Olivia leaned back in her chair in the small parlour of her family home. She looked out of the window, grey-blue eyes peering through the dirty glass at the crowded streets beyond. She wished they could have a nice home out in the country, like the ones she often read about.
But Olivia couldn’t deny that this was far from the idyllic life she would ever have, so instead she continued braiding and unbraiding the dark brown locks of her hair. She was bored. But she could handle boring. She didn’t mind it too much.
Listening to the voices in the nearby kitchen, Olivia knew that her sister was trying to wrestle up something for dinner. Louise had called for Gemma to get a few things from the small family garden that was at the back of the house. Louise always tried to prepare decent meals, but lately it was mostly vegetable soup.
It wasn’t that their father didn’t try to provide well. He always did his best. But middle class in London was still far from an easy life. That was all, besides the fact that their parents had never been what one might expect for two people in love. No, they had generally been caught up in their own, separate interests.
Whenever Olivia had watched Mr. and Mrs. Digby communicate, she was left with an emptiness. There had to be more to life than this. There had to be something better than marrying for the sake of convenience and then raising children one couldn’t quite provide for.
And all of it had shifted to an even darker place when Mrs. Digby passed away. Now, more than ever, it was difficult for her father to provide.
Perhaps the imaginings she had was why Olivia was always labeled as a dreamer. From an early age, she would make up stories in her head and share them with her sisters. Stories about poor girls marrying nobility, about a life filled with love, the stuff of fairytales. Her younger sisters, Gemma and Louise, loved to listen, but her mother would scoff and tell her that it was a nice sentiment, but the world simply didn’t work that way.
But when she stole away an ink pen and paper at night, sometimes Olivia would write down these fantastic stories. And when she did, the sense of excitement would always be marvelous within her. She loved to see the words forming the life she wished she could have.
Even if it was nonsense…
But reality was not the same. Olivia, the oldest of the three girls, was now at an age that required her to find something new. It could be employment or it could be a husband, but whatever it was, it had to relieve the burden she had become on her family.
With her mother gone, it was up to Olivia to find a means to help her father. She was good at a great many things, but finding the right employer for her skillset would prove vital. After all, there were no knights or earls standing by to take her hand and she was determined not to have a marriage like her parents had.
So Olivia was left with no other choice than to work.
“Olivia!” called Gemma in a pouty voice.
Olivia rushed to the kitchen where she found her two sisters with arms crossed, glaring at one another.
“Oh dear, what is it?” she asked.
“Louise says I am useless,” the younger griped. At a mere ten years old, Gemma considered herself quite the important member of the family.
“Louise…” Olivia said in warning, trying to keep the amused expression off her face as her gaze shifted to the middle sister, a full sixteen years of age.
Louise was also trying not to laugh at their youngest sister whom they heartily indulged. She was a sweet child, rarely given to these tantrums. But now and then Gemma and Louise would argue when things needed to get done. As Louise was in charge of cooking at the house, this was one of those times.
“Forgive me, Gemma. I did not mean to hurt your feelings. It’s just that I really need you to bring me the good carrots and I have shown you a number of times how to pick the right ones,” Louise explained in a slow, indulgent voice.
“Gemma, you must forgive your sister,” Olivia instructed.
“All right then, I forgive her,” Gemma replied in a pompous tone. The child pranced back towards the garden, leaving Louise and Olivia to themselves.
“Do you need help?” Olivia asked.
“No, no, I am fine,” she replied, stirring the full pot of steaming soup.
“I’ve nothing else to do, really. I am happy to assist you,” Olivia remarked.
“Well then, if you can chop those mangled little carrots, I should be very grateful,” Louise said with a laugh.
Olivia picked one up and chuckled as well. They really were quite possibly the worst in all the garden that Gemma had managed to bring them.
If this was the best they had to offer, no wonder the family was doing so poorly, Olivia thought. She hoped that things would get better for them, but that seemed unlikely.
