Category Archives: Victorian Romance

#HistoricalRomance • Larken • #free

The sole survivor of a train accident, young Larken Burke is dubbed the Miracle Orphan. Four years later, however, her life is far from fortunate. Because of her emotional and physical scars, she believes she’s not marriageable. With little hope for the future, she agrees to wed a gentleman she’s never met. Unfortunately, his aloof manner proves difficult to bear.

Marked by romantic tragedy and the loss of his brother, Brandon King has forsworn marriage. Obliged to take in a ward, he advertises for a bride to raise the boy. Since the union is to be a marriage in name only, his criteria are youthful age, a certain level of intellect, good breeding, and that the girl shouldn’t be so ill-favored she would embarrass him in society. To his dismay, he gets more than he’d bargained for.

Will it take a miracle for Mr. and Mrs. King to fall in love, or is their marriage another accident waiting to happen?

This clean & wholesome Victorian romance (with a touch of melodrama) is free on Wednesday, October 2nd. Get your copy at your favorite bookstore, using this UNIVERSAL LINK

Larken is also available in paperback

Audiobook is available at Amazon HERE, and iTunes HERE

Audible by country:

USUKFRDE

If you enjoy Larken, you’ll love the sequel, Lord Apollo & the Colleen

Theo King has returned to Graceling Hall five years after his supposed death, but a mystery remains. A stranger is buried in his grave, and nobody knows if his death was accidental…or murder. As Theo resumes his former life, the dead man’s sister shows up on his doorstep to hold him accountable. If he helps this Irish spitfire solve the mystery, will she finally leave him in peace?

This fun and romantic tale is available at your favorite bookstore, via this Universal Link.

Now in paperback, too.

#Free • Ruse & Romance

Ruse & Romance is free today, Wednesday, August 7th.

Unjustly labeled a flirt, Kitty Beaucroft is in need of a fiancé. Lord Philip Butler’s father wants him to settle down before he can become a landowner. With no intention of following through, Kitty and Philip enter into a temporary engagement as a means to an end. Unfortunately, someone knows the truth and is determined to expose them. Will the ruse turn into a romance before it’s too late?

Download Ruse & Romance at this Universal Link.

Paperback is available HERE.

Audiobook (4.4 hours) at Amazon, iTunes, or

Audible links by country:

USUKFRDE

If you like reading about Kitty Beaucroft and her sister, Juliet, continue on with Rake & Romance, the second book in the series.

Blurb: Juliet’s plans to wed Lord Elbourne come to naught when she discovers he’s obliged to wed an heiress from overseas instead. To salvage her dignity, she enters into a ruse with the heiress’s brother, whom she views as a rake. Unfortunately, he’s also the most attractive man she’s ever met.

When Cody Gryphon first arrives in London, everyone seems to confuse him with his wicked cousin, Lord Gryphon, whom he hasn’t seen in years. His uncanny resemblance to the man doesn’t make it easier to establish himself. Nevertheless, Cody will do anything to see his sister Stephanie wed to Lord Elbourne, including entering into a temporary engagement with her romantic rival, Juliet. Although he intends to return to Texas as soon as his sister is wed, he finds it increasingly difficult to resist Juliet’s charms.

Can a rake and a debutante ever have their happily ever after?

Available wherever ebooks are sold. Click the universal link to find your favorite retailer. Paperback is available HERE.

Audiobook is available at Audible by market:

USUKFRDE

Also available at Amazon and iTunes.

#Freebie • The Mannequin

Yes, The Mannequin is a Friday Freebie and available at a wide array of online bookstores.

sgrmannequin6x9As a poor country girl in a hand-me-down dress, Rosamund saved the Duke of Swanhaven from the brink of despair…only to fall in love with him. Now a celebrated mannequin for an exclusive London dressmaker, her glamorous life is empty without the man to whom she gave her heart.

Can a beastly duke and a beautiful mannequin ever find a fairy-tale ending?

swirl-1333410_1920

Look for The Mannequin at your favorite bookstore HERE. Also in paperback at Amazon HERE, or at BN.com HERE.

Buy Audiobook on Amazon  HEREiTunes HERE • Audible by country: USUKFRDE

Take a jog through the woods while you listen to a short sample of Stevie Zimmerman’s superlative narration.

divider 4

Also For Your Consideration

MANNEQUINTWOFINALCOVEROn the heels of an unjust accusation, Grace flees from her country village to the anonymity of London. Although she intends to seek sanctuary with her cousin Joe Fiddick, she discovers he’s also suffered a setback and needs more help than she can offer. Desperate, she solicits assistance from Joe’s friend–the notorious rake, Lord Henley. Will the price of the handsome baron’s help be more than she’s willing to pay?

