Published by HQN Books on December 27th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Sharon Page sparkles in this poignant and irresistibly entertaining follow-up to her breakout novel, An American Duchess
Lady Julia Hazelton is the most dazzling among 1920s England's bright, young things. But rather than choosing the thrill of wanton adventure like so many of her contemporaries, Julia shocks society with her bold business aspirations. Determined to usher the cursed Worthington estate into a prosperous, modern new era, and thus preserve her beloved late fiancé's legacy, the willful Julia tackles her wildest, most unexpected adventure in Cal Carstairs, the reluctant new Earl of Worthington.
The unconventional American artist threatens everything Julia seeks to protect while stirring desires she thought had died in the war. For reasons of his own, Cal has designed the ultimate revenge. Rather than see the estate prosper, he intends to destroy it. But their impulsive marriage—one that secures Julia's plans as well as Cal's secrets—proves that passion is ambition's greatest rival. Unless Cal ends his quest to satisfy his darkest vendetta, he stands to ruin his Worthington wife and all her glittering dreams.
The Estate of Brideswell Abbey
“I don’t care about scandal, Nigel.” Lady Julia Hazelton marched up to the desk in the study of her brother, the Duke of Langford, and set her palms on the smooth oak edge. “These women lost their husbands to war and now there is nothing for them. If they have farms or stores or homes, they are being turned out of them, despite having children to feed and clothe. I can help them. What do you think I will do? Do you really think I’ll be inspired, after spending time with a fallen woman, to stand outside the village public house, plying the trade?”
“Good God, Julia!” Her brother, startlingly handsome with raven-black hair and brilliant blue eyes, jolted in his chair. Fortunately he had a secure grip on the very precious bundle he held. Nigel wore his tweeds, but a lacy blanket hung over his shoulder. Napping on his shoulder was his eleven-month-old son, holding his father’s strong hands.
Nigel blushed scarlet. “The fact you know so much about such things speaks for itself.”
“I thought Zoe finally cured you of your stuffiness, Nigel,” Julia said.
Zoe was her brother’s American bride, the “American Duchess” famous in the British newspapers—once famous for her wild style of living, now famous for her brilliance in investing and in turning Brideswell into the most modern yet beautiful house in England.
Cradling his son, Nigel said, “Julia, I agree that the plight of the war widows is terrible. But the responsibility for it doesn’t rest on your shoulders. You have been loaning money to them out of your pin money—”
“What I am supposed to do? Simply pretend I don’t see the women who look as if they’ve lost their souls, because they are hoping some man gives them a few pennies to—to poke at them?”
“Julia! Where, for the love of God, did you learn expressions like that?”
“Nigel, there was a war on. I’m afraid that one of the casualties of war is innocence. You were there. You know how brave those men were, and how wrong it is that they are dead.”
“I know that. As a result, Zoe and I have given to many charities—”
“But once these women sell themselves, they don’t go to charities for help. Some of these women were left alone, with babies even younger than Nicholas. I would go to terrible lengths if my child was starving.”
“These women do not have a choice. With money, they would!”
“Many of them have skills—they have run households and farms.”
“They could start businesses. They could better themselves. They could give futures to their children.”
This time her brother didn’t bother with a yes, but.
“Julia, this work is not helping your marriage prospects.”
“Oh, that’s what you all are worried about.”
You can follow the Roaring Twenties series on Goodreads.