She laboured in the kitchen with Louise, humming to herself. Her sister joined in and after a short while, Gemma came back with a few more grimy carrots for Olivia to wash and chop.
By the time dinner came, the three girls were ready to eat and their father joined them in his jovial manner.
Mr. Digby was a happy man, always looking for the best in things. Even when a difficult situation arose, he would try to find the positive in it. Olivia had always appreciated that about him. He was a good man and an excellent father. He cared and provided for his daughters quite well. At least, as well as he was able.
“A perfect dinner, my dears. Absolutely perfect,” he commented.
Olivia knew that her father was simply trying to appease them, show them gratitude for their work. He didn’t enjoy the soup any better than he had the previous night or the night before that. After all, it was quite boring to eat vegetable soup day in and day out.
Nevertheless, Mr. Digby made every effort and, for Louise and Gemma’s sake, Olivia was thankful.
The next morning she was spending time with her sisters. They did not often have a chance for leisure, but in those stolen moments of sisterly affection and bonding, Olivia always enjoyed indulging them.
“Please do it like Lady Margaret’s!” exclaimed Louise, wincing as she pulled her hair too hard from Olivia’s grip.
“I shall do my utmost, but Lady Margaret is afforded the finest of hair. You and I have to squabble over the use of a mere brush. So please, calm yourself and stop pulling or you might just find yourself bald,” Olivia threatened.
Gemma giggled as she watched her two sisters argue. They had already given her a lengthy braid down her back, making the youngest twirl in delight as she tried to catch it from the opposite direction.
“I want to marry a prince and become a princess!” she announced suddenly, quite catching Louise and Olivia off guard.
“Oh? Indeed? And why should that be your primary goal in life?” Olivia challenged.
“Because everyone knows that it is the perfect life. To be a princess is the best thing we can dream of. What else is there?” Gemma asked innocently.
Olivia felt her face turn down and she focused more intently on Louise’s hair. The middle sister remained quiet as well. Olivia felt Gemma’s confused gaze, not understanding why her sisters did not indulge this fantasy with her. But Olivia simply could not.
It was true, to become a princess would seem to solve all their problems. But it was a chain, a binding on any young woman to whom it befell. And that was not something Olivia would want for herself or her sisters.
In reality, what she knew was that her sisters deserved a better life than the one they currently lived. She wondered how she might, one day, give them that. It seemed far from possible and it caused an ache in her heart to know that she was so incapable of providing for their future.
“Olivia, why do you never read us your stories anymore?” Gemma then questioned, settling in a huff on the chair opposite the elder two.
Olivia pursed her lips just slightly, continuing her work on Louise’s hair. “I suppose that is a good question,” she sighed.
It was quiet for a moment and Gemma was growing impatient. “Is there a good answer?” she asked.
Olivia smirked and looked up at her, trying to hide the pain from her eyes. “Well, I have not been writing them of late. Sometimes, life seems to get in the way and this was one of those times. I lack the inspiration to continue writing tales that might entertain you,” she confessed.
Under her breath and hoping that Gemma might not hear it, Louise remarked, “It really is a shame, though. You were so good at it. You always carried your notebook with you and you always had a new story to tell.”
“I remember…” Olivia replied vaguely, untangling a knot in Louise’s hair.
In truth, she missed her stories. Writing them had given her something to dream about, something to bring a semblance of hope to her life. But since her mother’s passing the previous year, it didn’t seem to matter any longer. Stories were so far from reality. What was the hope in dwelling in them?
“I want to see if Papa is home yet,” Gemma decided, standing and running out the door.
Their father had gone out to buy bread from the bakery, a treat they might have with their lunch later. But Olivia knew he was not home, she would have heard the door.
“Liv, you really ought to consider writing your stories again. I know that everything changed when Mother…when we lost her. But it doesn’t change the fact that you have a skill. And it is one you can share with the rest of us, to bring us joy. Won’t you at least consider it?” Louise encouraged.