Grace Unmasked, Book Two of the Mannequin Series, is available at Google Play or your favorite bookstore HERE. Purchase the paperback HERE.

swirl-1333410_1920

scsfinalSkylar flees a family scandal in Boston, expecting assistance in society from her English relatives. Once her plans fall apart, however, she is obliged to earn money with her skills as a seamstress. Just when she’s given up on the notion of marriage, her path crosses that of a charming laborer who inexplicably sets her pulse racing.

When wealthy Joe Fiddick hits a patch of bad luck, he seizes the opportunity to do something meaningful by helping a neighbor and her pretty granddaughter with repairs to their cottage. As it turns out, he has more in common with the granddaughter than he realizes…and what they share spells disaster for their budding romance.

Will Joe and Skylar be star-crossed lovers or can the rift between them be mended?

The Star-Crossed Seamstress, Book Three in the Mannequin series, is available at Amazon and is part of the KU program. It’s also available as a paperback.

 

 

Jessamine’s Folly • #SALE

From Thursday, May 16th, through Sunday, May 19th, Jessamine’s Folly can be yours for less than a buck. Go to this Universal Link to find your favorite bookstore and enjoy! ~ Suzanne

Excerpt:

Lady Amelie was perched in a window seat across the room. When she caught sight of Jessamine, her eyes widened and she shook her head. Confused, Jessamine took a few steps in Amelie’s direction, but she was quickly intercepted by her brother. In his black tail coat and white bow tie, Kirkendale was easily the most handsome man in the room.

“Good evening, Miss Foster. May I help you with something?”

The question seemed an odd one, and she wasn’t quite sure how to respond.

“I-I’m sorry, but I thought dinner was at seven.”

“And so it is. Why don’t you wait in the entry hall? I’ll ring for someone to show you to the schoolroom, where your meals will be served.”

Jessamine’s stomach dropped, and her face and neck flamed hot with embarrassment. She managed a curtsy and a murmured “Forgive the intrusion, sir,” before her retreat. Titters accompanied her exit, and as she paced outside the drawing room, she could overhear the aftermath of her inappropriate appearance.

“That was my sister’s new governess,” Kirkendale said. “She was lost.”

A lady’s voice reflected amusement. “For a moment, I thought she meant to dine with us! A governess may be a necessary evil, but she can’t be trusted to stay in her place. You’d best beware, Dallas.”

Jessamine gasped. Is that what they all think of me?

“You’re quite right, Miss Hightower,” said a man’s voice. “Every governess I ever knew tried to worm her way into marriage to the man of the house or to his son or brother.”

“You’d think the poor creatures would know better,” Miss Hightower replied.

Horrified, Jessamine backed away from the door. If Lord Kirkendale believes I will try to worm my way into his affections, he’ll be very sadly mistaken!

“She’s a companion, not a governess.” Lady Amelie sounded annoyed. “And since Miss Foster has only been at Knight’s Keep a few hours, I doubt she’s formed a design on Dallas.”

“Let’s not quarrel, dear,” Miss Hightower said. “It’s your birthday after all.”

Nobody mentioned it was Lady Amelie’s birthday! When Carter emerged from the room a few moments later with his empty tray at his side, Jessamine bristled at him.

“That was a nasty thing for you to do,” she whispered. “You could have warned me.”

“Well aren’t we all high and mighty? You asked for the drawing room and I showed you the drawing room. It’s not my fault you made a fool of yourself.” Chuckling, the footman ambled off.

Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.

– Samuel Johnson

After her estate is entailed away, Jessamine Foster has no choice but to live with relatives who detest her. When her aunt gives her an ultimatum, Jessamine accepts a position as companion to Lord Kirkendale’s sister—even though she’s been warned her predecessors can’t seem to resist the earl’s exceptional good looks. Can Jessamine manage to hold onto her job without losing her heart?

Audio book is available at Amazon HERE. iTunes HERE. Audible by country: USUKFRDE

Also available in paperback at Amazon or BN.com.

Controlled Calorie Pumpkin Custard

So, a friend of mine invited me to a potluck, with the caveat that she was following a low-sugar diet to lose weight. I offered to bring dessert and began looking for a low-calorie pumpkin-based custard recipe on the Internet. I wanted to find something that didn’t require any artificial sweetener, and I found what I thought was the perfect recipe.

