In December of 1813, the officers’ ball had a profound effect on Spindle Cove’s economy. Seeing as how the village was mostly women, certain commodities ran scarce.
Hairpins, for one. Ribbons, for another. Curling papers came at a premium.
And corners. Corners were the scarcest thing of all.
Because there were only four in any given ballroom, and here in Spindle Cove, so many ladies were drawn to them.
As an experienced wallflower, Violet Winterbottom knew to stake her ground and guard it.
She’d claimed her niche on arrival. A comfortable alcove of the Summerfield grand hall, lightly scented with a hanging bayberry wreath and conveniently situated near the bowl of mulled wine.
“Why are you hiding in the corner, Violet?” Kate Taylor approached and took her by the arm. Lively and sensible, Kate was the Cove’s resident music tutor. “It’s Christmas. You should dance.”
Violet resisted with a smile. “Thank you. I’m happy here.”
Kate raised an eyebrow. “Are you really?”
Violet shrugged. In superficial characteristics, she didn’t fit the wallflower mold. She was a young lady of good family, possessed of a generous dowry, and she was—if not a legendary beauty—passably fair in candlelight. Her accomplishments in music and drawing didn’t merit any boasting, but she did speak six modern languages and could read several dead ones. She wasn’t clumsy or jaundiced or afflicted with a lisp.
And yet…she spent a great deal of time in the corner. More than ever, since The Disappointment.
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