My newsletter subscribers have already read the first chapter of The Bride Wore Constant White (hint, hint–an excellent reason to subscribe), so now I’ll be posting brief excerpts here up until the release date of February 19, 2018. Yes, a release date at last!
The Bride Wore Constant White
Copyright 2018 by Shelley Adina
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman of average looks, some talent, and no fortune must be in want of a husband, the latter to be foisted upon her at the earliest opportunity lest she become an embarrassment to her family. This had been depressingly borne in upon Miss Margrethe Amelia Linden, known to her family and her limited number of intimate friends as Daisy, well before the occasion of her twenty-first birthday.
“Certainly you cannot go to a ball, escorted or not,” said her Aunt Jane. “You are not out of mourning for your dear mother. It would not be suitable. I am surprised that you have even brought it up, Daisy. No, I will invite a very few to lunch—including one or two suitable young men. Now that you have come into my sister’s little bit of money, you will be slightly more attractive to a discerning person than, perhaps, you might have been before. Mr. Fetherstonehaugh, now. He still cherishes hopes of you, despite your appalling treatment of him. I insist on your considering him seriously. His father owns a manufactory of steambuses in Yorkshire, and he is the only boy in a family of five.”
“I do not wish to be attractive to any of the gentlemen of our acquaintance, Aunt.” Particularly not to him. “They lack gumption. To say nothing of chins.”
This had earned her an expression meant to be crushing, but which only succeeded in making Aunt Jane look as though her lunch had not agreed with her.
“Your uncle and I wish to see you safely settled, dear,” she said with admirable restraint. Aunt Jane prided herself on her restraint under provocation. She had become rather more proud of it in the nearly two years since her sister had brought her two daughters to live under her roof, and then passed on to her heavenly reward herself. When one’s sister’s husband was known to have gone missing in foreign parts, one was also subject to impertinent remarks. Therefore, her restraint had reached heroic proportions. “When you have been married fifty years, like our beloved Queen, you will know that a chin or lack thereof is hardly a consideration in a good husband—while a successful manufactory certainly is.”
While Daisy was not sure if Aunt Jane had meant to insult the prince, who from all accounts was still quite an attractive man, it was true that she could no more imagine Her Majesty without her beloved Albert than the sun without a moon. They had a scandalous number of children—nine!—and still the newspapers had reported that they had danced until dawn at Lord and Lady Dunsmuir’s ball in London earlier in the week. Her Majesty was said to be prodigiously fond of dancing—between that and childbirth, she must be quite the athlete.
Daisy had never danced until dawn in her life, and doing so seemed as unlikely as having children.
For as of ten days ago, she was no longer a genteel spinster of Margaret’s Buildings, Bath, but a woman of twenty-one years and independent means, having procured not only a letter of credit from her bank, but a ticket from Bath to London, and subsequently, passage aboard the packet to Paris, where she had boarded the transatlantic airship Persephone bound for New York.
… to be continued