If Violet had her way, her father would be buried in a candy wrapper with a bar of chocolate in his hands, and a gumdrop for a tombstone. It was an absurd notion that she came up with to keep herself from completely breaking down in sorrow. Thinking of something funny or pleasing at times of great sadness was taught to her by her father Bosworth Grey. His funeral was the single saddest event in Violet’s life.
Her father was her world and they had spent nearly every day together. Her wretched mother had left when Violet was young, so she didn’t know firsthand if she were a horrible person. A woman who leaves a man and her young daughter could be called many things and none of them good. Her father was a simple man who ran a successful candy shop. The Greys were by no means poor, in fact, they were comfortable. Violet’s mother had wanted a husband with aspirations, and she had wanted to be super-rich.
Violet wasn’t entirely surprised at all the people in attendance at her father’s funeral, but she knew very few of them. She may have known their names, but not much else. They all looked very sad at the passing of someone they hardly knew. If her father had considered them good friends then she would have known them too. It was disorienting as they came up to her one after the other with the same solemn look on their faces. None bothered to ask how she was or if there was anything Violet needed.
“Oh, dear. Your father was a great man,” Mrs. Tutwiler from the church choir said.
Violet agreed as she lowered her head.
“I’ll miss seeing him through the shop window,” Bobby Stern mumbled.
“Indeed,” Violet replied.
“How will you ever go on?” Irma Lassiter asked.
Violet wasn’t sure if that was a rhetorical question. So she decided to respond.
“I have no idea.” Her answer was honest.
The mourners kept coming at Violet because she was the only close family her father had. He had a brother, but they hadn’t heard from him in years. He would have had no way of finding out that Bosworth had died. Francis Grey lived a life of riches in Boston, and he had been too good, in his mind, to visit his little brother.
As if her father was looking down on Violet and interceding, a familiar face came into view. Mrs. Delilah Edmonds had come to her father’s funeral, and she was heading towards her. She was an answered prayer. She opened her arms and Violet fell into them. She felt free to cry in her arms twhich she was unable to do with everyone else paying their respects.
“Mrs. Edmonds, I’m lost without father and finally I’m with someone who knew him well. This is the first I’ve really sobbed,” Violet blubbered.
“I came from Josiah’s Gambit as soon as I got word. It was unexpected and I immediately thought of you here alone.” She put her hands to Violet’s cheeks. “You’re very pale and thin. Have you been eating? I’m sure you haven’t been sleeping,” Mrs. Edmonds fretted.
“Mrs. Edmonds, I’ve always been thin. Considering the amount of candy I consume, you’d think otherwise. I’m always trying to keep freckles at bay and that would account for my skin color. I can’t worry about myself when my father is about to be buried,” Violet said.
“I think funerals are dreadful affairs,” Mrs. Edmonds commented. “How are family and loved ones supposed to grieve in a sea of strangers who are here out of a social obligation? I’ll admit I’ve attended many a funeral myself out of obligation or curiosity. I suppose that’s just me thinking rules should apply to everyone but myself,” she joked. “Ugh, sorry. I shouldn’t be making light of anything on a day like today.”
“Everything that matters has taken place, would you mind terribly if we slipped away? This crowd is making me very uncomfortable.” Violet’s face was tiring from smiling at comments from strangers.
“Yes, of course. I felt the same way when I had to bury Sam, only it was worse. No one can say a bad word about you but with me, it was a different story,” Mrs. Edmonds said as she led Violet away from the crowd to a bench under a mesquite tree. “They have to think of more creative ways of calling me a gold digger because I’m bored with the old moniker.”
Violet chuckled for the first time since her father’s death. “Sam loved you dearly and he happened to have been a wealthy man. You made him the happiest man in Josiah’s Gambit for the brief two years you were his wife. You are strong not to let harsh words said behind your back bother you.”
“Enough about me. How have you been holding it together since my dear friend Bosworth’s death?” Mrs. Edmonds asked. “It was sudden so I can’t imagine you had any warning.”
