Dear Secret Agent,
Bound in a loveless marriage to an eighty year old man at the age of fifteen.
This is Julie Avery Haynsworth’s fate. Or at least it will be if she abides to her parents’ wishes and marries Viscount Vaugh to settle their numerous debts.
Driven by desperation and clad in a stable boy’s clothing, Julie escapes in the middle of the night with nothing but the desire to live her own life. She finds shelter with a poor yet kind family as Avery Haynes, a homeless lost ‘boy’. Even though she knows she is far from safe, she can’t help but lower her guard around the trusting family--enough to fall in love with Hayden Bennett, the only son in the family, who sees her as the “brother he never had”. Despite her unrequited love and the fact that he is about to pledge his life to another, she finds life at the Bennett house happier than she ever thought possible.
But happily ever after doesn’t last for long. Her simple life is soon interrupted by a handsome stranger, Marcus Edmund Atherton, the son of the Marquess of Wickham. From the start, his taunting smirk and knowing eyes make her worry that he may know more about her than he lets on. But just when she convinces herself that he doesn’t know anything after all, she gets a surprise visit from the last people she ever wanted to see—her parents.
WISTFUL LOVERS (73,000 words young adult historical romance) is a Regency era love story loosely based on the popular Chinese legend The Butterfly Lovers. Thank you for your time and consideration.
I left that very night.
I didn’t want to, nor did I plan to. But it was something that had to be done. I no longer had a choice. Not after my parents decided to practically sell me to keep themselves in splendor. Although in their defense, weak as it was, I wasn’t even supposed to know about the deal. If I hadn’t skipped my lessons that day I certainly wouldn’t have.
That morning, I silently slipped down the stairs, away from the library. Darting down the hall, I was sprinting toward the door when I heard Mother’s excited voice coming from the sitting room. I stopped on my tracks.
This was a change, she had been quite downcast for the past week.
Curious, I tiptoed down the hall until I could hear her more clearly.
“I didn’t think he would agree to our proposition. Thank goodness his wife had the courtesy to pass away when she did.”
“And for once, I am thankful you’ve given me so many daughters.” Father’s familiar deep chuckle drifted through the air.
I peered around the edge of the door and saw them sipping tea together by the parlor window.
“Even so, we’re lucky that he agreed to forget our debt in exchange for one of our daughters. Even if she is still a bit young.” Mother countered with a shake of her head, her dark hair so tightly pinned back that it barely moved.