Thursday, June 11, 2009
by Linsey Lanier
I love weddings. Just the sound of an organ about to play "Here Comes the Bride" gives me goose bumps. I love paging through Brides' Magazine, oohing and ahhing over the gorgeous gowns and veils and flowers. I adore silk and lace and satin and pearls. It all brings out my inner girly-girl. Sigh.
I especially love wedding scenes in a romance. And a wedding scene with princes and kings, well that's just the pinnacle of ecstasy for me.
This was my mood when I wrote the first scene of a category romance called "Only for the King," a story about a bubbly young woman from a horse farm in Kentucky who wants to go to Los Angeles to become a recording artist, but who stops on the way there to visit the country of Prasala for her sister's wedding.
By the way, I named the heroine after one of my blog sisters . . . . even though her personality isn't quite the same.
Church bells rang out from St. Bartholomew’s lofty towers to announce the arrival of the princess bride. When a gilded, rose-covered carriage appeared at the end of the street, a cheer went up from the excited throng who had stood for hours in the warm afternoon sun waiting for a glimpse of her.
The ebony stallion and chestnut filly, who were tame enough to pull a coach together, came to a halt along the curb and the lady stepped from the carriage in her white satin gown and long train, waving graciously. The people of Prasala shouted well wishes while she made her way to the cathedral’s massive entrance.
Inside the church, her heart beating with excitement, Darcy Matthews began the slow procession down the long aisle. Second in line, she was followed by seven bridesmaids, three flower girls, and a young ring bearer.
She focused on keeping her fashion-model-like steps in time to the strains of Handel from the colossal pipe organ, but her jaw wanted to drop at the sight of dignitaries and nobility from all over the world who were crowded together in the pews beneath the high, solemn arches, like dozens of eggs in a huge tray.
Goose bumps prickled on her arms. Was she really here in Prasala? Was she really in a royal wedding? Was she really walking down the aisle of this gorgeous cathedral, wearing a mermaid-cut charmeuse gown of blackberry and tea-rose, created by the incomparable Valsois, Europe's top fashion designer?
She wanted to pinch herself as she reached the alabaster stairs before the huge, elaborate altar and grinned at the dark, handsome groom awaiting his bride. Dressed in full Prasalian uniform, the man was absolutely gorgeous. And to think, her own sister was about to marry this Prince.
For the moment, she wished with all her heart that she could stay in this magical land more than a few days. But her new career was awaiting her in Los Angeles. Her new life.
As she pivoted carefully, Darcy caught sight of the dark, mysterious man standing next to the groom. Taller and infinitely more handsome in her opinion, he, too, was girded with sash and golden epaulets at the shoulders. In his regal dress with the shining medallions against his broad chest, he exuded strength and power.
"Who's that?" Darcy whispered to the bridesmaid beside her.
"Don't you know? That's the groom's brother."
"Really?" She hadn't been introduced to him.
"Yes. Leopold de Chambonay, the King of Prasala."
He was the King? Okay, Darcy could see that. But what she couldn't understand, what she couldn't imagine for the life of her, was why that wickedly handsome king was gazing at her like that. With a dark, penetrating stare that sent uninvited shivers dancing down her spine. Right down to her very toes. Right down to her very pinkies.
Why in the world would the King of Prasala be looking at her like that?