Born and raised in Latvia, Rebecca Balodis marries Rhys Sudduth, an English diplomat. Shortly thereafter, he is summoned home to attend his father’s death-bed. Rebecca cannot accompany him at the time and becomes trapped in the turmoil plaguing her country. He is informed she died in the upheaval.
Nearly four years later, she escapes and arrives in London with their son in tow. Arriving in the middle of his sister’s ball is very awkward, especially since Rhys plans to announce his betrothal to a young debutante later in the evening.
Trouble, suspense and danger, follow her from Latvia. Can this pair ever find or even recognize an enduring love? Is it worth keeping?
A liveried butler, stern of countenance and standing stiffly erect opened the door. “Your invitation, Ma’am.”
Rebecca trembled, but forced out, “Surely, I don’t need an invitation. Please inform Lord Rhys that his wife is here.”
Astonishment flashed across the butler’s face before he bowed his head and nodded for her to follow him. Sonja was seated in the hall while he led Rebecca to a small parlor papered with stripes of ivory and cream. The entire room seemed a little intimidating, with an elaborate sofa covered with gold brocade sitting before a wide window. Chairs were shattered about the room as well, but the beauty of the room did little to sooth her nerves. She glanced at the low table in front of the sofa then let her gaze shift to the fireplace, glowing with warmth. The softly burning coals added soothing comfort to the room and with that, her whole body relaxed.
After the butler exited, Rebecca quickly knelt down to straighten Johnnie’s apparel. “We want to look our best mans maz cilveku, my little man. You must learn English better now we are home. They are not expecting us, but no matter. Your father will love you.”
The door opened and Rhys stood on the threshold with a scowl of impatience on his face, speaking to the butler over his shoulder. “Some strumpet masquerading as my deceased wife. Be damned. You’re positive she said, my wife. Not a long lost relative wanting to sponge…?”
Rebecca jumped to her feet, took Johnnie by the hand and pasted a trembling smile on her lips. “Rhys.”
* * *
An Added Bonus Feature!
Letters discovered in the belongings of the villain. These letters are not revealed in the book but are held in my heart and give insight to the story. A tidbit solely for you. Enjoy.
The Year of Our Lord 1813
My Dearest Husband,
I write with my heart filled with sorrow. My beloved mother has passed on to join my father in Heaven. I can only be happy for her although sadness weighs me down. I am now acquainted with deep sadness and how you must mourn for your father. Grief makes it hard to write, but you deserve to know why I am delayed in departing this land.
At the moment, I am trapped in Latvia due to the up-rising in my country. I do not know how long it may be before I am allowed to travel to England to join you. There is a guard placed outside my gate to prevent my departure at present, but I will travel to Rica at the first opportunity and board a ship to London. Perhaps all will settle quickly. I can only pray it shall be so.
I cannot wait to be in your arms again, to kiss your dear face and gaze into your eyes once more. With words, you painted a lovely picture of your home in England and of your relatives. The thought of meeting your family holds much pleasure for me, especially since I am now alone.
Take care, My Love. I shall write to let you know as the hour of my departure grows closer. Keep safe and know you have my enduring love.
Another letter confiscated by the villain.
The Year of Our Lord 1814
My Dearest Husband,
I have not received any word from you since you sailed away from Latvia. I hope you are well. I must write quickly in order to send this to you. There is still a guard at my gate.
With your connection in the government, perhaps you can return and help me travel to England. There will be one added person in need of your assistance, our son. If you cannot come at once, please write. I am most anxious to hear from you.
Never forget my enduring love. Anxiously waiting.
* * *
I am a native of Texas and still live in this great state. I married my high school sweetheart, years and years ago. We raised four children and have eight grandchildren, and grandchildren are Grand. At the moment, all my children and my grandchildren live within seventy miles of our home, lots of visits. My husband and I still love each other after all these years, the stuff romance is made of, Happy Ever After!
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