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After losing her husband and only child to the ravages of the Civil War, twenty-five-year-old Portia McAllister is drowning in grief. When she sees an ad for a live-in tutor in another town, she leaves everything behind in hopes of making a fresh start. But as a Confederate widow in a Union household, she is met with resentment from her new charge and her employer, war veteran Beau Stanford.
Despite their differences, she and Beau find common ground and the stirrings of a second chance at love—until his late wife’s cousin, Lydia, arrives with her sights set on him. Burdened with a farm on the brink of bankruptcy, Beau is tempted by Lydia’s hefty dowry, though Portia has captured his heart.
In another time and another place, his choice would be easy. But love seems impossible amid the simmering chaos of Reconstruction that could boil over at any moment into an all-out battle for survival. Will Beau and Portia find their way into each other’s arms, or will they be swept away by raging forces beyond their control?
“Goodbye, Frank.” The words were just as difficult as she imagined.
The buggy lurched forward. Frank raised his hand in farewell, standing there in the dim lamp-lit shadows of early morning. Legs twitching, she had a sudden inclination to jump out and run after him. Maybe he was right to be worried, and maybe she was being unrealistic. Good Christian women didn’t leave home and hearth when life turned sour. The great Psalmist himself said, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”
They rounded a corner and she couldn’t see Frank anymore. She sat back in the padded seat and let out a sigh. Funny how Bible verses still lectured her when she had no faith left to back them. If she was anything, it wasn’t contrite. She had neither asked for nor wanted this life God had thrust upon her. He could go be nigh unto someone else and leave her be for all she cared.
Mysti Parker is a wife, mom, author, and shameless chocoholic. She is the author of the Tallenmere standalone fantasy romance series and The Roche Hotel romantic comedy series. Her short writings have appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines. Her award-winning historical romance, A Time for Everything, will be published this summer by EsKape Press.
Other writing pursuits include serving as a class mentor in Writers Village University's seven week online course, F2K. She has published two children's books (Quentin's Problem & Fuzzy Buzzy's Treasure) as Misty Baker.
When she's not writing fiction,Mysti reviews books for SQ Magazine, an online specfic publication. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband and three children.
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