Some more Courted by Experience
, Book Five of In Hyacinth for WiPItUp Wednesday
. Celia came back for her courting year for a reason. But thinking about it and being faced with it are two different things.
"You have your first suitor tonight!" Nana said in excitement before she had even sat down at the table.
Startled, she half fell into her chair. "Really?"
"Mmhmm. His name is Larry Longley. I don't know him well but his grandmother Sally is one of my best friends. So we'll need to look through the cookbooks and find something you want to make and run to the grocery store."
"But Nana, you've seen me. I can barely boil water without your help."
"Oh, I'll help," she said with a pleased smile.
Celie looked up at her grandfather to see what he thought of this. He was watching her with interest. "What do you think, Pappa?"
"It's just dinner," he said calmly. "If you aren't interested, it won't last much beyond an hour. The dinner begins right after he arrives and as soon as dinner is over, he leaves. But you have to start somewhere. Have you dated at all?"
"A bit. Dinners, the movies, that kind of thing."
"Well, here you won't be able to go out with a suitor unless he’s officially courting you. These dinners are a way for you to get to know the men on an easy basis. We will always be here. If he’s interested afterward, he’ll ask for a second dinner. After each dinner, I’ll ask you how you feel. If you like him, I would accept that second dinner, if not, I wouldn't. Nothing to be afraid of, though most of the girls in town get hyper. It's normal."
Nodding as she let that sink in, Celia hoped it wouldn't feel uncomfortable with her grandparents there. Why had she never considered that this whole dating thing would be more nerve-wracking than she planned? It had sounded like a fairy tale. Come to Hyacinth, be courted, marry your prince, and live happily ever after. Turned out there was more to it.
"…and we should go through your clothes to find just the right outfit," her grandmother was saying, pulling her out of her head.
"Oh, I'll just throw on one of my dresses." After all, she had several skirt/blouse combinations that would work.
"Oh, no, Celie. You can't just throw on something. You—"
"Jude, let the girl be. She's worried enough. I'm sure she'll choose something appropriate."
Celie sent her grandfather an appreciative smile but her grandmother obviously wasn't to be deterred. "But the first dinner is so important, Leyton," she reminded him with something close to a whine. "She needs to put across the right combination of coo—" She stopped speaking as Pappa placed a hand on hers and spoke.
"Study." That was all he said, and it was in a quiet every day tone, but it obviously had meaning to Nana because she flushed, stood up, and left the room quickly.
"Is Nana okay?"
"She's fine, Celia. I don't want you to worry about this evening. It's a simple dinner. Nothing more. Just a meet with some food thrown in."
Snickering at his description, she nodded.
"Now, finish your breakfast. I'm going to go have a talk with your grandmother and make sure she doesn't hound you about it today."
He stood up and left the room while she poured some cereal into a bowl. It was as she was adding the milk that his words came together in her mind with her grandmother's scuttle out of the room. Discipline. It was a nasty word to her mother, but Celia had become fascinated with the concept from books and, being her, had done a lot of study on it. People who were in discipline relationships said it helped them in tons of ways. Of course, that was all academic. She had only one memory from her childhood of being spanked. The actual spanking she didn't remember, but Celia could remember her behind burning and yet feeling safe, cuddled in her father's arms afterward.
The realization Pappa might be spanking Nana was a surprising one and made her a little embarrassed. What had she gotten herself into? This whole town was crazy about discipline. The one part Celie didn't understand and wondered if she ever would, was her craving for it. Sometimes Celia went a little nuts. She thought too much and hid too much and then it would all explode in a fit of fury or tears. It was exhausting and when she was honest with herself, Celie recognized that she hoped discipline could curb that kind of thing before it grew into the kinds of explosions that made her feel unbalanced.
Well, she guessed tonight was the beginning of it all. Her first suitor.
Courted by Experience
Book Five of In Hyacinth
Release Date: March 26, 2015
Celia Compton is thrilled to be back in Hyacinth where she lived until she was eight. A year of courting to meet her prince sounds lovely, especially when combined with loving discipline. Unfortunately, sometimes reality doesn’t quite meet up with fantasy. The man she wants, Marcus Hotham, seems inclined not to court and yet the more she sees him, the more the rest of the guys just don’t measure up.
As Celia learns more about Hyacinth life and gains friendships for the first time in over a decade, it becomes more like home. When Marcus finally asks to court her, his four-year-old daughter Vanna in tow, she’s thrilled. Everything is perfect, until her mother, who hates discipline and Hyacinth, comes to town and finds out about Marcus. Now, with the possibility of being ripped from the arms of the man she loves, Celia finds herself floundering with how to explain things. When decisions are made and everything comes to light, she just might find that sometimes reality is so much better than fantasy.
About the series In Hyacinth:
Hyacinth, Washington is all about traditional values. In Hyacinth; its residents live their lives by discipline; there is a strong male head of house; and words like trust, honor, and kindness aren't just buzzwords. Each story in the series is of a young woman (18-20) and her struggle to figure out who she is in this little town while at the same time going through Hyacinth's old-fashioned courting system. On their way to meet, get to know, and finally marry their princes, these heroines grow in ways they and their town never expected.
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Labels: A Courting Romance, bloghop, Courted by Experience, Domestic discipline, In Hyacinth, loving discipline, romance, WIPItUp