“I’m just trying to handle things as my father would want me to. It was unexpected and I never planned for him to be gone so soon, but it appears, he knew it was a possibility. Father was quietly putting aside money so I could attend art school someday. Unfortunately, he was also preparing me to take over the shop,” Violet explained. “He hadn’t figured that I can’t do both so art school will have to wait, perhaps indefinitely.”
“You’re just going to have to find an apprentice with a love for running the candy shop. While that might take some time, it’s not impossible. In the meantime, you can continue to paint in the lovely home your father left you in Tucson,” Mrs. Edmonds said. She has a knack for making Violet believe that everything would work out.
“It would be a dream to do both. With a good staff at the candy shop, it can be done,” Violet said more optimistically than she’d been before. “Having you in our lives was a true blessing for me of course and for Father.”
Mrs. Edmonds removed her black hat with netting, which she only wore for funerals. “The relationship I had with Bosworth Grey was unique in many ways. For one thing, he was never anything more than a friend. When I wasn’t married to Sam, that was unusual. He was always there for me when I thought my life was in shambles and I did the same for him.” She smiled as she thought of him. “I’d say he was like a brother, but I have a couple of those and don’t like them. You’ll be fine if you travel in his footsteps and remember the lessons he taught you.”
“You’re one of the few people who knew my father well,” Violet remarked. “It’s such a comfort having you here. Do you have a place to stay for the night in Tucson?”
“My carriage is waiting to take me back tonight,” Mrs. Edmonds said.
“I don’t think I can bear to stay in the house alone tonight. Please stay. I have a room made up and you don’t want to be traveling after dark. Outlaws are known to appear out of nowhere on the road to Josiah’s Gambit. Will you be my guest?” Violet asked earnestly.
“In your twenty-two years, you’ve never asked a favor of me,” Mrs. Edmonds noted. “I’d love to stay.”
Violet was relieved because memories of her father lay across every inch of the house. She was bound to have some weepy moments, and it would be good to have a friend nearby.
Her father had felt especially run down the day before he had passed. He had slept in later than his normal time and had eaten a small breakfast. He wasn’t up to going to the shop right away and that had been Violet’s first indication that something was wrong. Violet had made sure he was comfortable in his favorite chair and had gone to change for a trip to fetch the doctor. When she returned to tell him of her plans, he had died. The doctor said his heart had stopped working. Violet remembered that her grandfather had died similarly at the age of forty. Considering his family history, she felt lucky to have him as long as she did.
The sun had just set so Violet ventured to her art studio. It was her favorite time to paint because the colors that she liked to use were rich and enhanced by the twilight sun. Sketching was best done in the morning and ideal when done outdoors. The room her father had given her to devote to painting took up half of the third floor of the clapboard house. She gave her studio some of the credit for her art since she had learned how to use the light as it flowed down from the mountains. There would never be a room so ideal.
Violet also liked the room for its privacy. She liked being around people but also enjoyed being by herself because she maintained a quiet confidence. Violet wasn’t boastful but liked herself, as that was something her father stressed as important. He taught her that to love others, one had to love themselves first. Her father had said that would make more sense when she found someone to love. Now she was twenty-two and hoped that would happen sooner rather than later. If it didn’t, she’d still have her art and the candy shop so she wouldn’t feel so alone.
“Being left here alone without warning is not what I envisioned. I expected you would leave this world before me, but neither of us thought it would happen so soon,” Violet said to her father. The freedom to talk to herself or someone who wasn’t there was another thing she liked to do in her private studio.
“I love the candy shop like you did but I hope my art is not sacrificed for it. Mrs. Edmonds had the idea of bringing on an apprentice. Don’t you worry since I would never choose someone who doesn’t feel passionately about the shop. It’s your legacy and I will treat it as such.”
Violet tucked her wispy black hair behind her ears and pulled on her apron. She began painting an unfinished portrait of Bosworth Grey. She felt the need to finish it while her father’s face was still fresh in her mind. Violet hoped her memory of his cheery face never fell from her mind. She stayed up most of the night finishing the work to ensure that it wouldn’t.
When she finally crept to bed, Violet noticed no light from Mrs. Edmonds’ room. It was a calming feeling that there was someone fast asleep under her roof.
