The Reluctant Debutante by Jean Jacobson
Chronicles of the Hudson River Valley Series
Published: December 6, 2015
Published by: Jean Jacobsen
Tragedy. Sacrifice. Love.
New York City, 1830. Clarissa Tanner is carefree and joyous until the sudden death of her parents. Forced to pay off family debts, she's given one choice: auction off her beloved horses or reluctantly enter 1830s New York Society to face the dreaded marriage market.
Nicholas is a man on a mission. The artist is hunting for his missing brother who got mixed up with the wrong crowd at the wrong time. To pay his way, Nicholas takes a position as a dance instructor, providing refresher lessons to the beautiful but distracted Clarissa.
As Clarissa trains her thoroughbreds and Nicholas continues his search, the two find a connection through grief and movement. With the auction looming, Clarissa wonders if she could possibly lose her parents and the man of her dreams in rapid succession.
The Reluctant Debutante is an American historical romance set in New York's Hudson River Valley in the 1830s. If you like strong female characters, 19th century historicals, and sizzling chemistry, then you'll love Jean Jacobsen's stunning debut novel.
Buy The Reluctant Debutante to start your latest romance obsession today!
Paperback ~ US
First dance lesson
Nicholas arrived at the grand ballroom early to get his bearings before Clarissa made her entrance. The room seemed cavernous for just the two of them but would afford plenty of space to maneuver as they practiced the various dance steps of the day.
Anticipating Clarissa’s arrival, Nicholas stood in the light of the many candles, his back to the doors. He showed signs of concentrating, perhaps on the lesson plans he had formulated the previous day and didn’t hear the ballroom doors open.
Clarissa approached Nicholas and waited for him to turn around, finally clearing her throat to get his attention.
Nicholas refocused now to find Clarissa standing in front of him, dressed in a lovely lavender organza dress and slippers to match. The skirt was ankle length and lightly gathered at the waist, sleeves very full at the top then see-through to the wrist and form fitting with an off the shoulder neckline. An elaborate belt had been braided in contrasting colors. Her hair was fastened up with pins and she was every bit the young lady he had expected to see the first day they had met. She was a vision of loveliness as she stood before Nicholas who seemed transfixed at her appearance.
Moments passed in silence before Nicholas came out of his musings. What he saw before him was a vision of loveliness. Holy Mother of God, she was stunning.
“Oh, there you are, Miss Tanner.” Taking his pocket watch out and popping the catch open to view the time, he said, “I see you are right on time; thank you for your promptness.”
“Of course, Mr. Granger; I too have a schedule to keep.” Was that a sparkle she noted in his coffee-brown eyes with flecks of gold?
“Let us begin with the waltz. It was all the rage in Europe and I dare say it has caught on here as well. It only requires two people to perform, which suits us nicely for now.”
Nicholas began by demonstrating a simple box step, having Clarissa mimic his movements as they stood side by side. This particular exercise was most difficult for Clarissa due to the injury to her hip; forward and back were easy for her, side to side more troublesome. They continued for several minutes, struggling with the sideway movements, before Nicholas halted, giving Clarissa a brief rest.
Clarissa found Nicholas’ voice to be soothing and she was gliding along as best she could to its rhythm when he abruptly halted and said they would now join hands in partner position.
She brought herself around to his voice again and caught the tail end of what he was saying as he reached out for her and encircled her waist with his right arm. The jolt was immediate from her waist to her toes, followed by a warm glow which seemed to pool at her most private area. By the time he took her right hand in his left one, she was a puddle of emotion. Her breathe caught then continued more shallow, the sensation of his hand on her back distracted her. Not hearing his voice now, she was engulfed in these wonderful sensations brought on by his touch. They were continuing the box step as they advanced around the dance floor. Her emotions were bright and seemed to be swirling out of control as she was aware of his strength as his arms which encircled her and by which his touch had awakened within her. Their gazes met then faded away and they turned and twirled for the first time.
“You seem to be a little more comfortable now that we’ve moved around a bit. Does your hip bother you terribly?”
“That depends upon the move.” Clarissa realized she had never been affected like this by a man before. It was simply delicious. How could she be expected to concentrate on his voice and foot movements when she couldn’t even feel her own toes? She was struggling to concentrate on the dance moves now. She must make an effort to move her feet. Shock set in when she discovered she had stepped on his feet.
“Ouch! I beg your pardon Miss Tanner. I assumed you were ready to start the next phase of our lesson.”
Meet Jean Jacobson~
Jean Jacobsen is an American Historical romance writer, lover of chocolate, coffee, fragrant flowers and amazing food.
When she’s not writing about history or searching the web for the answer to a burning question, she enjoys cooking, gardening and spending time with family.
Connect with Jean~