Rising to the occasion becomes a daily exercise for young Ellanor Fitzhugh as she comes of age in JourneyForth’s captivating historical thriller Ellanor’s Exchange by Linda Hayner. Atop her beloved horse Charlemagne, Ellanor gallops into young womanhood in the wide-open spaces of Bishop’s Manor, her girlhood home. Unbeknownst to her, she is all too quickly becoming “eligible,” and the time soon arrives that she must leave the scenic countryside she loves to be trained in the fine points of the seventeenth-century London court. Because she is the only heir to the Fitzhugh estate since the death of her brother, Ellanor’s marriage to someone of nobility is a cause taken seriously by her family and friends.
Placed in the care of a long-time acquaintance and trusted neighbor—the Baroness of Wilthrop─the debutante shows a natural aptitude for the social graces. With a proper curtsy here and a demure greeting there, Ellanor applies herself and before long is the toast of the town. A variety of suitors join the cast, and the delicate process of matchmaking begins.
But many of the players on this lustrous stage have much more than silks and brocades on their minds. England chafes under the rule of a weak king, and Ellanor’s naïve innocence attracts the attention of those bent on propping him up at all costs. Intrigue and danger become her companions as it dawns on Ellanor that she has unwittingly become hopelessly ensnared in a web of espionage. Aware that every move and judgment she makes will either further endanger or secure her family, Ellanor must decide who to follow and who to flee. Disguises, harrowing carriage rides, the freezing waters of the Thames, and secret passageways are all part of the unladylike risks that come to test Ellanor’s loyalties and her very survival.
Oh, and there are Lord Whetherby, Lord Limbourne, and Lord Netherfield as well─all of whom seem eager, each for his own reasons, to connect themselves to Ellanor Fitzhugh.
Let the rich historical detail and engrossing energy draw your debutante into the dizzying world of English nobility in Ellanor’s Exchange. Read the opening pages on our website.