First, I have to admit that excerpts are so very hard for me, and this book was no exception. Typically, I do the prologue or first chapter, but I don’t think that’ll work this time, so instead, I found another place that I like.
A little background–through a series of events (and a wee bit of convincing) Lucy Whitaker (Paul’s old flame) has agreed to let Simon (Isabelle’s old beau) court her. The only trouble is…she has an 11 year old son who doesn’t wish to go on their outings and decides to go get better acquainted with Giles who he thinks will one day be his uncle. And what better way to do this than to just show up at his house unannounced!
Giles stepped to the side to let the boy in. “Is everything all right?”
“Then why are you here?” he asked, folding his arms across his chest.
“My mama and Simon went to some museum together and I had nothing to do.”
Giles shoved his hands into his pockets and fisted them tightly to take his mind off the jealousy that was bubbling up inside of him. “I see. They told you to come here so that I could entertain you?”
Seth shook his head vigorously. “No, my lord. It was my idea to come. I thought we should spend some time together.”
Giles raised his eyebrows. “You did?”
There was no ‘of course’ to it. Something was afoot. “And why is that?”
“Well, don’t all uncles spend time with their favorite nephews?”
Giles choked. “Pardon me?”
“My mama hasn’t married Simon yet, but when she does you’ll be my uncle!” A wide grin split his face. “Isn’t that exciting?”
Seth laughed at his dry tone. “So what is it you planned to do all day?”
“You paint?” Seth exclaimed, darting around Giles and going into his painting room.
Giles clenched his jaw. He’d never allowed anyone into that room. Not even his mother when she’d insisted on seeing it. He’d just said he’d have it cleared out for her. He stomped into the room, bent on scolding the boy and froze.
“You painted all of these?” he asked, standing in the middle of the room and slowly turning his head to take it all in. “I wish I could paint like that.”
“You should try.” Giles closed his mouth with an audible snap. What the devil was he doing encouraging the boy? “At home,” he added.
Seth frowned. “And where would that be, on top of my bed or Mama’s?”
Seth pressed his lips together as if he were trying to suppress a chuckle. “That’s not funny.”
“I thought it was.”
“My mama sure won’t,” Seth said with a laugh that softened Giles’ resolve. “Now, will you teach me?
“Teach you what?”
“How to paint?”
Seth blinked. “Why not? You said you were going to paint all day anyway. Will it matter so much if I’m here, too?”
“Yes. I don’t teach.”
Shrugging, Seth walked over to the bureau and picked up one of the brushes that were soaking in a cup of water. “All right, you don’t have to teach me anything, but can I stay?”
Giles knit his brows. “And do what?”
“But you don’t know how,” Giles pointed out.
“That’s because you won’t teach me,” Seth argued, the corner of his mouth tipping up into the smile he usually wore. “But that’s all right. I’m sure I can paint something without any instruction.”
“How about without making it necessary to revarnish the wood?”
“I don’t know.” Seth frowned and lifted his shoulders. “Without anyone telling me what I’m doing right or wrong, I might make a big mess.”
The last of Giles’ resolve and unease about having Seth in the room evaporated. “Well, just see that you do it over there where the carpet runner is.”