Manuscript Status: Three weeks delivery
Mentor: Tobie Easton
Mentee: Jennieke Cohen
Title: DANGEROUS ALLIANCE
Category/Genre: Young Adult Historical
Word Count: 99,000
Impetuous seventeen-year-old Victoria Aston wants nothing more than to live a pastoral existence on her family estate in Hampshire. But when her sister escapes an abusive husband, Vicky has no choice but to find a husband of her own who will keep her brother-in-law from laying claim to their lands. Amidst the glittering ballrooms of Georgian London’s high society, Vicky must choose between the boy who broke her heart and the man who loves her now, all while keeping herself from falling into a DANGEROUS ALLIANCE.
The lichen-kissed stone dropped onto the rock pile with a hollow clack. Lady Victoria Aston rested her aching hands on the rough stone. She wiped her muddy palms down the front of her thighs, smearing muck onto her father’s old tan breeches. When attempting to save the lives of a particularly bothersome flock of sheep, one had to make sacrifices.
With two more sizeable stones, she would close the gap in the wall. Then she could scour Oakbridge’s 6,562 acres for the estate shepherd. Vicky narrowed her eyes at a shaggy old ewe: one of many she’d found out of bounds in the neighboring pasture. They’d jumped over the crumbling gap and gobbled a patch of indigestible clover. Soon, their bellies would bloat, and without the shepherd’s aid, they would certainly perish. Inhaling the clean morning air, redolent with the perfume of freshly drying grass, Vicky bent for another rock.
Movement far in the distance caught her eye. Vicky squinted. Amid the emerald green fields on the other side of the wall, a rider in a russet coat and dark top hat cantered adjacent to a short hedgerow. She couldn’t see his face, but his bearing looked familiar. She blinked.
No. It couldn’t be him. Not Tom Sherborne.
Fate wouldn’t be so cruel.