and ran all the way home. (As I would have done, had I been soundly rejected. But then, when I kissed Marcus, I was kissed back!)

Now I suppose we won’t be seeing the likes of Miss Smith around here anymore. No loss for me. Doubtful it’s a loss for poor Marcus either.

Original post appeared on The Teatime Tattler, July 29, 2020.


A Widow’s Guide to Scandal

A Widow's Guide to Scandal by Hallie Alexander
Available now!

Henrietta Smith was fifteen when she stole a kiss from Marcus Hardwicke. Over a decade later, she’s still waiting to be kissed back…

Henrietta learned the hard way that when you get what you pay for you might end up with a British soldier quartering in your home threatening your friends, an enormous dog tracking mud through your house and stealing the chickens, and Marcus Hardwicke disrupting your uncomplicated life by trying to improve it. And to think she just wanted her roof fixed.

Marcus, wickedly handsome carpenter and rebel rogue, fell off Henrietta’s leaking roof. He can’t leave until his broken ankle heals, giving him plenty of time to consider his past mistakes, including Henrietta’s indelible kiss from a lifetime ago. But Henrietta could lose more than her home if she doesn’t encrypt British secrets, and the latest puts Marcus in the crosshairs.

Available via Amazon & Kindle Unlimited: https://amzn.to/2ZxZqhJ

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Published by Hallie Alexander

Hallie Alexander writes steamy, American historical romances. She is a Northerner living in the South with her husband, three children, and two Doodles of Mayhem™, Bruno and Willow.

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