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Lady Blue
     

Lady Blue

4.1 84
by Helen A Rosburg
 

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Written with humor as well as suspense, this love story depicts a young woman in captivity who yearns for her duplicitous lover. After the death of her affluent parents, Harmony Simmons loses everything—including her freedom. Forced to move to England and live with her domineering and jealous older sister Agatha, Harmony’s existence becomes restricted

Overview


Written with humor as well as suspense, this love story depicts a young woman in captivity who yearns for her duplicitous lover. After the death of her affluent parents, Harmony Simmons loses everything—including her freedom. Forced to move to England and live with her domineering and jealous older sister Agatha, Harmony’s existence becomes restricted to the prim atmosphere of an English parlor, a stifling environment compared to the expansive American West of her former, privileged life. With her spirit crushed by her confinement, she meets Anthony Allen—a rogue who immediately falls for Harmony. He falsifies his inheritance and introduces himself as the suave aristocrat Lord Farmington. As they begin their romance, Harmony slowly recognizes the ruse behind his persona and starts to question whether her mysterious lover is a cavalier bandit or an honorable hero. Yet, his secret does nothing but ignite her passion for him as she strives to uncover his past.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is a book for every historical romance fan. And if you don't read historicals, I highly recommend you start with this book."  —Night Owl Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Medallion owner/ president/ executive editor Rosburg (The Dream Thief) wraps appealing characters in a tissue-thin faux-historical romance plot. Harmony Simmons, 18 and newly orphaned, arrives in Victorian London fresh from an American cattle ranch. Her sour older sister, Agatha, is none too pleased to have a beautiful, spirited redhead to chaperone. A laughing-eyed highwayman who holds them up is curiously appreciative of Harmony's defiance. He promptly follows them and kidnaps her, and the interlude that follows has some of the novel's most fully imagined and tender writing. When the highwayman releases Harmony and then shows up in a coach and four, calling himself “Lord Farmington,” Agatha's simmering envy becomes vengefulness, and the plot froths with preposterous twists. The meager historical detail and unraveling story don't stand up to scrutiny, but Rosburg's talent for character-building keeps the silliness fun. (Nov.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781605420639
Publisher:
Medallion Media Group
Publication date:
11/01/2009
Pages:
380
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Lady Blue


By Helen A. Rosburg

Medallion Press, Inc.

Copyright © 2009 Helen A. Rosburg
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-60542-063-9


Chapter One

Life, as Harmony had known it, was over.

With a heavy sigh, she stared into the small square of mirror hung over the scarred dresser top. Had she really become so pale in so short a time? The ocean voyage had lasted scarcely a week.

Before that, however, there had been the weeks spent at her mother's bedside, and the sleepless nights, grieving in advance of the inevitable. Then the funeral, and the long, dark days of mourning. No, it had not been a short time at all. It was simply far longer than she remembered. So long, in fact, she could not recall the last time she had sat astride her favorite mount and loped across the meadow grass in the shadow of the majestic mountains. It was no wonder the honey tone had vanished from her skin. Even her flame-colored tresses seemed to have dimmed. She had not seen the sun in a long, long time. Harmony wondered if she would see it ever again.

A painful ball of grief replaced the area her heart and lungs had once occupied and then burst, sending shards of agony throughout her entire body. Perhaps the pain she felt was so much greater because she mourned more than the loss of her beloved parents. Gone, too, were sunlit days under impossibly blue skies, the wind in her face, the smell of horse and fertile earth in her nostrils,the feeling of freedom as she galloped across the plains of tall, dry grass.

A single tear slipped down Harmony's cheek, and she quickly swiped it away, afraid that if the dam broke she would never be able to stop crying. The life she had left behind was gone, perhaps forever. She must learn to live with the knowledge, no matter how painful. Her life was in England now.

"Miss, are you in there? Hello?"

Startled, Harmony whirled toward the door. The cloudy dream of her former life evaporated as if it had never been.

"Yes? What is it?"

The maid offered a brief curtsy. "Your sister, miss. She asked me to fetch your bag and tell you the coach is waiting."

"Thank you. I'll be along in a moment." Harmony watched the girl leave with the single bag she had taken up with her for the night then glanced around to make sure she had left nothing behind. It was easy to see, in the sparsely furnished room, nothing personal remained. All that was left was her lingering disappointment in Agatha's welcome.

