Chapter 1

She gave up pink drinks and took up tea long ago. Chloe Parker, even after her divorce, still dreamed of a more romantic era. An age when a lady, in her gown and gloves, would, for sheer amusement, banter with a gentleman in his tight breeches and riding boots, smoldering in a corner of the drawing room.

So now that she stood deep in the English countryside, loaded down with her suitcases, at the registration desk of a Tudor-style inn, she felt as if she’d been drinking something much stronger than tea. Was she woozy from the jet lag of the eight-hour flight from Chicago to London, or enthralled with the antique furniture and aroma of scones?

A young woman in a long blue frock, apron, and ruffled cap ap- proached and curtsied. “I’ll be your maidservant during your stay, Miss Parker,” she said in a monotone voice with a slight Cockney twang. “My name’s Fiona.”

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