Raised in the shadow of a mother who defied convention, but won’t allow her own daughter the right to make the same choices, heiress Evangeline Lindenmayer has been groomed since childhood to marry into the British aristocracy.
When Lindy challenges her mother’s long-laid plans by falling in love with a poor seminary student, the explosion is bigger than the Brooklyn Bridge fireworks on Independence Day.
The Grand Ballroom of the fashionable Langham’s hotel on Regent Street gleamed in colors of cream and gold. Towering Renaissance pillars circled the room, and shimmering crystal chandeliers lit the gay scene.
Several American families were there, including the Goulet’s. Maddie waved to her across the ballroom, and Lindy noted with amusement that a troop of admirers already surrounded her pretty friend, including the rejected Lord Higginbottom. Lindy’s own dance card soon filled up. Her current dance partner, a young baron with prematurely gray hair and a lisp, had stopped near the French doors bordering a garden.
Out of breath after a waltz and a mazurka, Lindy excused herself and walked onto the terrace. The scent of night-blooming jasmine intoxicated her, and although she knew she shouldn’t go anywhere unaccompanied, the garden lured her like a hummingbird drawn to the throat of a lily. Bay trees lined the twisting paths, adding their subtle scent to the fragrance of roses and jasmine.
She passed one alcove and started as two intertwined figures shifted and moved. She hurried to the terrace to sit on one of the marble benches, drinking in the scented air.
“All alone, my dear?” A short and stout figure with a luxuriant white beard beamed at her. Medals and ribbons covered his chest, and his bald head gleamed in the moonlight.
She rose to her feet and swept a curtsy. “Your Grace!
The Prince of Wales waved a hand at her. “Prettily done. May I join you?”
“Of course.” She moved over to make room, and he sat his considerable weight onto the bench with a little sigh.
“I’m not as young as I used to be. These dances are murder on my feet.” He smiled and pulled a silver case out of his pocket. “Do you mind?”
“No, not at all.” The Prince lit a slim cigar, puffing a few moments until it drew. “You’re an American girl, then. Are you enjoying your stay in our ‘Merrie Olde Englande’?”
“Yes, Your Grace, very much.”
“Here to find a husband?”
Lindy grimaced. “If my mother has her way.”
The Prince guffawed. “Oh, you American girls. I quite enjoy my conversations with you. Always have something to say, don’t you? Not like our homegrown English roses.” He crossed his legs. “So, who have you set your cap for, then?”
“No one, Your Grace. If I could choose, I wouldn’t marry right away.”
“Indeed.” He scrutinized her. “Which family are you from?”
“The Lindenmayers, sir. I am Evangeline Lindenmayer.”
The Prince puffed on his cigar. “Ah, yes. The Lindenmayers. Your father made a fortune out West, wasn’t it? Mines or something?”
“Yes, Your Grace. Silver and copper.”
“Hmm. Still at it, is he?”
“Yes, he stays quite busy.”
“Is he here with you tonight?” “No, sir. I am here with my mother.”
“She sounds formidable, Miss Lindenmayer. I should like to meet her.”
Lindy repressed a grin. That would send her mother to exalted heights. “She would be honored, Your Grace.”
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08WM2HCH7
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WM2HCH7
Meet Renee Yancy
Renee Yancy is a history and archaeology nut who writes the kind of historical fiction she loves to read – stories filled with historical detail that immerse you in another place and time. When she isn’t writing historical fiction or traveling to see the places her characters have lived, she can be found in the wilds of Kentucky with her husband and two rescue mutts named Ellie and Charlie.
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