Olivia thought about it, knowing her sister was right. When they lost their mother, she had felt that she had to grow up and become a mother for her sisters. She wanted to take care of them, to fill the void that had entered the home since. It was her sense of duty and a need to protect them that had caused her to abandon her own youthful ideas.
“I shall. In fact, I shall even see if I can find my last notebook. I know there were still a good deal of pages remaining,” Olivia decided.
Her mother had purchased her notebooks whenever they had been able to spare a small sum of money. Mrs. Digby had always encouraged Olivia’s imagination. And if this was what her sisters wanted from her, if her tales were greater than her actions as a mother, then stories had to be told.
“Right, your hair is finished. It is the closest I am able to get it to Lady Margaret’s.”
Louise felt around her head and seemed satisfied by the work done. “Thank you,” she said, kissing her sister on the cheek.
“You are quite welcome. Now, I think I am going to find that notebook and make my way into town. I need to get a few things from the market that Father has asked for,” she said.
“Will you be long?” Louise enquired.
“I think not. It is only a very small list.”
A quick search of the room she shared with her sisters and Olivia discovered the notebook among her few possessions. Yes, it was time for her to track her ideas once more. Feeling inspired and free for the first time in an age, Olivia departed the home and made for the market.
Nathaniel Norton tried to engage in the conversation with the men at his gentleman’s club. They were playing a round of cards, but he continually found himself distracted.
As the new Earl of Glauston, he had to maintain the reputation of the family. He had to balance his friendly charm with an effort to be respected and remain in good standing among society.
It was a great deal of pressure for a man in mourning, but there was little else he could do. He had to keep up appearances.
“I do say, you are not a man for cards, are you, Lord Glauston?” teased Lord Kensington.
Nathaniel chuckled at the reality of it. He was not a man for cards. And even if it was his duty to not shame his family, he hardly thought that he could be blamed for being so unskilled at a game that depended entirely on chance.
“I fear not, Lord Kensington, but if you are clever enough to teach me to play as you do then I shall forever be in your debt,” he joked in reply.
The chat was tiresome, but it was exactly the sort that Nathaniel knew he was expected to make. These men took their cards very seriously and they would respect him if he gave it some effort, even when he disliked it so.
“Well, your father was not so much of a man for cards either and he was quite beloved by us all, nevertheless. I expect you shall be no different,” the earl said in a kind tone, having been a friend of his father’s before taking Nathaniel under his wing.
Nathaniel nodded in gratitude for the words. His father truly had been a man that society adored. Society and family.
The loss of his father, so shortly after that of his mother, had been a tragic turn of events. But hearing these men speak so highly of the late earl was a bright spot on an otherwise dark season.
Indeed, the past two months had been a whirlwind of expectations despite his grief. In addition to having to arrange for his father’s burial, he was taking on the duties and responsibilities of an earl when all he truly wished for was the chance to sit with his grandmother in peace and talk for long periods about what a great father the former Earl of Glauston had been.
And while Nathaniel did not feel that he could ever live up to the reputation of his father, he knew he would do all he could to make him proud in his death.
These men were among those who would determine whether or not he had succeeded.
“Well,” he conceded with a sigh, “you have me. I believe you have won every round, Lord Kensington. But perhaps I might challenge you to the billiards table? Now that is a game in which I am proficient,” he remarked.
The earl nodded in agreement, leaving the card table and joining a group of men in the billiards room. Three tables were spaced out and dozens of noblemen crowded around two of the tables in order to see who might best whom. Adding the two earls into the mix, men began including them in their wagers.
Most of the gentlemen bet against the young newcomer. After all, Nathaniel was not so seasoned as the rest of them. But he was rather determined to prove them wrong. And, indeed, with every motion of the game, he did just that.
“I think I like you better at cards,” Lord Kensington laughed.
“I shall challenge the young man to his next round,” came a volunteer from among the crowd.
