“Goin’ courtin’, goin’ courtin’…”
Can’t you just hear a trail-dusty cowboy humming a tune, thinking about the dance that night and the girl he’ll twirl around in his arms?
Community dances, barn dances, harvest balls, and the like gave people who didn’t often make it into town or have time for socializing a chance to connect, laugh, reminisce, and court.
In my historical romances, I just love the idea of a community dance. I’ve included everything from formal balls to a dance in an empty warehouse. It’s so fun to think about the decorations, the refreshments, the clothes, and the music.
But especially the participants. It’s the hopeless romantic in me that sees these dances as a perfect opportunity for romance to blossom.
One of my favorite dance scenes is from my sweet romance Lightning and Lawmen. Two deputies both like the same beautiful girl.
Think some sparks (or fists) might fly?
Dugan danced with every woman over sixty in attendance and several females under the age of ten, but he never once danced with any of the single young women in attendance. He certainly failed to ask her to dance. She’d just finished a rousing polka with a man she knew worked for Thane in one of his mines when she turned to her next partner and found herself swept into Dugan’s arms.
Suddenly, the rest of the dancers ceased to exist, the music faded into the background, and there was no one else in the world except Dugan.
“Delilah,” he finally said in a raspy tone that rendered her limbs languid.
Nearly tripping on the hem of her skirt, he kept her upright and swung her outside the door. In a few steps, he’d positioned them around the corner of the building where the dusky evening light wrapped around them in an amber-hued glow.
“Why are you dancing with doting grandmothers and little girls?” she asked, hurt by the fact he’d ignored her even if she didn’t want to give voice to her thoughts.
“Because I don’t wanna dance if it ain’t with you, Delilah. I don’t want to draw another breath unless you’re beside me.”
Even in the muted light, she could see his eyes darken while his nostrils flared. His lips parted, and she knew she was a goner.
“Dilly,” he said, giving her a long, thorough look as his hands bracketed her face. “What are you doing to me? Delightful, darling, delicious Delilah,” he muttered as his head descended toward hers.
Her eyes closed, anticipating the impact of his kiss when cool air suddenly spilled around her. She opened her eyes to see Seth shoving Dugan against the wall.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Dugan growled. His jaw clenched in anger as he glared at his friend.
“Leave my girl alone,” Seth warned, raising a fist with a threatening scowl.
“Since when is she your girl?” Dugan asked, removing his suit coat and handing it to Delilah.
Without thinking, she took it, appalled two men she admired were about to engage in fisticuffs over her. It was unthinkable!
“Both of you stop this nonsense right this minute,” she said, stepping between the two of them.
“Delilah, honey, I’ll settle this,” Seth said, placing a hand on her waist and kissing her lightly on the mouth.
If she hadn’t been so shocked by his improper advances, she would have slapped his face.
Dugan didn’t give her a chance to, though. He stepped around Delilah and grabbed Seth around the neck, pulling him backward.
From that point on, fists began flying while the two men…
For a chance to win a copy of Lightning and Lawmen, just answer this question:
Who are you cheering for?
Dugan or Seth?
And just because the song is now stuck in my head, how about a little Goin’ Courtin’?