Today's Tuesday Teaser introduces my heroine, Giacinta, as my hero, Nick Ryder, first sees her as she enters a tavern in Venice. (Keep in mind that this is 1st draft material, so there may be some clunky sentences. They should get smoothed out in revisions. This is just to give you a taste of the story I'm working on.)
A woman stood in the open doorway. Not the sort of overly-primped wench with stained cheeks and lips that the harlots of Venice attempted to seduce men with. A natural elegance radiated from the crimped coils of her bronze-colored hair, to the delicate blush on the glow of her faintly golden skin, to the modest embellishments on the gown that draped a shapely bosom, and the slender, beringed fingers that somewhat tremblingly clutched the doorjamb. Nick’s gaze followed the flow of her skirts over the graceful curve of her hips to the tips of the red slippers peeking out from beneath their folds, before returning to her face. He judged her to be near her twentieth year.
Her brown eyes, warm and luxuriant as honey, stared into the tavern, round with dismay, as though she gazed upon some scene from purgatory. Her blush deepened, perhaps from all the stares of the men fixed upon her, more than a few of which had gone broadly lecherous. Her hand left the doorjamb to briefly touch her hair, as if belatedly aware that she had failed to don a covering veil. Dread flashed in her eyes, so stark Nick thought she might turn about and flee. To his surprise, a shout half-rose in his throat to stay her, for he sensed her departure would leave a blast of cold in his chest.
Then her gaze darted to some point behind Nick and he saw her spine stiffen. Her expression altered. He had seen just such a look in men’s eyes on the battlefield: an unflinching resolve to face the enemy blazing in defiance of the weakness of fear. Her sweetly rounded chin lifted with all the fortitude of an unflinching warrior.