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.
He extended his elbow outward, and I stared at the clean, black fabric traveling to his shoulder before realising he meant for me to take his offered arm. My face heated as I lay my calloused palm on his sleeve. Our short walk through the noisy, bustling crowd ended beside the shiniest black carriage I had ever seen.
Emmanuel opened the door and held my hand as I climbed aboard. “Do you have any luggage?”
“Oh…no, sir. Just this.” I held up the bundle containing everything I owned—one blue cotton dress the same colour as my eyes, two pairs of stockings my toes stuck through, and the envelope Uncle Edward handed to me right before I left. He said it held papers belonging to the father I couldn’t remember.
The beautiful view from the speeding train’s window had captivated me in such a way I put off going through the packet until later, when I would be curled on a pallet under the Telfords’ eaves with the rest of the servants.
The carriage swayed as Emanuel climbed up to the driver’s seat, and with a stern call to the horses, he sent us clattering along the cobblestone road towards my new home.
I placed my bundle on the floor and stroked the fabric covering the seat. Its softness reminded me of the newborn calves I used to linger with in the barn after my morning chores. It had been the only time I escaped Aunt Martha’s hard eyes and wicked tongue—the only spare minutes I found to study the lessons my tutor assigned.
The day I turned ten, Uncle Edward called me into the parlour and informed me I would be starting school. An eight-year-old memory swamped my mind, bringing to remembrance one of my few enjoyable childhood moments.
“School?” I managed to squeak out, twining my fingers around the damp apron tied at my waist.
“Well.” Uncle Edward removed the unlit pipe from his mouth and smiled. “Lessons of a sort. Your father and mother left very little behind, but I would put it to use as they intended. Mrs. Littleton has agreed to teach you to read and write, and I suppose something of mathematics and history as well. Every afternoon you’re to go to her house after your chores are completed. Just be sure to make it back home in time for milking.”
My lips turned upward as he explained, but my smile diminished as angry steps sounded from behind me. I tightened my body in readiness. Aunt Martha grabbed my left shoulder and spun me to face her. I bit back tears as her sausage-like fingers dug into my flesh.
“These lessons had better not make you lazy.” Spittle landed on my cheek, but I took care not to cringe. “If I see you’re neglecting any of your chores, you’ll be doing Mary’s as well!”
I already do most of your precious daughter’s chores anyway, my mind tempted me to hiss back. My tongue knew better, though.
Daily, I wondered how my uncle chose to live with her. I would have sent her to a convent long ago and found myself another wife. A kind and gentle lady like Mrs. Littleton. She gave me lessons beyond academics, showing me how to act like a young woman ought to, but too often, I arrived at her house barefoot, my hem hanging loose from being torn on the hedgerows I ran through.
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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