Nathaniel found the source of the voice and knew it to be the Duke of Morningside. He felt unnerved by the confidence of the duke, but knew that it mattered not a great deal whether he played well or poorly. He was still new and had plenty of time to stake his claim among these men.
But, once more, Nathaniel proved himself. Repeatedly, he outdid the other men and was already becoming somewhat of a small legend in the club.
All of this was a good distraction for him. The challenges, the competition, the time amongst men who considered themselves the betters of society, it raised his expectations of himself to be around them.
And while it was still quite early in the day for all of this activity, Nathaniel was grateful for it.
Upon the conclusion of the game, the men sat in large, leather chairs with their small crystal glasses of brandy. Some sipped lightly, and others drank greedily, but Nathaniel was amused in their company.
Doctor Fairweather was not far from him and Nathaniel listened as the man spoke of a recent surgery he had participated in. It was a rather advanced, new technique that he was trying to develop. The medical realm continued to fascinate Nathaniel and he wished only that his station had afforded him the opportunity to indulge in that dream.
“And the patient was perfectly fine after the fact?” asked Lord Kensington.
“Absolutely. Honestly, it was quite a relief. No one had ever done this before so we were well aware that it was a risk. When we saw her come out well enough in the end, myself and my assistants were all quite at ease,” Doctor Fairweather said with a satisfied sigh.
“And no sign of infection?” Nathaniel enquired.
“None at all. We keep our utensils quite clean and I am rather proud of the ways my assistants handle themselves. The young woman in question was ready to leave the hospital a mere six days after the surgery. With some discomfort, of course, but that is to be expected,” he answered.
The doctor held out his glass and one of the employees of the club filled it with another round of brandy. Nathaniel certainly hoped that the doctor would not be called into surgery this session.
Doctor Fairweather began to speak of tonics and medicines he found useful in the prevention of infection and Nathaniel listened intently. It was fascinating. He wondered when a cure for typhus would come. That was his true interest.
Despite his longing to ask about any advancements in that arena, Nathaniel held back. He knew it would only lead to discomfort in the room if he began asking about the very same disease that had so recently ended the lives of both his parents.
Still, he hoped it might come up naturally. If it did not, he would find a way to form his words that he might get an answer without directly questioning the disease itself.
“So you are seeking preventative measures as more vital than cures?” enquired the Duke of Morningside as the conversation continued.
“Indeed. I have a great many colleagues working on cures. It seems that my efforts would be wasted in that arena. If we are not seeking prevention than whatever reason is there to hope for a cure?” the doctor replied, leaving a question of his own for the men to ponder.
“I suppose that is quite true. And what a mind it takes to consider the importance of that,” exclaimed another man with whom Nathaniel was not yet acquainted.
“Might I ask,” he began, hesitantly, “what ailments are you currently seeking preventative measures for?”
Doctor Fairweather looked at Nathaniel with deep intent. Beneath the surface of the elder’s face was a compassionate understanding alongside his evident love of holding the room captive with his stories.
“Well, my lord, I am seeking a great number of preventions. At this time, I have been looking into cholera, typhoid and typhus,” he answered, rhythmically.
Nathaniel nodded, keeping his breath of relief unnoticeable by most of the men in the room. He had no desire for them all to read his thoughts as the doctor had. But hearing that the dreaded illness was, indeed, one of those being researched by the doctor, was quite a grace.
“Those sound like noble causes,” Nathaniel remarked.
“Indeed. I think we ought to share a toast to our esteemed friend, the one and only Doctor Fairweather!” announced Lord Kensington.
All the men raised their glasses and then drank heartily. Among them, it seemed that only Nathaniel was directly impacted by the knowledge of these efforts. He was the man who had been hoping for a time that would come when these illnesses were researched with interest and intellect. Doctor Fairweather seemed the perfect man for the job.
And with that, all the men went their separate ways. There was still much of the day left to be had and many of them had work to do. Typically, they enjoyed meeting in the evenings, but once each month, they would gather on a Friday as today and relax as they had done.
