TITLE: The Test of Gold
GENRE: Historical romance
New York City, April 1897
The library clock chimed four and Evangeline Lindenmayer dropped her book, raced down the marble staircase, and sprinted across the vast two-storied hall toward her mother’s régence salon, only stopping to catch her breath and retie her pony tail. Then she shook out her wrinkled skirts and sighed. She was in for it now.
Vera Lindenmayer sat at a tea table cluttered with silver spoons and delicate porcelain cups. Her French chignon hadn’t a hair out of place and her coral earbobs perfectly matched her tea gown. She didn’t look up at her daughter’s hasty approach but leisurely fed a bit of pastry to the Pomeranian on her lap.
“Be silent.” Mama glowered at Lindy. “Your punctuality leaves much to be desired, Evangeline.” Her sharp black eyes took in Lindy’s disheveled figure. “Obviously you care nothing for your appearance.”
“I’m sorry, Mama—“
“And clearly, whatever you were doing is more important than my feelings and discussing the details of your debut. If Miss Kendall can’t keep track of you, I will engage another tutor.”
Poor Miss Kendall. Her lumbago had flared up, and when she’d fallen asleep in front of the schoolroom fire, Lindy had tiptoed out to give her elderly tutor some much deserved rest. “Don’t blame Miss Kendall, Mama. I finished my lessons and went to my room for a moment.”
It wouldn’t do for her mother to know just how much time Lindy actually spent in the library.