It's weekend, and time for more Rainbow Snippets! The Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook asks its members to share six sentence snippets from their work each weekend. Check out the group's Facebook page to read all the snippets and add lots of great books to your TBR. You'll find all sorts of books with the common thread that the main character identifies as LGBTQ.
This month, I'm sharing a few snippets from The Artist's Masquerade, which was released two years ago this month by NineStar Press with gorgeous new cover art. I feel like picking favorites among my books is like picking favorite children and I can't do that, but I do adore The Artist's Masquerade and Cathal and Flavian's story. This is an opposites attract romance between the uptight and duty-bound duke's heir and a sharp-tongued artist who is in disguise and on the run. There are also spies and intrigue and magic and an exploration of family. When the book begins, Cathal's father has informed him that he has arranged a marriage for Cathal with a relative of the emperor of Ardunn. When she arrives, Flavian is with her disguised as her female companion and prepared to slip away as soon as possible. Things do not go to plan. I have another snippet that is far too long, but I thought all of it was necessary for context—I promise I'll do better next time.
Flavian was beginning to feel as if the entire situation was getting out of hand. He hadn’t planned on spending even one night in Tournai dressed as Lady Flavia, and here he was, weeks later, still pretending to be her. And every day, he wondered if this would be the day someone discovered who he really was.
He tried to go unnoticed, to stay out of sight, but doing so wasn’t always possible. Velia insisted he accompany her as a real companion would, so he had to attend court social events. And it became increasingly difficult to fade into the background while at them. Prince Amory, who seemed too kind to be quite real, often tried to include him in conversations, even turning the subject to art since he knew Flavian enjoyed it. Not to mention Prince Amory had taken to showing him some of the palace’s art collection.
And then there was Cathal.
Cathal, who had spent time with him when Prince Amory was delayed and showed every evidence of enjoying the time. Cathal, who tried to dance with him. Cathal, who watched him when he didn’t think Flavian was looking. Cathal, who hardly smiled but was proper and courtly and charming when he wanted to be. Cathal, who was tall and strong and so very handsome.
Cathal, who didn’t know Flavian was a man.