The club was a peaceful zone where they could be free of the concerns of the world. For many, it was a time to escape nagging wives, loud children, and the demands of the crown. But for Nathaniel, it was duty that bound him to this place. Duty and a sense of yearning to belong with these men.
“Much to do?” The Duke of Morningside asked, sidling up to Nathaniel.
“Oh, not a great deal. I must go into town and find a gift for my grandmother. Something charming for her birthday. I haven’t the foggiest idea what it is that I seek, but I am sure to find something.”
“Oh yes, I am sure you shall. She is a woman of good taste, but also of great gratitude,” the duke acknowledged.
“She is indeed.”
“Just be sure that if you need anything at all, you remember that I am ready and willing to assist you. I understand that you have had quite a lot of new responsibilities come to you in the last few months and, while your father did well to prepare you, it is quite different than actually taking them on,” the duke offered.
Nathaniel nodded, grateful for the offer. The duke, as the majority of the other men, had been a good friend to his father. Losing him had affected these men as well, who knew the late earl to be a kind, respectable man of good standing. It seemed that time would tell if Nathaniel could ever live up to the presence that his father had been among his friends.
In the meantime, Nathaniel would make every effort. But for now, his efforts lay elsewhere.
He put his hat upon his head and straightened his coattails. He had to look his best everywhere he went, as a representative of his family as well as the king. Leaving the club, he tried to consider what he might purchase for his grandmother. After all, she was a woman of great means. She had everything she might ever want or need.
But he would shop until he found something. Something that would be liked by an elderly dowager. Nathaniel would certainly have to rely on the shop assistants and that generally meant that he would be sold only the finest, most expensive items. But he did not mind so much on her behalf. After all, his grandmother had done a great deal for him.
Nathaniel exited the doors of the club and wandered into the streets of London, uncertain what he might find. The day was bright and clear and filled with a sense of promise. It almost felt as though he might find something not just for his grandmother, but also for himself.
With her notebook tucked under her arm, Olivia allowed herself to gaze at the sights of the city around her. She hoped that inspiration might strike, despite that not being her primary purpose in the walk.
Going onto the streets of London and making her way towards the market was something she had always enjoyed. There was a freedom in the air, a peace about her. Olivia had always loved the city, even though it was a cruel place at times.
But it was her home and a constant source of inspiration when she allowed herself to be inspired. And that day she was feeling better than she had in a great long while, with the hope of many tales to come and the excitement of seeing her sisters so encouraging of her.
Olivia made her way into a confectioners first. It was a secret from her father, but a mission that Olivia was quite thrilled to undertake.
With just a few extra coins he had given her she was to purchase a small cake that the family could indulge in together that evening after dinner. A rare treat, to be sure, but one that she was entirely thankful for. Gemma would be ecstatic, and Louise would certainly not hesitate to show her gratitude for such an opportunity for indulgence.
Looking at the cakes, Olivia chose one that was small, one she might be able to afford, but it smelled heavenly.
“How much for that one?” she asked the shopkeeper.
Sensing the gaze of the young woman from Olivia’s head down to her aged shoes, it was clear that the shopkeeper didn’t expect her to get anything more than the small cake. Still, it was a relief that she had just over the amount necessary to purchase it.
When she left the bakery, Olivia sighed in confidence, not willing to let that shopkeeper, a woman who had already had to find work, break her down. After all, Olivia needed to search for a position, but she had not yet been brought to that point.
She did wonder, however, if working would afford her the luxuries of better garments. Not only for herself, but for her sisters as well. It was certain that she needed to begin a search for employment. Thinking about it, Olivia decided to spare a coin for the newsboy that she might go through the columns and find potential work.
From there she made her way to her primary destination. The sewing shop was a frequent place for Olivia to end up in. They could hardly afford new fabric and no one in their family was able to get anything new to wear.
But there were holes to mend and stitch and fix. There were buttons needing secured and, perhaps, if she was lucky, she might find a piece of ribbon that could be added to one of Gemma’s dresses.
