Today I bring you the latest sweet romance by my Pen Sisters’ bud, Terri Rochenski. I’m excited to be part of her virtual book tour, and wish her much success with this lovely. Check it out, and don’t forget to enter her giveaway.
Title: Love’s Sorrow (Means of Mercy #1)
Author: Terri Rochenski
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: April 21, 2014
Keywords: Sweet, Historical Romance
Hired as a nanny for her cousin’s children, Anne Tearle finds security and a loving family. The children are a dream, but London society is a world of its own, one where a displaced farm girl has no business being. But, wealthy rake, Gavin MacKay, helps her to see associating with the upper class might not be as horrid as she first assumed.
Like all things worthwhile, love comes at a price, and the cost soon bestows more anguish than joy. Lost, but not undone, Anne must find the courage to begin life anew, or succumb to sorrow’s unrelenting waves of grief.
Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.
Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.
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We walked through the nursery door, and two small redheaded boys bounded across the floor, throwing themselves at Joanna.
“The red hair comes from their father,” she said with laughter while pulling the children from her skirts. “Adrian is three and Algar one. Boys, this is your cousin, Anne.”
Adrian peered up at me, brown eyes wide, while his younger brother toddled off.
“Hello, Miss Anne,” Adrian said.
An overwhelming desire to scoop him into my arms tempted me to kneel, but such a display of affection might have been unwanted. Entwining my fingers before me, I opted for a smile. “Hello to you, Master Adrian.”
“Mariella is the boy’s nursemaid,” Joanna said.
A small blond girl, not much older than myself, grabbed Algar and brought him back to his mother’s side. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Anne.”
“I look forward to spending hours with the three of you.”
“We’ll undoubtedly have a wonderful time of it, for both boys are quiterambunctious and amusing.” Mariella ruffled Adrian’s red curls.
Joanna snickered. “Why, they’re perfect little angels, I am sure, but I’m afraid Anne will be much too busy for the remainder of the day to find out for herself.” She bent to give her children another peck on their plump cheeks and, grasping my elbow, turned to the door. “Come along, Anne. We’ve a busy afternoon ahead of us.”
The master bedroom was the final stop on my tour. Shades of blue cloth decorated the windows, walls, and furniture, giving the space a similar feel to the drawing room.
I ran my hand down a velvet drape. “Every room is so rich in colour. Nothinglike Aunt Martha’s.” My arm dropped, and I spun to face her.” I don’t mean to say Aunt Martha’s home is dull.”
“I’m sure you didn’t.” Joanna smiled.
“It’s just, well…” I bit on my lower lip.
“You needn’t explain yourself to me, Anne. Now,” she motioned towards the door, “let’s see about a nice hot bath and some clean clothing.”
A hot bath. The thought sent pleasure through me, although heat flooded my cheeks. Doubtless my stench overwhelmed her senses. At least the other frock in my sack had been laundered a few days prior. It would have to do until I could make myself some proper servant attire.
Eliza, and another young girl in a striped apron and white cap, dumped pails of steaming water into a tub that sat in the centre of my new room. I stepped forward to assist, but Joanna placed a hand on my arm.
“Helen,” Joanna spoke to the maid I had not yet met, “this is my cousin, Miss Anne Tearle. I put her in your charge.”
“Miss Tearle, how do you do?” Helen turned her green eyes towards me and bowed the slightest bit.
“Fine, thank you, but please, call me Anne.”
She glanced at Joanna before nodding her consent.
“When you’re finished bathing,” Joanna said, turning to me, “look in the wardrobe and you’ll find a small assortment of underclothing I took the liberty of buying for you. And, I’m sure we’re almost the same size, so I’ll have Helen lay out one of my day dresses. We are going to take a short trip to my dressmaker, Mrs. Brody, and get you measured and fitted for more suitable garments.”
My mind froze in confusion, but a quick stream of words tumbled from my mouth a second later. “I have another dress besides this one, and whatever aprons…well, I can’t afford much, but if you would—”
“Anne—” Joanna squeezed my arm as a smile lit her face “—I insist.”
Realisation dawned and I nodded, turning away so she wouldn’t see the tears welling in my eyes. She didn’t want to be seen on the streets of London with a young woman of my standing. What lady wanted to traverse the City with another in rags? Under different circumstances, I might have enjoyed wearing a real day dress, but not that day.