Courted by Experience
, Book Five of In Hyacinth just came out this week, so one last teaser for WiPItUp Wednesday
. Celie adores Marcus but has come to the conclusion he won't court her. So when her grandmother tells her she has a courting dinner tonight, she doesn't think much about it.
“All right. I wrote down the instructions on the pad to your left. I’ll put away everything we don’t need for it. And then we can figure out dessert.”
“This seems like a lot of food,” Celie commented as she browned the ground beef which filled one of her grandmother’s larger fry pans.
“I don’t really get it, but we’re getting two people tonight. Two,” her grandmother said, shaking her head. “I’ve never heard of two callers coming to dinner on the same night. Well,” she said, her expression brightening. “Maybe it’s the Callier twins. They’re twenty-nine and are probably courting.”
“Courted by twins? That’s weird,” Celia snickered. “Do they plan to share their woman?”
“Celia!” Nana gasped in shock before bursting into giggles. “Let’s not go there.”
An hour later, the sauce was simmering and the scent in the air made Celie’s stomach rumble.
“All right. Well, while that cooks, you need to make dessert.”
“What are the possibilities?”
“Well, you can make a cake, a pecan pie,” Nana mused, looking through the pantry, “a coffee cake—oh, now that might be nice, custard, oh!” She flipped around. “How about homemade ice cream?”
Excitement touched her and Celie had a slight memory of churning the large ice cream maker when she was a kid. “Oh, that sounds fun. What do we do?” While originally more involved than she had expected—who knew it started with a custard?—there was fun in the creation.
“What flavor do you want to make it? We’ve got bananas, chocolate, strawberries…and we can always run to the store and buy anything else.”
“Do we have peaches?” Celie had fond memories of peach ice cream.
“We have frozen, but fresh is always better. You start on the custard and I’ll go get some peaches.”
After Jude returned with five ripe peaches, Celie found out that in the years she had been gone, her grandparents had replaced the crank ice cream maker with an automatic one. That was slightly disappointing. However, by the time they poured the mixture into the ice cream maker, she was actually glad they wouldn’t have to crank it for the next hour. There was a plus to an automated version.
When the ice cream was thick, they poured it into a container and put it in the freezer while Celie started the water for the pasta. She wondered who was coming tonight. Would they be interesting? Boring? Someone she might like to date? They would, unfortunately, be compared to Marcus, but she was coming to terms with the fact that Marcus was probably not ready to date and that she should at least give tonight’s bachelors a try.
When the doorbell rang, she was in a nice dress and was just setting out the last place setting on the table. As the front door was on the other side of the wall separating the kitchen from the living room, she heard their voices.
“Hello,” Pappa said in a calm, friendly voice. “Please come in. Celia’s been cooking up a storm today. Do you like spaghetti?” It seemed a strange thing to ask someone until she heard the response.
“Yes, Mr. Compton. I do.”
Celie’s head snapped up and her jaw gaped at Vanna’s polite reply.
“She loves pasta,” Marcus said in a smooth voice and Celia looked at her grandmother who actually shrugged and then smiled before walking out to the living room.
Courted by Experience
Book Five of In Hyacinth
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, Courted by Experience, inspirational, loving discipline, romance, sweet, WIPItUp