Once again, London is all atwitter.
By all accounts, the 1777 season has been one of the juiciest in decades. Not the least of which is what’s gone on in London outside of the ballrooms. The failed attempt on King George’s life caused the death of one of the most trusted members of his staff. The handsome Atticus Wexford, who set many a heart to flutter among the young ladies of the Ton, was scheduled to leave the employ of the king immediately after the rebellion was quelled. However, he never made it to the end. Then, from the grave, Mr. Wexford continued to raise eyebrows, when he did the unthinkable and left his entire fortune to his mistress!
The mistress in question was none other than Anjanette Shelby, the most prized jewel of the courtesan set. According to reports, after a few drinks at White’s, men began to refer to her as Miss Spectacular Bosom and boasted of the time each had spent with her. Whether true or not, it’s anyone’s guess if these men ever got to see the inside of Miss Shelby’s lodgings, but if even half of the boasts were true, Miss Shelby has been a most busy lady. I know married women all over town are greatly relieved that Miss Shelby has used her new fortune to buy her way out of London. Rumor has it she’s starting a new life in South Africa. Or maybe it’s America. We’ll probably never know for certain which untamed country she fled to, or if she’ll continue to entertain gentlemen in her new location. We only know London has lost one of its most colorful lightskirts. The male population of England is in mourning.
About the Book
She was running from a past and the many men she’d been a mistress to.
He was deeply involved in The Revolutionary War, a jealous mistress, leaving him no time for any woman.
When Anjanette Shelby, now answering to the name Liberty Wexford, and half French/half Passamaquoddy native American Hawk Gentry literally run into each other on the unruly streets of Boston, they begin a tentative friendship. Despite their mutual decisions not to involve themselves with others, the sparks they set off in each other cannot be denied.
When Libby’s past is exposed before she’s had time to explain her life choices to Hawk, she realizes she has not run fast enough or far enough. Will Hawk be man enough to forgive her past, or will his distaste for women of her prior profession taint his impression of Libby? Will the Revolutionary War overtake any hope of a future for them?
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Anjanette’s body finally unclenched after six weeks aboard ship. She took a long, cleansing breath as the last of the first-class passengers departed the ship. It would soon be her turn to leave. She’d kept a low profile during the entire voyage and successfully traversed the Atlantic without her identity being uncovered. Her dresses, though well made, were modest and serviceable. She kept her hair in a chignon with no adornments. If anything, she had become a chameleon, imitating the other second-class passengers to better blend in.
She gathered her possessions and placed them back into her satchel. She fingered her favorite necklace, the last piece of jewelry her final benefactor, Atticus Wexford, had given her.
“Thank you, darling, for giving me the gift of my freedom.” She wiped the tears from her cheeks and took a deep breath. Atticus had given her far more than a necklace. He had given her the ability to reset her life. To begin anew. They’d been making plans to leave England behind, just as soon as he completed his final mission for the government. Neither ever imagined his final mission would be his last, ever. Fortunately, he had revised his will, leaving her his entire fortune. She wiped her final tears away.
She packed away the necklace along with her old identity. Anjanette Shelby, the most coveted courtesan in all of London, was no more. Liberty Wexford was about to disembark and live out the rest of her days in colonial America. Suddenly, the cabin was too confining, the ship was too small. She needed to breathe in the free air of America.
The ship steward stood next to the ramp, ticking the names of the passengers off the manifest. He glanced at her and smiled. “Miss Shelby, I didn’t see much of you during the voyage. Did you fare well, or were you suffering from seasickness?”
She returned his smile. This steward had been kind to her during her trip. “Some, at the beginning of the voyage, but I had a lot of reading to do. Thank you for asking, James.”
“Well, you’re free to go. Enjoy your stay in Boston, Miss Shelby.”
Free to go.
She glanced at the steward. “Can you recommend some accommodations?”
“Yes, there’s a really nice hotel, The Hartford, just up the street a few blocks.” He motioned to the cobblestoned street leading away from the busy dock. “I can arrange to have your trunks delivered there.”
“That would be wonderful. Thank you.” This young man had done his best to assure she had a good trip. She poked her fingers into her reticule and brought forth some bills, which she handed to him. His smile grew even larger.
He called after her. “Goodbye, Miss Shelby.”
She glanced back at him and waved as she whispered, “It’s no longer Miss Shelby. I’m Liberty Wexford now.”
Her steps were light as she touched the cobblestones, although it took her a few minutes to adjust to being on land again. Were it not for the spectacle she would cause, she’d fall to her knees and kiss the street. Even though the cobblestoned streets and the buildings hugging the sides of the road gave the appearance of any of a number of cities in England, this was America. She had a clean slate here. She straightened her hat, shifted her bag from one hand to the other, and set off for the hotel the steward had suggested. After she found lodging, she’d find a job. Boston should look out. Libby Wexford just landed.
About the Author
Amazon best-selling author Becky Lower has traveled the United States in search of great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love amid the backdrop of a great setting. Her Cotillion Ball Series features the nine children from an upscale New York family prior to and during the Civil War. A regular contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After section, her books have been featured in the column on ten separate occasions. Becky and her rescue dog, Mary, love to hear from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website at www.beckylowerauthor.com .