“Olivia, my dear,” greeted Mrs. Hanson, the owner of the shop.
“Mrs. Hanson, how are you?”
“Very well, my dear. Now, what’ll it be today?”
Olivia looked around and wished she could take an abundance of items to help her sisters look like they belonged in society.
“I need a new needle, something a little smaller. And I need black, red, and white thread,” she told Mrs. Hanson.
“I can certainly get those for you. Will there be anything else?”
Olivia hesitated. “Might you have any…well-priced ribbon?”
It was a humiliating question to ask, one that reeked of charity. But Olivia knew Mrs. Hanson well enough that she felt it was all right enough to make such a request. After all, she was a frequent customer and, like many of Mrs. Hanson’s customers, she was far from wealthy.
“You have chosen the perfect day to come in, my dear. As it happens, I received a batch of ribbon today that was not the colour I desired. I am in a dispute with the factory because I was rather specific on this one.
“I have a client who demanded burgundy,” she continued conspiratorially. “They sent me a poppy red. Now they are telling me it was a custom colour just for me, that they added a hint of orange that they would not normally have done, and I have refused to pay them for it just as they have refused to accept it back. I am quite happy to give you a length at half the price.”
Olivia was astonished. This was indeed quite good fortune. In fact, it was unheard of.
Upon doing a few calculations, Olivia realised that she would be able to purchase enough to add to a dress for Gemma as well as one for Louise. It was ideal.
Mrs. Hanson measured and cut before giving Olivia her goods, which she put in her bag.
“Now, do take care that no one knows I gave you such a fine price. You are a very special customer and I should not give such a discount to everyone,” Mrs. Hanson told her with a smile.
Olivia agreed and departed from the shop.
Truly, she felt inspired by this turn of good fortune. So inspired that she quickly made her way through the throngs of people and out of the way of the market centre to a small bench.
Pulling the notebook from where she had placed it in her bag, Olivia began to scribble notes for later.
She would write a fairytale about a length of ribbon found by a peasant that turned the peasant into a princess. The princess was so beautiful that princes and kings came from far off lands to try and charm her beauty.
But there was a great villain, a young woman born into royalty from another kingdom who learned the secret of the ribbon. So she took it from the princess and she was once more a peasant. But the prince of that land had already fallen in love with her and he married her anyway.
Yes, this was exactly the sort of story that her sisters would love. And when she sewed the ribbon to a dress for each of them, it might bring a little excitement into their own lives. It might bring a hint of magic to the difficulty of their situation.
At least, that was what Olivia hoped for. What would truly come to pass she couldn’t say. But she would make this effort. She would do something for her sisters, even if it was a small thing.
Olivia heard the tolling of the tower clock in the square and knew she still had two more shops to go to on her way home. She had spent more time enjoying her story than she ought to have and it was time for her to go.
She stood and grabbed her things, in a rush to get to the post office to drop a letter her father was sending. But just as Olivia turned the corner, she found herself colliding with a firm, tall object.
“Oof!” she exclaimed, bouncing backwards in the shock.
“Are you all right?” came a concerned voice.
Before she looked him in the eye, Olivia took in the shoes. Polished black leather. The shoes of a wealthy man. The trousers hemmed at the perfect length above them. Not too long or too short like most Londoners, wearing leftovers from other family members.
Her gaze trailed upwards, to the finely cut coattails and pearl buttons on his shirt. Yes, this was a man of standing.
But when her eyes reached his face, that was the moment that Olivia was truly caught off guard.
His eyes were a light grey and his hair the shade of sand peeking out from under the top hat he wore. Gentle freckles dotted his nose in a way that made him look youthful despite his rather masculine frame.
She had never seen such a man so handsome as this. Of all the men in the world for her to encounter in this way as a result of her clumsiness. But this man, standing before her was the last man she would wish to embarrass herself before.
“Miss?” he asked, prompting a response to his earlier question.
