In this episode of book clips we hear a reading from Love’s Portrait by Anna Larner
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Newly appointed art curator Molly Goode is committed to diversifying her museum’s collection. When Georgina Wright, the museum’s aloof benefactor, asks for Molly’s help in identifying the provenance of a 19th century portrait of social activist Josephine Brancaster, Molly welcomes the opportunity, even if it means spending time with the standoffish financier. But passions soon flare as the women uncover the heartbreaking story of doomed lesbian love behind the watercolor painted by Josephine’s lover, Edith Hewitt.
As their love blossoms, Molly is determined to display Edith’s portrait of Josephine and to tell their story in the museum, but she needs the influential Georgina to help convince the board. When an unforeseen twist in the painting’s provenance forces Georgina to confront her own painful past, will history repeat itself, or can Molly and Georgina’s love prevail?
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Anna Larner Online
please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect
you are listening to book clubs a mini podcast in which authors and narrators do readings from novels check out the show notes for the synopsis and by links for this book
hello I’m Anna Larner and I’m the author of two lesbian romance novels Highland Fling and Love’s Portrait exciting need of support read is released this April 2019 and I would love to introduce you to it by reading an excerpt in this excerpt taken from Chapter three following a run-in with a very hot but very reserved benefactor drew Deena right what has been called into a meeting with her boss museum director evening Fox what begins as a conversation about the intriguing and beautiful watercolor of Josephine Brancaster soon turns to Molly’s horror into something much more personal first impressions Molly we only have one chance to make a first impression Evie was standing with her back to Molly looking out the window her called off his command of views of both the square in the front of the museum enabling her to survey all around like a captain at the helm of an ocean liner Molly glanced at the painting resting on evening desk she recognized it as the painting drew dinner right had brought to the museum it had been partially unwrapped she could just make other features of a woman her red lips the gentle brush of watercolor defining cheek and chin and neck the painter is unknown healings for he startled Molly oh let’s see as you know did you know right at the right foundation visited the museum this afternoon if you recall we spoke about Regina this morning Molly nodded she wants to find out more about this work but it will be painted it for what occasion the usual sort of thing it belongs to her father well belong to her father I should say she was surprised to find that it wasn’t including the bequest I don’t know that it’s a value question or a sentimental question either way we need to find an answer for her even to the seat opposite Molly well he asked does she know who the city is when it was painted the city she’s certain is her distant relative Josephine right poor Brancaster as was her maiden name and this is confirmed by the engraving on the frame okay great I’ll see what I can find out monument to stand please sit you’d be mean back in the chair and tilted her head is to study Molly Georgina and I didn’t really talk that much about the painting has it happened our brief conversation turned to you me yes you see I suggested that I would be asking you to work with on this particular research and I got the sense that well she seemed to hesitate at my suggestion almost as if it was uncomfortable with the idea have you an idea why no we’ve never met before I mean she doesn’t know me and there’s the point we only get one chance to make a good first impression what he opened her mouth to speak he’d been raised her hand I want you to learn from your encounter with Georgina right i way to practice excluding confidence who’s incapable nurse embodying professionalism I was trying to help her when people come to a museum they’re not looking for help or to get that anywhere they are seeking authority even in fix with her stare in the next question for the pointer Dane how old are you how old I’m 26 well I had no idea where the conversation was headed her certain destination she had no wish to visit she cast an eye at the door any possibility escape seemed hopeless even set forward and perched on the edge of her seat 26 yes that’s what I thought this is a pivotal time for you what he swallowed it is yes in my experience young curators careers diverge at just the stage you’re at they will have potential money is not a question of background or intelligence or even work history what if folded her arms forbidden that somehow protect from healing scrutiny even intense gaze broken disbursed as she sat back in her chair the difference between mediocrity and superiority or two things poise and preparation what I wonder whether she should be taking notes give away nothing of your emotions Molly unruffled shoulders back chin lifted with a quiet certainty well he lifted her chin slightly he will enter a room with the poise that suggests that no conversation or encountered wolf lusty as you’d always know who you were talking to before you begin to speak well he winced at the thought and prepared she would have seemed in front of Regina right no form no handshake no allowing preparation to anticipate the content of the discussion what is the detail of what you say that will Mar kill harden or speak of your authority do you understand yes she never felt so humiliated do not look so despondent I’m giving you a second chance to make a good impression for yourself and for the museum you see I still believe you can wind Regina over I will do everything he can to secure the support of the right foundation I have absolute faith in you so I’ll see you Monday come to my office a mid morning with a plan good night you’ve installed an infant at all the meeting was over and so Molly concluded was her career on returning home Molly sat slumped at the kitchen table merci a glass of red wine thank God she was home today began crappy and ended even crappier yes this was officially a crap day she could hear evylyn I still believe that you can wind Regina over maybe she didn’t want to win her over maybe she didn’t care who was she kidding of course she cared but about her job on the museum certainly not about what did you write thought no way who does she think she was how dared she passed judgment like that what’s more how dare that stuck-up woman make her feel so small and in front of her boss who did that what on earth did you say about that gave even the impression that she was uncomfortable working with her why shouldn’t she fit in forms like everyone else and keep hotness to herself know that this table was impressed no sir so she was beautiful big deal and lots of women wore a suit really well he just had to be tall and toned well it took a large mouthful of wine and firm and strong and unyielding she’d smiled hadn’t she when it collided oh my god stop she was the enemy and Molly would defeat her with her astonishing plan of brilliance once she had won of course she reached into her bag for her laptop and typed in the word Josephine Broncos to 1800 at least she’d meant to type that instead her fingers found the letters that form the named Regina right she sat staring at the list of results after eliminating those that suggested she played the ukulele who cared for endangered rhinos who told us and chose his primary school when he found an entry that read Regina right investment manager stayed Street investment group money she was certain that would be her she clicked on the submarine was directed to the profile of Regina based out of London and was this the middle on paper issue was in person Wow well he took a deep breath did you know somehow managed to make the tiny thumbnail photo look like a magazine advert she was perfect her smile was warm sincere and he conveyed an effortless sense of poise and stature there was something else it was a natural confidence yes that was it everything was safe in her capable hands stop thinking about her capable hands what did we filter glass although wait did you look happier in this shot than when they’d met or lest I perhaps her eyes definitely had more light in them in this picture come to think of it these were kind eyes a peculiar didn’t match the behavior of the woman she met that morning but then she not long lost her father hadn’t she she was feel so sad he might be worships her cold yes that made sense maybe she should cut her some slack could it have been they even a daughter misread her they would Regina hadn’t been uncomfortable the thought of working with her at all she’ll probably never know for sure she stared one last time at union rights photo pausing to wonder whether being that good-looking was a burden before closing the pages tab and typing Josephine Brancaster 1800’s you’ve been listening to and Alana reading for my new release love’s portrait you have been listening to book clips check out the show 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