It was a disaster.

If your idea of delish is eating pumpkin puree with a spoon, that dessert would be perfect for you. Therefore, I modified it into something reasonably tasty, without the cloying sweetness you often find in pumpkin pies.

Controlled-Calorie Pumpkin Custard

Fold a can of pureed pumpkin into four beaten eggs, stir in 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk, 2 tsps. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 tsps. pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 tsps. sugar. Be sure to use cooking spray on the inside of the baking dishes. I also use a squirt of cooking spray inside my measuring cup before I add the sweetened condensed milk, so it slides out better.

You can adjust the added sugar to taste, but this recipe as written comes out to just under 250 calories per serving. Best served cold, but I’ve eaten it warm because I couldn’t wait and it was good then, too. I’ve eaten it for breakfast as well as dessert because I’m a grown person and I can do what I like. 😉

Add a dollop or two of whipped topping, or for something really scrumptious, make a batch of vanilla sugar-free pudding and put a few tablespoons on top before you dig in. Of course, you’ll also be adding more calories, but the vanilla pudding makes for a really nice treat.

For another calorie-free treat, pick up my Victorian-era romance, Duke of a Gilded Age. The sweetness is built into the story, so it won’t go to your hips.

Blurb: When American-born Wesley Parker inherits a dukedom in 1890, he must learn to be an aristocrat. Assigned to the task is his attorney’s daughter, prim Belle Oakhurst. As they travel to England together on a luxurious ocean liner, their tempestuous relationship encounters more than rough seas. Although Wesley is increasingly attracted to Belle, she is already engaged. While Belle begins to regret her hasty promise to marry, she is bound by honor and duty to keep her pledge. Furthermore, a thoughtless fabrication on her part threatens to expose her as a liar. Neither Wesley nor Belle can foresee that their voyage across the Atlantic will be fraught with peril, and will cost more than one man his life.

Duke of a Gilded Age is available at this Universal Link or Google Play. Make a batch of pumpkin custard and dig in!

Guest Post • Jilted Brides

Jilted Brides picking themselves up

and Courting the Stationmaster’s Daughter

by Juli D. Revezzo

Painting of Isabella of Angouleme

Despite the prevalence of happy endings in romance novels, love doesn’t always go to plan. Sometimes, the bride gets cold feet and results in a “runaway bride” scenario; sometimes the happy couple calls it quits before the end of the Engagement breakfast. Heck, even being royalty won’t necessarily save one heartache. Did you know Isabella of Angoulême, in the 13th century stole her daughter’s betrothed?

Now that’s something! If royalty isn’t even immune, it’s inevitable that someday, somewhere, someone’s groom will get cold feet. What’s a jilted bride to do?

Zombie bride photo

Some have gotten famous in recent years for doing good things with their wedding feasts.  Some donate the feast to the homeless (1) and some go on with the parties (2) and honeymoons, some even backpack around the world (3). (and good for them!)  We find, thanks to the 19th century and early 20th, that the jilted bride figures now in all sorts of ghost stories. From the 19th century folktale that inspired Tim Burton’s movie Corpse Bride, to tales of jilted brides dying of heartbreak to later come back as ghosts and haunt…wherever the place seems to be that she died. And some just lose their marbles, like poor demented Miss Havisham. But, in actuality, the jilted bride had recourse to the point where it seemed (according to my research) to not be uncommon for a bride to sue her ex-fiancé for damages! (4) Ha!

One, Harriet Bishop (5), of Minnesota, (post 1849) became a land speculator, teacher, and author.

Cover of Courting the Stationmaster's Daughter by Juli D. Revezzo

In my latest Victorian romance, Courting the Stationmaster’s Daughter, I took a similar tact. When my heroine—Honorine—found herself left at the altar, sure, she wallowed in self-pity for a while (who wouldn’t?) but in the end, like our intrepid brides I mentioned above, she picks herself up, and turns her mind to distractions that may help her townsfolk when their late 19th century subway station is in need. In so doing, she finds the real love of her life: the station’s assistant stationmaster.

Synopsis:

After Honorine Camden is jilted, leaving her stunned and sparking a scandal in her tiny London borough of Wallflower, she’s devastated. But when she overhears her father, the stationmaster, talking about arranging a party for their newly-minted underground railway station, she volunteers to help. Although she’s intrigued with his handsome assistant stationmaster, Shane MacIntyre, she never expects to fall head-over-heels in love with him. Unfortunately, one tragic accident might derail everything.

