The Forgotten Debutante
At fifteen, Saffron Fitzpatrick despairs of ever getting to attend a Cotillion Ball and dance the night away, but excitement still manages to find her! A chance meeting with a Union soldier in the barn leads to Saffron helping him escape—but not before they share a spontaneous, tender first kiss.
Ezekiel Boone has lost everything. His four older brothers were killed at Chancellorsville, and he must get home and break the awful news to his family. Though farming is not in his blood, he owes it to his father to help with the place his family has claimed as their own. But how can he ever forget Saffron Fitzpatrick?
When Saffron and Zeke find themselves working together in Washington, D.C., three years later, their powerful former attraction ignites, full force. Saffron’s older brother, Halwyn, is coordinating the massive reburial project of Union soldiers, and she has been hired to work in his office. Zeke has invaluable information–information that no one could know if they hadn’t actually been on the battlefield.
Though the war is over, a happy future together may still elude Zeke and Saffron…especially if Saffron’s older, protective brother and the U.S. Army have anything to say about it! Will Zeke hang for desertion? Will Saffron be able to prove his innocence?
Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the Cotillion Ball Saga!
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Ms Lower deftly uncovers the human ache of war and its aftermath. Historical events weave in and out of Saffron and Ezekiel's story subtly while profoundly educating readers. It's gritty history with a very sweet touch. Ind'Tale Magazine
"If the Civil War is what you look for in a historical, then hopefully you'll find plenty to enjoy in this book and the series as a whole." Book Gannett
"Well - if you are a fan of Gone with the Wind, then you will love this story."
While this story is the ninth in a series, it stands alone well as Ms. Lower explains everything very clearly. Fans of historical romance might want to give The Forgotten Debutante a try. Long & Short Reviews
New York City
July 15, 1863
Releasing a shallow breath, Saffron Fitzpatrick glided down the stairs on slippered feet, avoiding the creaky spots with unerring accuracy from years of practice. She surveyed the hallway and let out the rest of the air from her lungs. All the servants were still in the basement, preparing the noonday meal. If she hurried, she could escape the house undetected. She ran to the back door, her curls bouncing around her head, and let herself out into the yard.
Heart pounding, she stood, back up against the door, and listened. No frantic footsteps from inside the house meant her break to freedom had gone unnoticed so far.
After two days of being housebound due to the draft riots, Saffron had tired of heeding her father’s warnings to stay indoors. Even though his motives were sound and he was only trying to protect her from the roaming mobs, she would surely perish from boredom if she spent one more moment inside. Although her intent to breathe some fresh air was dashed because the city was foul with smoke from the fires being set around town, she still cherished the freedom of being outdoors. Her skin erupted in goose bumps at her boldness. She cringed back against the door as the distant shouts came closer.
But she had a mission: She needed to see Biscuit. She could certainly get from the family brownstone to the carriage house in their backyard without running into any of the rioters, couldn’t she? Talking to a horse beat staring at her bedroom ceiling. Or reading another boring book. Her intent clear, she pushed herself away from the door and ran to the small building.
She opened the door to the carriage house. Diffused lighting came through the windows near the roofline, and the cool air was filled with a familiar, comfortable combination of hay, horse dung, and leather. Saffron inhaled the scents as she waited for her eyes to become accustomed to the subdued light. Biscuit nickered a nervous greeting. She tiptoed across the brick floor toward the mare’s stall.
And came to an abrupt halt.
The apples, which Saffron kept in a bucket to dole out to the horse, were all gone. As were the carrots. Someone had been in the carriage house, and possibly still was. She backed toward the door, hoping if she were quiet, whoever was or had been in the carriage house would not notice her. She’d go back to the house and sound an alarm. Then, armed with the servants, she could return and confront whomever was here.
But Biscuit nickered again. If someone was intent on setting fire to the carriage house, Saffron needed to take her horse into the yard first, then call for the servants. She picked up a hayfork and made her way forward, her slippers not making a sound as they moved over the floor. She opened the door to the stall and found what was upsetting her horse, and the answer to why all the good treats were gone. A Union soldier was asleep in the hay next to Biscuit.