Harmony had enjoyed her building excitement as the ship on which she had voyaged made its slow, stately way up the Thames to the London docksides. For a time the sun had come out from behind the cloud cover of homesickness. The bustling river traffic had distracted her and the scenes along the riverbanks quickly piqued her interest. Like it or not, this was her new home. She should get to know it. When the teeming streets of the fabled city came into view, Harmony found her fingers curled tightly around the deck railing. Her heart pounded and she began searching the crowded wharves for a glimpse of her sister.

Never in her life had she seen so many people. She studied their apparel curiously then glanced at the skirt of her sapphire blue suit and exhaled a quiet sigh of relief. She was appropriately, even smartly clad, based on her measure of the most well-dressed ladies and gentlemen in the throng.

Harmony briefly pressed her knuckles to her eyes to suppress the sudden hot sting of tears. The suit, along with several other lovely gowns and accessories, had been purchased on one of her infrequent trips to New York with her mother and father before her father, a successful and wealthy cattle rancher, had passed away. The memories were precious and bittersweet.

And they were a part of her past. Her future was in England, with her sister, Agatha. Harmony forced her hands away from her face back to the rail and let her gaze once again scan the crowd. Her heart seemed to skip a beat and she drew in a sharp breath. Was that Agatha?

The years had not been kind. The woman in the black dress and hat looked old beyond what Harmony knew her age to be. And then there was no more time for thought as Harmony was bustled aside to make room for the crew laying the gangway. Upon learning all passengers' luggage would be assembled on the dock, she gathered her skirts and stepped carefully onto the shore planking.

On the docks, excited passengers reuniting with loved ones swarmed past her and Harmony was carried along in the stream of humanity. Inevitably, she drew close enough to Agatha to open her arms to her sister for a welcoming embrace. In the fleeting instant before her sister's response, Harmony felt a rush of warmth. Perhaps everything was going to be all right after all. Maybe the long years of separation and infrequent communication were not, in the end, going to matter. Despite her fears and homesickness, maybe Agatha and England were, indeed, going to be "home."

Heart brimming, Harmony stepped forward and enclosed her sister's thin frame in the gentle circle of her arms. And felt Agatha stiffen.

"Agatha," Harmony whispered near her sister's pearl-bedecked ear. "Agatha ..."

The older woman's only response was to back away, stiffly, from Harmony's embrace.

"Harmony," Agatha said sharply. "Decorum, please. We are in public."

The first barb had been delivered; Harmony felt it keenly. It remained as it had been when they were children, before Agatha turned nineteen and received a substantial inheritance from a recently deceased great-aunt living in London. Though the two had never met they had corresponded over the years. Their communication, and the inheritance, apparently persuaded Agatha to forsake her home and her family and move to Britain.

On the long voyage across the Atlantic, Harmony had had ample time to ponder the changes time must have wrought upon her sister. She had hoped the years might have softened her. She had hoped in vain.

"I apologize, Agatha," Harmony offered, hoping to pacify her sister before the situation was blown out of proportion as had happened so often in the past.

In response, Agatha gestured to a nearby liveried footman and said, "Indicate your bags, please, Harmony, so Charles may stow them in the carriage."

Harmony gratefully moved away to study the neat rows of baggage unloaded from the ship's hold. A moment later she obediently pointed out her brass-banded trunk and single carpetbag.

"Well," Agatha sniffed. "I can only hope you packed appropriately. You certainly packed enough. We will be leading a quiet life in the country, Harmony. I hope you don't expect to put on airs with a fancy and expensive wardrobe."

Though she had to bite her lip, Harmony wisely refrained from comment. Thanks to their mother's fine taste, her wardrobe was smart and contemporary, hardly "fancy." Agatha, however, would undoubtedly find the lovely clothes worthy of the harshest criticism.

"Put the trunk on top, Charles," Agatha ordered, "and the smaller bag inside." To Harmony, she said, "Due to your ship's arrival so late in the day, we will spend the night in a hotel and proceed to the countryside in the morning. I assume you packed efficiently enough that your carpet-sided bag will suffice for the night."

It would have to, Harmony mused, a bit of the sting of her sister's greeting mitigated by the thought of dinner and an evening in what would surely be a posh London hotel.

The carriage ride through the busy city streets was a silent one, a blessing for which Harmony was profoundly grateful. The long trip had exhausted her, Agatha's greeting had saddened her, and homesickness seemed to have a grip around her throat, making it difficult to swallow, much less speak. Though the edifice was less than imposing, Harmony was glad when the coachman drew his team to a halt in front of the hotel.

