Saving Her Reputation

Soon to be published in the Kansas Mail Order Bride SeriesSaving Her Reputation.

Look for this sweet story of disappointment, fear, and survival on Amazon at the end of March, 2016.

Here’s an excerpt:

The music was a little boisterous for Addison’s taste. Though everyone else seemed to be enjoying it immensely, she found it was giving her a headache. People mingled about in every room of her family’s large home. It was a joyful celebration of her father’s most recent account acquisition. His popularity was rising, and it could not have been clearer to her that her father’s pride was infectious. Her mother doted on everything he did or said and acknowledged her guests like an excitable debutante. Addison was pleased with her father’s growing success, but not so pleased that she felt the need to brag about it constantly. This party, for example, Addison felt it was specifically designed to raise envy and jealousy from amongst the high society crowd.

There was only one benefit Addison herself could enjoy from all this frivolity. It was the fact that she was now fast becoming one of the most desirable and available young women in the society. Sponsors and chaperones alike dragged their sons, daughters and distant relations to her side at any and every get together, ball and society function, determined to make introductions. At first Addison had found it fun, now, however, she was discovering it to be rather wearing. She was just wondering if she may be able to slip up the stairs unnoticed when a scrawny twig of a boy was brought before her, shepherded by a formidable looking grandmother in a matching tweed skirt and blouse.

“Miss Haley!” cried the old woman, delightedly, upon managing to corner Addison in the entryway.

“Oh, hello Mrs. Barnes,” said Addison in response, polite but resigned.

“Miss Haley, I would like to introduce you to my darling grandson, Harold Jenkins. He’s at the top of his class, and his father runs a very profitable tailoring shop over on Adams Street.”

“Does he really?” asked Addison, feigning interest.

“Yes, he truly does,” exclaimed the old woman, ecstatic at Addison’s response.

“Well, that is just wonderful,” Addison said, nodding at the boy who was at least four years her junior. He gave her a sheepish smile, obviously embarrassed of his grandmother’s forwardness.

“I’ll leave you two to get better acquainted, shall I?” Mrs. Barnes hustled off, leaving an awkward silence in her wake. The young boy raised his hand to the back of his neck and scratched the black hair there that nearly curled over his collar.

Addison sighed, Harold Jenkins gave her a quirky smile. “I’m sorry about her,” he said. “She means well but she’s a bit. . .” he trailed off.

“Completely understandable,” responded Addison, waving off his apology. “Don’t look around, but I believe she is staring at us most acutely from across the room,” she giggled. “Shall we put on a bit of a show for her that will get us both out of this mess?” Harold looked confused. “Here,” she said. “Let’s pretend you’ve said something very funny, I’ll laugh and touch your arm. Then we’ll move away from one another and you can kiss my hand. I’ll blush and giggle and you can tell her I’ve agreed to dance with you at the Chaffer’s ball next Saturday night. Does that sound alright?”

Harold looked extremely relieved and said: “That makes this much easier.” Addison laughed and grasped his upper arm as though this were the most amusing thing she had ever heard. Harold took her hand, bowed over it and kissed it.

“Nice meeting you, Harold.”