“Oh, yes. Do forgive me, my lord,” she answered, looking at the ground and giving a curtsey. She had no idea what sort of title this man held, but it was clear that he had one. She hoped that she had addressed him appropriately.
A gentle chuckle came from his beautiful lips. “There is nothing that needs to be forgiven. I simply fear that I might have hurt you. It is I who must apologise. I was not looking as I walked,” he remarked.
“Nor was I, my lord.”
“Well, that is a fine thing then. We must both be more careful in the future, Miss…” he trailed off, waiting for her answer.
“Digby, my lord. Olivia Digby,” she said, still keeping her eyes on the ground.
Olivia had never interacted with nobility before, but she was already quite surprised by the behaviour of this man. Men of society were rude and invested in their snobbery. But this man was kind and gentle, apologising to her as she had to him. This was a strange thing and she wished she could decipher his actions.
“It is very nice to meet you, Miss Digby. I am…” he paused for only the briefest of seconds. “Mr. Nathaniel Norton.”
Olivia looked up at him then, confusion twitching in her brow. But she quickly masked it. This man was clearly titled, and yet he had chosen to share with her his given name. Was this a game? What reason might he have for speaking so freely with her?
“I am very sorry to have caused you any delay, Mr. Norton,” she apologised yet again.
“You have done no such thing, Miss Digby. And it has been a delight to meet you. I thank you for not being angry with me for my clumsiness,” he said to her kindly.
He gave a slight bow and Olivia replied with a graceful curtsey. He departed and she felt foolish. A young woman of her age was not to be running around, writing fairytales and humiliating herself before noblemen. She was to be working, or finding a husband, or doing something of use.
As she made her way home, stopping at the final two places she needed to visit, Olivia continued to wonder about a great many things. Certainly there were her thoughts of work that consumed her. What could she do other than become a housekeeper?
Clever and intelligent though she was, Olivia had not the formal education required to become a governess. So even though that was her preferred position, it was not a possibility for her.
Indeed, she would have to seek a position as a housekeeper. Most likely she would find herself working at an inn or some other such, but if she were truly fortunate, she could find work in the home of a wealthy employer.
Perhaps even someone like Mr. Norton.
Olivia had been trying to keep her thoughts away from the man, but it was very difficult. After all, he was quite magnificent in every way.
He was handsome and kind, certainly not what she would have expected from someone in his station. He had been gracious with her, forgiving. Olivia had seen street urchins beaten by nobility for lesser offenses, and yet he chose instead to bestow her with the casual form of addressing him.
That was not the sort of thing that was ever to occur.
But Mr. Norton could easily consume the thoughts of any young woman. She didn’t know if it was merely his unexpected kindness or the way his eyes had held such depths that caught her so off guard.
And those freckles. On a woman, they were the sign of too much sun. But on a man, as rarely as she had seen them, they were exquisite.
She knew she would never see him again, but Nathaniel Norton would remain forever in Olivia’s mind.
“A Lady’s Fairytale Come True” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!
Olivia Digby has always lived a simple life, without much concern for society’s rules. She grew up uncertain of the existence of true love and has always wondered if she would ever meet her own Prince Charming. But everything changed when a wealthy heiress mysteriously calls her to her mansion with a unique request… Will Olivia give a chance to the old Lady’s impolite grandson and let him show her his real self? Or will she be discouraged by their differences?
Nathaniel Norton is a young Earl, who is more interested in studying medicine than marrying a girl of good family and class. Especially after the loss of his beloved father, any plan to pursue love is aborted. When he hears his grandmother’s plan to unite him in courtship with a young woman he has never heard of, he will not sit by. But what if that lady turns out to be different from all the others he had met before?
Olivia and Nathaniel will have a chance to approach each other and start feeling beautiful things they never thought they would. But when a long-kept secret is revealed, will their emotions be strong enough to handle it? Or will their class differences eventually stand in their way?
“A Lady’s Fairytale Come True” is a historical romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.