"I will meet you in the dining room in one hour sharp," Agatha commanded regally and sailed up the narrow staircase to the left of the entryway, a hotel maid scurrying in her wake with her bag. Harmony followed a second maid to another room at back of the hotel's first floor.

The paucity of furnishings and lack of ambience hardly mattered to Harmony. At least she was alone. For a time. Dinner hour arrived all too soon.

The fare served in the dining room was as plain and unimaginative as the hotel itself. The only spice was Agatha's conversation.

"I trust your journey was pleasant," Agatha commented while slicing into a thin, gray slab of meat slathered in an unappetizing, brown, gravylike substance. "I'm certain our late mother's solicitor provided adequately for your journey out of the trust I maintain on your behalf until your majority."

"The voyage was very nice, thank you, Agatha." Harmony speared a small potato after ascertaining the pale tuber had not touched anything else on her plate. It appeared pristine and she popped it in her mouth.

"Do not think," Agatha snapped, "that you will be seeing any more monies out of your trust until you have come of suitable age. I am not of a mind to spoil you as our parents have done."

The potato turned to dust in Harmony's mouth. Shortly thereafter, braving her sister's displeasure and disapproval, she excused herself and fled to her room. Sleep was long in coming and a blessing when it finally arrived.

And now it was time to get back into a closed coach with Agatha, drive to her home in the country, and spend the next three years, until she attained majority, wondering why her sister resented her so deeply. She could hardly wait. With another long sigh, Harmony pulled on her gloves and left the room. She willed the painful memories of her former life to stay behind along with the ghost of her brief presence in the unwelcoming space. If they accompanied her, she feared she would not be able to bear her prison sentence at all.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Lady Blue by Helen A. Rosburg Copyright © 2009 by Helen A. Rosburg. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


Helen A. Rosburg is a writer and the owner of Medallion Press. She is the author of "Blaze of Lightning, Roar of Thunder";" By Honor Bound"; "Call of the Trumpet"; "Circle of Promise"; "Dream Thief";""and "Ellie and the Elven King." She lives in Odessa, Florida.

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Lady Blue 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 84 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anthony and Harmony's story was very sweet and kept you questioning what the truth really was. This story is just over 200 pages and keeps you glued to each one. Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me on the edge of my sit the whole time. I was in constant confusion because the story kept turning and twisting in different directions. I have read so many books i can usually predict the ending but this is one book that i just couldn't predict, from beginning to ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little cowboy with your olde English. Good love story.
PCGA More than 1 year ago
This was a historical romance with very little historical basis. The behaviors of the main characters would never have been socially acceptable in the time period described. That said, it was entertaining and written without any obvious grammatical or proofing errors. The author was very tongue-in-cheek with her constant references to dime store novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the story, loved the characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Incredible read, thoroughly enjoyable characters and the story had me laughing aloud pretty often. Recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story was thrilling. Loved this story!!!!! Harmony is forced to live with her jealous sister in London's country side. Harmony hopes that their relationship can start anew. Her sister deems Harmony is worthless and and does everything she can to make Harmony miserable. Three years is a long time and Harmony knows now that there is no love between sisters. Anthony sees Harmony off the boat from America and its love at first sight. He then holds up the carriage that Harmony and her sister are in just to see if Harmony is real. In an attempt of kidnapping Harmony, Anthony truely feels in love with her. This sets the stage for more interactions with Harmony. Anthony has many secrets. All he really wants is for someone to love him as him and not what he really is. He believes that Harmony is the one for him. Now if he be sure of her love, then he'd beable to tell Harmony all his secrets. Does he dare? A near death experience shows him just how much Harmony really loves him. A daring rescue, another disguise and finally the truth comes out. Harmony is shocked with the truth, but she's so much in love with both "home" and Anthony that it doesn't matter to her. An excellent story. I'll be keeping this one to read many many times again. Will have to look for more of Helen's stories if they are as thrilling as this one was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A romance book without all the graphic sex is very rare. It is nice to know there are still some people out there with morals and scrupels. I wish I could find more booksike this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Has been really good. Thanks for the free books! 212 Nook pages. DW
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful love it so enjoy it highly recommened Ms. D from Bronx, NY
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will definitely read more books by this author. Well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Found the story to be light and humorous. Thoroughly enjoyable. Definitely recommendable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to chick result 11 i think the name is churc chick........ c u there
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Geez go somewhere else with tht.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey hows it goin
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ken and misty
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I UHHHH......*frowned* VOTE FOR JON AND MISTY!*punched the air* I AM UNDER SOOOOO MUCH PRESSURE -?-
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I vote for misty and ken