21 July 2019

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Sophie's Choice

Date Published: 15 May 2014

ISBN Number: B00K57RRCW

Publisher: Brierley Rose Press

Link to purchase book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00K57RRCW?adid=00KK6CSGMKJ6C9HM3WWE&camp=1406&creative=6394&creativeASIN=B00K57RRCW&linkCode=as1&tag=nelldixon-21

Full Excerpt:

Someone, somewhere was whistling. A loud, out of tune cacophony that would hurt the ears of anyone with an ounce of rhythm in their soul. Lady Sophie Craigmore opened her eyes and winced at both the sound assailing her ears and at the bright sunlight streaming in through unfamiliar windows. The dull thumping in her temples took on new vigour as she attempted to raise her head from the pillow. She glanced briefly around the room and lowered her head back down. Where on earth was she?
She closed her eyes again and tried to force herself to think. The charity garden party at a large, private house. The events of the preceding afternoon spooled through her mind. Toby, her useless, unfaithful boyfriend, an ugly, embarrassing argument and way too much Champagne. Re-opening her eyes she peered around the room. Large, with high ceilings and an air of faded grandeur the bedroom was undoubtedly masculine with dark blue walls and heavy mahogany furniture.
Sophie licked her lips and wished the inside of her mouth didn’t taste like sawdust. She needed water and an Asprin. Gingerly, she attempted to raise her head once more. In the distance the whistling had stopped. She tugged the pillows behind her head and registered that she was still wearing the delicate floral dress she’d worn for the garden party.
A little of the tension she’d been holding in her shoulders since she’d woken eased from her body. She must have passed out after drinking too much on an empty stomach and someone had obviously carried her to a guest bedroom.
The tuneless whistling started up again, sounding much closer than before. She barely had time to register which direction the sound was coming from before a door opened and a tall, blond man clad only in a towel entered the room.
Her startled gaze locked with his.
“Oh, you’re awake now?” He sounded amused.
Sophie could only manage a squeak as a reply as the stranger turned to open the doors of a nearby wardrobe. She watched with disbelief as he selected a pair of denim jeans and a pale blue polo shirt from inside the cupboard.
“What are you doing?” Her voice came out as a croak.
He turned to look at her, his eyebrows raised in faint amusement. “What does it look like I’m doing? I’m getting dressed.”
“But, you can’t.” Her protest died on her lips as the stranger turned his back and in a few deft moves shed his towel and stepped into his jeans.
She gaped open-mouthed at him, her face burning with heat as he calmly continued to pull the polo shirt over his head.
“Now, do you think you can face some breakfast?” he asked as he deposited the discarded towel into a linen hamper.
Sophie closed her mouth with a snap. “A cup of tea would be nice.” To her relief her voice sounded a little more normal.
“I’ll go down and put the kettle on.” He smiled at her. “You might want to freshen up first. The bathroom is through the door there, there are fresh towels in the linen cupboard. Come downstairs when you’re ready, we’ll be in the dining room.”
The sound of the door closing behind him set the jungle drums pounding in her head once more. As soon as she was sure he’d gone she hopped off the bed and made her way to the bathroom. She shuddered at her reflection in the slightly misty mirror above the sink. Tangled hair, the remnants of smudged mascara beneath puffy pink eyes. “Attractive,” she muttered and set to work with a face cloth and a towel.
A few minutes later with her face clean and her blonde hair restored to some semblance of tidiness she ventured down the curved oak staircase to find the dining room. The sound of voices met her in the hall, and she suddenly recalled he’d mentioned that ‘they’ would be in the dining room. So long as one of the people wasn’t Toby then, embarrassing as it was, she thought she’d be able to cope. Except, she hadn’t a clue who her host was.

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