Kitty McKenzie - historical mainstream.
York, Yorkshire. 1864
Suddenly left as the head of the family, Kitty McKenzie must find her inner strength to keep her family together against the odds. Evicted from their resplendent home in the fashionable part of York after her parents’ deaths, Kitty must fight the legacy of bankruptcy and homelessness to secure a home for her and her siblings.
Through sheer willpower and determination she grabs opportunities with both hands from working on a clothes and rag stall in the market to creating a teashop for the wealthy. Her road to happiness is fraught with obstacles of hardship and despair, but she refuses to let her dream of a better life for her family die and she learns that love and loyalty brings its own reward.
In the plush red dining room of Kingsley Manor, Dorothea placed her linen napkin delicately beside her plate. At the end of the dining table, her daughter sat majestically, nibbling her food.
Dorothea glanced at John before squaring her shoulders. “Earlier today, I called to make acquaintance with Benjamin’s fiancée.”
Georgina choked on her food and her eyes narrowed. “May I ask you not to mention that woman in my presence, Mother?”
“Why? She is of a decent sort and shall make Benjamin a fine wife,” persisted Dorothea. “He loves her. Why aren’t you happy that he’s found a woman who will make him content?”
“I’ll not have it! Do you hear?” Georgina rose quickly to her feet, dismissing a helpful servant with a toss of her head.
“Don’t interfere, Mother. I shall not see Benjamin married to some fortune hunter who owns a teashop! Why the shame of it would kill me.”
John lowered his knife and fork. “My dear, Dorothea is right. Benjamin needs a wife of intelligence. He would go mad within a month with anything less.”
Georgina’s cold glare silenced him. “That trollop will never be my daughter-in-law. Neither will she rule this house!”
The two serving maids glanced at each other in fear.
“You’re spoilt, Georgina. You have been since the cradle. Only this time you will not get your way.” Dorothea rose also, such was her determination. “I’ll not let you ruin that boy’s chance of happiness. He loves her and she loves him. I’ll do all in my power to see them wed.”
“Love? She wants his money and the position of being married into a wealthy family. We would be the laughingstock of all our friends and acquaintances.” Georgina’s once beautiful face twisted with spite. “It shall never take place, Mother. I shan’t let it! I’d rather him dead before married to that girl.” She stormed from the room in a rustle of silk skirts and lingering perfume.
Dorothea sat down gingerly, her bones creaking with the effort. “She must be stopped, John. I love her, but at times I do not like her.” She shook her head and reached for her wine.
“Together, we shall make certain they marry. I’ll write to Benjamin and tell him to send for Kitty.”
“It will take months for the letter to arrive and months for a reply. However, it is wiser for them to be in Australia than here, for Georgina will never give them a moment’s peace.” Dorothea gazed around the beautiful room with its decadent furnishings, rare Chinese silk wallpaper and lavish tableware. She could quite clearly see Kitty as mistress of all this and knew in her heart it was where the young woman belonged, but would it actually happen?
A sudden shiver tingled down her spine.
Samhain Publishing (c)2006
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