Handbag and Book with...
It’s little! It’s red! Isn’t it cute? Don’t look too closely or you’ll see the signs of age. I got my handbag new at a thrift store and have probably had more compliments on it than any other handbag I’ve ever owned.
Ever since I had kids, I’ve carried a small handbag. It sounds counterintuitive, I know. Back in the day, I had a big bag for diapers and food and clothes and everything, then kept my stuff in a small purse inside the big one. It was a bit of psychology, maybe, that I could just grab MY stuff and go out without kids or their…junk. Ever since, I’ve found that I can live with a little bag most of the time.
This one’s big enough for a mass market paperback. And I can always read on my phone, too, as backup. Those are important considerations, after all.
Henri de Cantière has been surly since he returned from visiting his family at Versailles, but he doesn’t want to burden Marcel Fourbier, his longtime lover, with his problems. He can’t sleep and hurts all over at exactly the time when everything else seems to be falling apart.
Marcel can barely keep up with his usual duties of running their household and creating beautiful furniture in the de Cantière factory when more burdens fall on his shoulders. His estranged Huguenot family condemns him to hell but wants his help, a stranger attacks him in a dark street, an arsonist tries to destroy the factory, and Henri’s beloved sister-in-law, who has been like a sister to Marcel, is weakening after being in labor for several days.
Most of all, Marcel wants to find a cure for Henri, the man who holds his heart.
Marcel was a peaceful man, but honestly, his lover was going to drive him to violence. Since Henri had returned from Versailles three days before, he’d been more grumpy than usual. Marcel had awoken each night to Henri tossing and turning or getting up to wander through the house. When Marcel caressed him, Henri flinched. When Marcel asked what was wrong, Henri snapped. Odd twinge. My shoulder hurts, but it is nothing.
The meeting with the baron’s majordomo had distracted them both for a time, Henri no crankier than usual about figuring costs for new furniture and recovering the baron’s mother’s existing chairs. They would pack the samples into a carriage the next day to present them to the dowager and get final approval. Someday, the baron would order from them for his own home. Or better: for his Versailles apartments. But for now, he was outfitting all the ladies of his family one by one. What Marcel really wanted was to make dresses for these ladies.
Something was wrong with Henri. Marcel felt crazy. Something hurt inside Henri, but was the pain only physical or was something wrong with his arm? Or was he angry?
Perhaps—and this frightened Marcel more than the other options—Henri had found another lover. He had been gone a few days, but what if he had met someone else? What if seeing his youngest brother falling in love had changed Henri somehow? Marcel would have to leave, not Henri. Henri was the colonel’s brother. Marcel didn’t have enough money saved to start up his own atelier in the style he wished: clothing fit for nobility.
Find Henri et Marcel at: Amazon
Find Philippa Lodge at: Website
Philippa, what made you want to write your genre?