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A Tale of Two Kisses

A Tale of Two Kisses

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A Tale of Two Kisses

4.5/5 (12 Bewertungen)
55 Seiten
43 Minuten
Jun 16, 2020


The rules of love and marriage in Regency England are strict, and entire futures can hinge on the events of a few seconds. Margaret and Julia are sisters in a family struggling to keep its place in the gentry, and one is engaged to a man the other loves. As the needs of their hearts play out against relentless social pressures, another young man’s life hangs in the balance. Is self-determination even possible in the marital marketplace of the era? And will all four of them manage to find a second chance?

Jun 16, 2020

Über den Autor

Iris Forester is never happier than when she’s tossed everything aside to follow one of the story threads that cross her path. She shares her home place with eagles, ravens and owls — but also makes time every year to spend in New York City. When she’s not writing, Iris works with paint, clay, and various difficult creatures.

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A Tale of Two Kisses - Iris Forester

Chapter One

Margaret Kingsley stretched her slender arms upward, as if she could catch the sun in her hands like a glowing ball. After a wet and dreary March, the weather had finally turned, and seventeen-year-old Margaret had seized the first opportunity to flee the confines of her house for this secluded glade. Surrounded tightly on all sides by thickets of hawthorn, with an ancient willow tree in one corner, the enclosure had been her secret escape since childhood. As far as she knew, no other person had ever set foot in the grassy circle, or even knew it existed. She could always find the first sweet violets and cowslips here, before they opened anywhere else, but she hadn’t come only for wildflowers.

This might be the only place in England, Margaret thought, where a young lady could safely shed her clothing and feel the breeze on her bare skin. She chafed at all the rules and restrictions that bound her behavior as a well-bred young lady, and sometimes she felt she would have gone mad if she hadn’t had this private, wild place to escape to.

In a pastel heap at one side of the glade were her bonnet, shawl, gown, petticoat, shift, stays, stockings, garters, and shoes. Now, naked as a wood nymph, she twirled across the soft grass and exulted in the sheer joy of being young and free in springtime.

Singing softly under her breath, Margaret was so caught up in the sensory deliciousness of her dance that she did not hear the rustle of the hawthorn branches. With her face tilted up to the sky, she did not at first see the shocked face of the young man who had crawled through the dense brush and was now standing inside the clearing.

For his part, James Wyndham was so transfixed by the apparition before him that he wondered if he had somehow entered a dream. This young woman with her slim, perfect body and the sunlight glowing through her strawberry-blond hair was utterly unlike anything he had ever seen. She danced in pure joy, just barely singing something, and her dance was only for herself and for the natural world. There was no display here, no formal dance pattern, no self-consciousness — only a pure, raw beauty. James felt himself swept up in an unfamiliar feeling: partly an almost religious awe, combined with a longing so intense that it was a physical pain in his chest.

It was only when Margaret suddenly caught sight of him and stopped her dance in mid-step that the two shocked young people realized they knew each other.

James! Margaret’s brain couldn’t make an instantaneous transition to modesty, so she simply stood, uncovered and breathtakingly naked, before the neighbor whom she’d known somewhat since childhood.

James swallowed and found himself unequal to speech. Nothing in his entire life had prepared him for a conversation in this situation. Seeing his shock, Margaret felt a curious sense of power rising into her. Instead of rushing to grab clothing, and blushing and trying to cover up, she felt a kind of primal force radiating from her naked body. Taking a few paces toward him, she stood perfectly at her ease and enjoyed his utter discomfiture.

I didn’t know anyone else ever came here, she said.

Uhhh. He struggled, and finally found his voice. I heard singing. Or something. I… uh… did not mean to intrude. As the realization settled in James’s brain that this was an actual young lady from the village next to his own, rather than some goddess of the springtime,

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