A faith inspired, "Jane Austen-ish" mail order bride story... 1875, England
Miss Chelsea Careen Stanton is the heiress of Cherrywood Manor and orphaned daughter of a Country Squire. Consequently, she is the ward of relations-- relations who have behaved recklessly, placing her inheritance in great jeopardy.
In this tale of social injustice and persecution, Chelsea is faced with few alternatives. Option one--: She can save the only life she has ever known by marrying Lord Thornbridge. Rory, the Earl of Rosevale, offers her security and position, but hasn't a loyal drop of blood in his body. He's a rake; a philandering scoundrel; a rogue of the worst kind! Is it possible to reform a rake?
The other option involves just as much risk and even higher stakes. Chelsea, an avid Jane Austen fan, has been dreaming of a future which includes a loving marriage to someone heroic; her Darcy, of course, with or without a Pemberley. Like Austen, she still believes in true love, with a hopeful heart and a resilient tendency to view everything humorously, honestly, and perceptively. In spite of daunting obstacles, she refuses to do less than see her world, hopes, and dreams without faith, and sometimes through the rose colored glasses of romantic novels. With regard to these traits, some might consider Miss Stanton a tad quirky and quite the risk taker.
Nonetheless, desperate for a possible way out of what she believes will be a loveless match if she accepts Rory's offer, she responds to an advertisement for a mail order bride to an appealing Irish American clergyman, widowed father, and farmer: a Reverend Braydon McLane. Never mind the fact she can only cook four things, has led a life entirely of privilege, and has no idea what she's about to walk into.
She arrives in America, believing this new situation is an answer to her prayers, only to discover she is in for far more than she bargained. For starters, and among the least of her problems, Braydon McLane doesn't recognize her name or the letters; he never placed an advertisement for a mail order bride; and he failed to meet her at the train station. She just added being a homeless foreigner to her already lengthy prayer list.
Rising to the challenges, Chelsea is convinced Elizabeth Bennet, in the same circumstance, would first have tea, followed by a brisk walk in the countryside; and then perhaps, sit down upon her trunks, amidst hat boxes and satchels, and write a heartfelt letter to someone she could trust with her sentiments.
Oh wait, is that the sound of rain? Mrs. Bennet would consider rain and this undeniably unique situation, an opportunity for romance from the very gates of Providence! Chin up, Chelsea girl!
Lisa M. Prysock is the author of more than seventeen novels, including a devotional. She enjoys sharing her faith in Christ with readers. A fan of Austen herself, she hopes readers will enjoy this STAND ALONE from 'The Lydia Collection' about a hopelessly romantic Austen fan and woman of courageous faith. Married to her husband for more than twenty years, Lisa genuinely believes that in every good husband, there is a Darcy hero in there somewhere.
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