February 11, 2021
Hanneke Aardema is the daughter of an ambitious Dutch herring merchant. It is 1211, when Spain’s kingdoms are planning a final push to drive the weakening caliphate from the Iberian Peninsula. Warriors fired by the flames of Islam have ruled Spain for five hundred years. Because Hanneke’s dowry will finance an army, she is married with no choice in the matter to a Spanish warrior who will help his king in the final struggle, in exchange for land of his own. The king himself has warned Hanneke that many will be winnowed out in this viscous fight. Will it be Hanneke, a newcomer to this land in turmoil, a nation in the making? Her new husband Santiago, who knows only war? His loyal friend and soldier Antonio, a man half-Moor, half-Spaniard? What about Yussef el Ghalib, their great enemy, who schemes with both sides? Through a terrible kindness, Hanneke sets in motion a series of events that will prove the undoing of some and the salvation of others. All because of a necklace.
Johanna Hudson thrives in the past — that is, the past lives of her clients’ ancestors. Johanna and her business partner own a genealogy firm that researches and prepares family trees.
Johanna is introduced to Eloise Manley who wants to give her daughter, Ruby, a healthy future that Eloise did not have. She placed infant Ruby up for blind adoption.
However, Eloise discovers that she is entitled to a large inheritance from a father she never knew. Eloise wants Johanna to finder her father and locate Ruby’s adopted family. Johanna agrees, and she ignores escalating threats to stop searching.
Johanna scrambles against the clock to find Ruby and pushes forward when it is clear that greed is a motive that comes with its own rationalization — even for murder.
The Inheritance is the first book in the Johanna Hudson Mystery series.
Juliette de Flournoy refuses to be imprisoned by her past — the French Revolution that robbed her family of their heritage, and the rape that left her homeless — comforting herself with her dreams of becoming London’s premier modiste, and by her friends, the enterprising ladies off Mrs. Gerrard’s, London’s most exclusive seraglio. Then she meets Major Lord Adrian Claverton — the hero of her dreams, if she allowed herself to have them. Mrs. Gerrard’s ladies do not believe in love, but Juliette is not so sure. Will pride and her stubborn refusal to let anyone take care of her rob her of a chance to find out?
Major Lord Adrian Claverton wanted to right the wrongs of the world until war taught him that helping others sometimes makes their lives worse. Will he be able to convince the independent Juliette to let him help her, and will he realize that only someone who has suffered greatly can cure his own despair?
Mistress of Fashion is book one in the Ladies of Independent Means Trilogy.