Amanda Dunn, newly arrived in North Carolina in the year 1864, is on a mission for her father’s business, Dunn Mills. But surprises await this British heiress in America, including an unexpected chance at romance…
Enjoy this scene from chapter 2 of The Last Heiress, the latest historical romance by bestselling author Mary Ellis!
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Amanda set off at a brisk pace down the street. Once she turned the corner, away from the office of Henthorne and Sons and her sister’s slave coachman, she breathed a sigh of relief.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m not going back to England until I do my job. With her silent promise made, Amanda’s spirits lifted. She scoured the area, studying the different kinds of merchandise in shop after shop until hunger pangs demanded her attention. However, she had no desire to return to the mansion. In the coming days she would share plenty of luncheons with her sister.
Spying a sign for Cooper’s Greengrocery, Amanda marched down Water Street and entered the store with a spring in her step.
“Hullo, Mr. Cooper?” She sang out a greeting when she found the shop empty.
“Hold your horses. There’s only one of me.” A deep voice echoed from the back room. When the man appeared, he remained hidden behind the stack of crates he was carrying.
“Excuse me for shouting. I didn’t know if someone was here or not.”
The shopkeeper placed his crates near the door and turned, his jaw dropping open. “Excuse me, madam. I thought you were one of my regular customers playing sport with me with a phony accent.” Mr. Cooper mimicked a British inflection on his last six words. He pulled off his cap, revealing a head of thick, sandy-brown hair.
Amanda took no offence at his pluck, perhaps because the man was rather handsome in a rugged sort of way. “I’m not a regular customer—at least not yet—but I assure you my accent is quite real. Amanda Dunn, sir, new to your fair city from Manchester, England.”
“I humbly beg your pardon, Mrs. Dunn. Now you’ll believe the rumors true that all Americans are hopeless boors.” He bowed, with less polish than Jackson but with more sincerity.
“I shall reserve my opinion in that regard, and it’s Miss Dunn. Pleased to make your acquaintance.” With the spunk her father insisted she possessed, Amanda extended her hand.
Mr. Cooper shook hands as though her fingers might crumble into dozens of pieces. “Nathaniel Cooper, but my friends call me Nate.” He immediately flushed to a bright shade of scarlet.
Amanda smiled. “I will remember that in case we become friends someday.”
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Discover more about Amanda and Nathaniel’s story and download the first chapter on the book’s page!