Available at Amazon HERE

Thanks, Suzanne for having me today! ~ Juli

Bio

Juli D. Revezzo loves fantasy and Celtic mythology and writing stories with all kinds of fantastical elements. She is the author of the historical romances, Courting the Stationmaster’s Daughter, Vesta’s Clockwork Companions, House of Dark Envy, Watchmaker’s Heart, and Lady of the Tarot, the Antique Magic paranormal series and Celtic Stewards Chronicles series and more. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

Follow Author Juli D. Revezzo

To learn more about this and future releases, visit her at: https://www.julidrevezzo.com/

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Juli-D.-Revezzo/e/B008AHVTLO

Blog at: http://julismapsroom.blogspot.com/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/juli-d-revezzo

Twitter: https://twitter.com/julidrevezzo

FB: https://www.facebook.com/julidrevezzo/

If you’d like to subscribe to my newsletter you can do so here: http://eepurl.com/drgFXX

Classic Romance in classic paperback

Book open in a dark room with a lit candle nearby and a pen lying across the pages

I’ve slowly been rolling out my titles in paperback format, including my upcoming release, My Fair Guardian. Paperback novels are great for giving as gifts or taking any place where an e-reader would be difficult, like the beach or the bathtub. Furthermore, paperbacks don’t crack when you drop them, the covers spark conversation when you are reading them in public, and they are easier to lend to friends and family.

Cover of My Fair Guardian with a romantic couple against a London backdrop.

When Bethany is saddled with an unwanted, unrefined, and decidedly common guardian, she must polish him up before he’s fit for good society. As for Willoughby Winter, all that stands between him and his inheritance is to marry Bethany off. Can he succeed in his efforts before his past becomes known or will she manage to distract him from his goal—by hook or by crook?

Paperback or Ebook

Cover of The Ice Captain's Daughter featuring a pretty blond in a pink tulle gown and a small golden crown.

The daughter of a wealthy ice merchant, Miss Jillian Roring intends to marry for love. En route to her first season in London, however, a failed kidnapping sends her into the arms of the most jaded bachelor in England. When Logan and Jillian unwittingly violate the rigid rules of propriety in Victorian-era England, he is obliged to make her an offer of marriage. Because she aspires to be more than an obligation, Jillian refuses the match. Logan follows her to London to woo her properly, but his scheming ex-fiancée has other plans.Can Logan convince Jillian that his love for her is real or will the cruel gossip and sharp tongues of London society tear their budding relationship apart? A romantic Victorian-era tale set in 1899, England.

Paperback or Ebook

Cover of Spinster, featuring a beautiful brunette wearing a white wedding gown, with a yearning expression.

Staring down life as an old maid, newly jilted Clare flees to a country home she’s inherited from her grandmother. She doesn’t count on clashing with her handsome neighbor, whose gentlemanly manners and education are at odds with his workingman’s image. As their relationship unfolds, however, she discovers the mysterious Meriweather Holcroft is not at all what he appears to be.

Paperback or Ebook

Cover of The Mannequin, featuring a beautiful brunette wearing a white gown. She's standing in a luxurious gold ballroom, holding a white eye mask mounted on a dowel.

When she was a poor country girl in a hand-me-down dress, Rosamund saved the Duke of Swanhaven from the brink of despair… only to fall in love with him. Now a celebrated mannequin for an exclusive London dressmaker, her glamorous life is empty without the man to whom she gave her heart. Can a beastly duke and a beautiful mannequin ever find a fairy-tale ending?

Paperback or Ebook

Cover of Lady Fallows' Secrets, featuring a lovely blonde with flowing hair. She's wearing a moss green and gold gown which looks like a Renaissance costume, and she's wearing a matching eye mask. She's pictured in front of an estate.

After a riding accident leaves Sybil’s brother, Ash, physically and emotionally devastated, she breaks off a courtship to devote herself to his care. Unfortunately, the one girl who could save Ash from his increasing melancholy has been whisked off to London by her ironfisted guardian. When a handsome stranger offers Sybil the chance to recover Euphemia, she dives headlong into a clandestine scheme fraught with danger. As the rescue unfolds, deceit and mysteries are brought to light, the bonds of friendship are tested…and passion is unleashed. Can Sybil manage to save her brother without losing her heart to a man she cannot marry? A clean and wholesome Victorian romance with a touch of mystery and intrigue!

Paperback or Ebook

Cover of Jessamine's Folly, featuring a beautiful brunette with flowing hair, wearing a strapless white gown. She's posed outdoors, on the steps of a gracious estate.

“Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.”

– Samuel Johnson

After her estate is entailed away, Jessamine Foster has no choice but to live with relatives who detest her. When her aunt gives her an ultimatum to leave, Jessamine accepts a position as companion to Lord Kirkendale’s sister–even though she’s been warned her predecessors can’t seem to resist the earl’s exceptional good looks. Can Jessamine manage to hold onto her job without losing her heart?

To honor a promise made to his dying father, Lord Kirkendale agrees to an arranged marriage to a woman he cannot love. Although he is resigned to a life without sentiment, the arrival of his sister’s new companion awakens a slumbering passion. Can he find a way to secure his own happiness without sacrificing his family’s honor, or will his broken promise result in the ruination of the person he loves most?

~A hopelessly romantic, blush-free Edwardian-era romance!~

Paperback or Ebook

PSST! The paperback versions of Ruse & Romance, Rake & Romance, Larken, Lord Apollo & the Colleen, A Gift for Fiona, The Love Letters Series (A Gift for Lara/A Gift for Fiona), Grace Unmasked, and Star-Crossed Seamstress are now in paperback format.

My Fair Guardian • specially priced for Pre-Order

My standalone Victorian romance, My Fair Guardian, will be released on April 30, 2019.

Blurb: When Bethany is saddled with an unwanted, unrefined, and decidedly common guardian, she must polish him up before he’s fit for good society. As for Willoughby Winter, all that stands between him and his inheritance is to marry Bethany off. Can he succeed in his efforts before his past becomes known or will she manage to distract him from his goal—by hook or by crook?

Reserve your copy HERE at a special $0.99 price now!

Excerpt:

As Miss Christensen spoke, Will noticed her eyes were the color of the pigment he often used to paint a deep blue sky. Her lips reminded him of a pastel chalk he employed to color roses, and the heightened blush on her cheek echoed the shade he favored for certain spectacular sunsets, just before the sun winked out altogether. The periwinkle silk of her gown set off her loveliness perfectly, and his fingers twitched in frustration. If he had any art supplies at hand, he would have loved to sketch her portrait.

She gave him a piercing glance. “Mr. Winter?”

“What?” Will snapped to attention. “Sorry. My mind was elsewhere.”

Her gaze lingered on his clothes. “I was saying that you’re a trifle taller than Mr. Leopold and broader in the chest, so I’ll summon a tailor from the village to alter everything according to your measurements.”

Will glanced down at himself, bewildered. As far as he could tell, the elegant suit fit him perfectly. “Do you people really notice such things as a half-inch here or a quarter-inch there?”

She shook her head. “You must stop referring to genteel people as another species, Mr. Winter. You are one of us now.”

He shrugged. “It doesn’t feel that way.”

“You look the part, nevertheless.”

She rose from behind her desk and came around to join him and Mr. Pace. Once more, Will was enveloped in a cloud of her heady fragrance. He didn’t know if she could smell him too, but at least she didn’t rush over to open the window this time.

“Now we must work on the rest of you,” she said.

Get your Irish On with Lord Apollo & the Colleen

It’s the time of year when everyone is Irish! If you want to get your Irish on, read my clean and wholesome historical romance Lord Apollo & the Colleen. There’s a mystery to solve and a romance to relish…if everyone survives to the end.

Blurb: Five years after his supposed death, Theo King has returned to Graceling Hall…but a mystery remains. A stranger is buried in his grave, and nobody knows if his death was accidental…or murder. As Theo resumes his former life, the dead man’s sister shows up on his doorstep to hold him accountable. If he helps this Irish spitfire solve the mystery, will she finally leave him in peace?

Universal Link

Lord Apollo & the Colleen is a sequel to Larken, but can be read as a standalone.

Sweet historical romance, mail-order brideThe sole survivor of a train accident, young Larken Burke is dubbed the Miracle Orphan. Four years later, however, her life is far from fortunate. Because of her emotional and physical scars, she believes she’s un-marriageable. With little hope for the future, she agrees to wed a gentleman she’s never met. Unfortunately, his aloof manner proves difficult to take.

Marked by romantic tragedy and the loss of his brother, Brandon King has forsworn marriage. Obliged to take in a ward, he advertises for a mail-order bride to raise the boy. Since the union is to be a marriage in name only, his criteria are youthful age, a certain level of intellect, good breeding, and that the girl shouldn’t be so ill-favored she would embarrass him in society. To his dismay, he gets more than he’d bargained for.

