There’s nothing quite like a historical romance. And Mary Balogh’s Remember Me, the 2nd book in her Ravenswood series, is out today. And yes, we are always excited about historical romance, but if you need a little more to get excited right with us, we’ve got that something for you! An excerpt. Come fall in love with us!
You can read it below:
Voices hummed all around them and glass and china clinked as the other guests feasted upon the sumptuous tea set out before them. Spoons scraped upon dishes of fruit trifle. Philippa glanced down at her plate and was surprised to see that the cucumber sandwich had disappeared. She even had the taste of it in her mouth.
But would this tea, to which she had looked forward with such eager anticipation, never be over? She felt as though she were suffocating. The room seemed unnaturally stuffy.
“I have just realized to my shame that I have not yet spoken with at least one third of our guests,” Jenny said as she set her napkin down on the table. “I was so absorbed in my conversation with Pippa before you arrived, Luc, that I neglected everyone else. And I kept you from mingling too, Pippa, though I know you have very few acquaintances in London and came here to make some. I do apologize.”
“We can put your first concern to rest without further delay, Jenny,” Sir Gerald said, getting to his feet. “I see your wheeled chair in the corner here beside the mantel. Let me get you into it, and we will move about together from table to table, greeting people we have not already spoken with.”
He was fetching the chair as he spoke. He bent over his cousin and, with what was obviously practiced ease, lifted her into it.
“That is kind of you, Gerald,” Jenny said. “But now I am abandoning Pippa after begging her to stay with me. Luc, will you be so good as to give her your company until everyone begins to move about again?”
“It will be my pleasure,” he said while Philippa smiled and her heart thumped uncomfortably and she felt robbed of breath.
The Marquess of Roath was on his feet, moving his chair out of the way so the wheeled chair could pass behind it, and bending to tuck the hem of his sister’s dress about her ankles so it would not catch beneath a wheel.
When he sat down again, he did not move his chair back to where it had been. It was now closer to Philippa than before. She was aware again of the voices around them, seeming to enclose them in a cocoon of silence, which neither of them broke for a few moments. Their eyes met. His were brown, but not very dark. There were hints of green in them. He opened his mouth to speak, but she forestalled him. She had learned something in the last seven or eight months, since Devlin’s return home from the wars. She had learned the importance of speaking truth rather than suppressing it and living with the illusion that all would be well in her world if only she kept quiet about what was not well.
“Remember me?” she said.
* * * * *
The sound of many voices talking at once had grown louder as more of the guests finished eating. A few had risen from their places and were moving about to talk with fellow guests at other tables. Lady Philippa Ware had spoken quietly. Lucas was not quite sure he had heard her correctly.
But all through tea, while the four of them had chatted amiably and shared family anecdotes and laughed over them—his and Jenny’s and Gerald’s on the one hand, Lady Philippa’s on the other—he had been dragging up a distant memory from that place in the mind where one stuffs away gaffes one would dearly love to obliterate altogether if only it were possible. It was a memory from four or five years ago of going to spend Easter with James Rutledge, a friend from his Oxford years. James lived with his parents and siblings somewhere close to the village of…Boscombe? Lucas thought that was the name. It was in Hampshire anyway. When he had accepted the invitation, he had had no idea that the Earl of Stratton lived at Ravenswood Hall, a mere stone’s throw from the village. He had discovered it within a day or two of his arrival, however. James had taken him—because he had thought it would amuse Lucas—to watch a crowd of his neighbors practice maypole dancing in someone’s large barn, or what was supposedly a barn. It had clearly not seen either animals or hay for many a year, if ever.
Lady Philippa was not going to speak again, it seemed, until he did. But her eyes—those large, very blue eyes—did not waver from his own. And though she had spoken quietly, she had also spoken quite distinctly. He did not need to have her repeat the words.
“Have we met before, Lady Philippa?” he asked. But he had the ghastly feeling that they had.
Excerpted from Remember Me by Mary Balogh Copyright © 2023 by Mary Balogh. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
About the Book
Philippa, elder daughter of the Earl of Stratton, grew up eagerly anticipating a glittering debut and a brilliant marriage. Then her brother caught their father out in a clandestine affair and denounced him publicly. The whole family was disgraced, and Philippa’s hopes grew dim, then were fully shattered when she overheard the dashing, handsome Marquess of Roath viciously insult her upon learning of her father’s identity. Only years later does Philippa find the courage to go to London at last to meet the ton. She is an instant success and enjoys a close friendship with the granddaughter of a duke. Only one man can spoil everything for her, but surely he will not be in London this year.
The Duke of Wilby is nearing death and has tasked his grandson and heir, Lucas Arden, Marquess of Roath, with marrying and producing a son before it is too late. Lucas, who usually shuns London, goes there early in the Season in the hope of finding an eligible bride before his grandparents come and find one for him. He is instantly attracted to his sister’s new friend, until that young lady asks a simple question: “Remember me?” And suddenly he does remember her, as well as the reason why the daughter of the Earl of Stratton is the one woman he can never marry—even if his heart tells him she is the only woman he wants.
Unfortunately for Philippa and Lucas, the autocratic duke and his duchess have other ideas and believe them to be perfect for each other. They will simply not take no for an answer. Telling Philippa the full truth is the hardest thing Lucas has ever faced, and the discovery of it will change them both before they discover the healing power of love.
About the Author
Mary Balogh has written more than one hundred historical novels and novellas, more than forty of which have been New York Times bestsellers. They include the Bedwyn saga, the Simply quartet, the Huxtable quintet, the seven-part Survivors’ Club series, and the Westcott series. Learn more online at www.marybalogh.com.
Mary Balogh’s Remember Me is available today.