Will it take a miracle for Mr. and Mrs. King to fall in love, or is their marriage another accident waiting to happen?

Larken is also available at your favorite bookstore at this Universal Link

 

The Star-Crossed Seamstress • #1 Bestseller

I’m very happy to announce that The Star-Crossed Seamstress has reached bestseller status on Amazon. IScreen Shot 2019-02-15 at 8.26.43 AMt is #1 in Teen & Young Adult Historical Romance and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

During the editing process, my editor suggested I remove the opening scene, to start with Skylar’s arrival in England. I pay her for her sage advice, so I complied. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean the scene can’t see the light of day! In the movies, certain scenes end up on the digital version of the cutting-room floor and are perhaps included on a DVD as a bonus for viewers. Consider the following deleted scene as a bonus, and have a very happy Friday!  ~ Suzanne

swirl-1333410_1920

Deleted Opening Scene from The Star-Crossed Seamstress:

Skylar eased out of the cramped Second Class cabin she shared with another passenger, made her way down the deserted, narrow corridor and ascended a flight of carpeted stairs. As she stepped onto the open deck at last, she filled her lungs with fresh air, heavy with moisture and smelling of salt. The chilly Atlantic Ocean wind whipped her face and threatened to unmoor her brunette hair from its pins, but she merely wrapped the knit scarf around her neck more securely and tightened the paisley woolen shawl around her shoulders.

An abrupt rolling motion sent her lurching across the deck, but fortunately the sturdy railing prevented her from falling overboard. After nearly two weeks aboard the steamship, she’d thought she had gained her sea legs, but the ocean was uniformly unpredictable. Nevertheless, she took a firm grip of the railing and made her way toward the stern. Nothing would deter her from staring down her future, no matter how much uncertainty lay ahead.

When she reached the bow, however, a low bank of fog obscured her view. It seemed her destination would remain hidden a while longer. She was startled by a long, low horn coming from the steamer’s helm. Moments later, she was joined by one of the ship’s officers, dressed in a natty blue uniform. “Good morning, Miss Lake.”

“Hello, Mr. Chapman.” Skylar smiled. “I didn’t hear your footsteps just now.”

“It’s difficult to hear anything else when the foghorn blows.” The man’s green eyes twinkled underneath his cap. “’Tis a bit early to be getting your exercise, isn’t it?”

“I was hoping to catch a glimpse of land, actually.”

“The fog will burn off by mid-morning and we’ll be off the coast of Ireland by then. The Emerald Isle is not a sight you’ll ever forget, but then you’re bound for England, are you not?”

“Yes, and I’m eager to arrive.” She turned away from the railing. “I suppose I’ve no choice but to be patient.”

“Just so.” The officer escorted her back into the deckhouse. “Will this be your first visit to England?”

“Not exactly. I was born there but left with my parents when I was a very small child.” Her shoulders moved up and down in a slight shrug. “I don’t remember it at all.”

“You’ll get acclimated soon enough, to be sure.” He peered at her. “You’ve family meeting you dockside, do you not? Liverpool’s not the sort of city a young lady can move about unaccompanied.”

“Mama sent her sister a letter with my travel plans, so my Uncle Amos is sure to be there.” Skylar paused. “Thank you for looking after me so faithfully during this voyage, sir. It’s somewhat daunting to be traveling alone.”

“’Tis no trouble at all, miss. In fact, you remind me a trifle of my granddaughter.”

“I appreciate your kindness.” She thought longingly of a cup of tea. “Is the Saloon open for breakfast this early?”

“The staff is only just beginning to set up, but it shouldn’t be too much longer before they are ready for passengers.” He gestured down the empty corridor. “Why don’t you wait in the library?”

“That’s an excellent idea.”

They parted ways and Skylar ducked into the well-stocked library to pass the time before the ship’s staff could furnish her with her morning beverage. She scanned the shelves, wishing she could find an inspiring book about a newly impoverished young woman fleeing America to escape the stigma of a family disgrace. After finding nothing of the sort, of course, she settled on Louise May Alcott’s Little Women. As she skimmed its pages, however, she realized that she’d devoted her time on the east-bound voyage almost exclusively to American authors—likely due to an increasing sense of homesickness for the country in which she’d been raised.

With a sigh, she put back the volume she’d chosen and picked out Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice instead. From now on, she must make a conscious decision to select British authors over American ones. It certainly did no good to pine for America any longer, since she could never go back.

swirl-1333410_1920