Violet was sure she would have a difficult time falling asleep but that wasn’t the case at all. She only stirred when the rooster cawed. It was odd that she heard voices downstairs and thought it might be Mrs. Edmonds speaking with her driver. Violet became concerned when those voices were raised, and harsh words were spoken.
“Mrs. Edmonds,” Violet said as she walked into the parlor. “Who is this man and why are you exchanging words that aren’t allowed in my home?”
The man snickered and a concerned look grew over Mrs. Edmonds’ face. “First allow me to introduce myself., I’m Francis Grey and I should look familiar since I’m your uncle. We’ve met before but you were a gawky young girl. I recognize you as you haven’t changed much. I wore a beard the last time you saw me and otherwise I’m told that I don’t look a day older.”
“Hello, Uncle Francis. If you came for the funeral service, I’m afraid you’re too late,” Violet informed him. “I’m surprised you found out about my father’s death since you live so far away.”
“I was visiting Dallas, Texas when I received word of my younger brother’s demise. The president of the bank in Tucson sent notice immediately as we’re old friends,” Uncle Francis said. “I must correct you on one important point, Violet.” He snapped a severe look at Mrs. Edmonds. “Don’t you dare speak if you know what’s good for you.” He turned back to address Violet. “You referred to this as your house when it is mine. The candy store is mine also along with the contents of both and whatever else that odd little man owned.”
Violet was thin and not remarkably tall. As Mrs. Edmonds pointed out she was also pale and thin, but she was also surprisingly feisty. In her lifetime, she had never been challenged as Uncle Francis had just done. He was threatening her father’s legacy and had just referred to him as an odd little man. A brass bookend was within her reach. Violet picked it up and threw it with all her might. It shattered a porcelain figurine. She had intended to throw it directly at Uncle Francis; however, her feistiness stopped short of causing anyone bodily harm.
Uncle Francis lost any bit of compassion he had for Violet. His face was as red as a cherry, and he tightened his fists along with his jaw. Eventually, he exhaled. “You will have your personal effects only on a cart by tomorrow morning. I will not have you return to the shop, ever. It will be closed until I figure out what to do with it and any employees will be released from their duties immediately. Am I clear?”
Violet’s mouth was as dry as Tucson in August. “You can’t throw me out of the only home I’ve ever known and cast me to the street. Firing the people at the candy shop is unconscionable as many of them have families to feed. Those people will go hungry and that will be a result of your dreadful behavior. It simply can’t be done. Father left everything to me in his will. I’ve seen the document and know where it’s kept.”
“Unless I’m wrong, you’re a woman. A judge is never going to let you own property or a business and certainly not when Bosworth has a living brother. It all goes to me, and your father’s wishes aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.”
Mrs. Edmonds refused to remain quiet. “Bosworth hinted that you had flaws, but he was too nice to say what a horrible man you really are. I find it difficult to believe that you’re related because Bosworth was the finest man I ever had the pleasure of knowing.”
“I find that hard to believe. I have friends in Josiah’s Gambit and there are rumors about you. If you thought so highly of Bosworth you would be married to him and laying claim to this place too. I hear you’re no better than a common…”
Violet cut him off before he could insult another person she cared about. “Enough with the insults. I ask for a sensible solution, as I’m sure you’re a sensible man. I need at least one week to clear out my things and consult with our trusted family attorney. Your way would leave me with no place to go and all I would have to survive would be the money father set aside for my education at art school.”
Uncle Francis smirked. “I came here willing to make a deal but after your tantrum with the bookend, I won’t be showing any mercy. You and this shrew will be off the premises tomorrow and the money for art school will be mine. I’ll put it towards the upkeep of my small herd of livestock in Boston.”
“I have nowhere to go and no means to earn money,” Violet said. “The only thing I’ve been trained to do is run the candy shop. I’ve been preparing my whole life to take over the business.”
Uncle Francis folded his arms. “None of your complaints are my concern. If you can’t rely on your art, you mustn’t be very good. I’m afraid you’ll have to do what most women do, marry a man to take care of you. Your hips are narrow for childbearing but I’m sure some poor chap will take you in. Your friend Mrs. Edmonds can teach you all about gold-digging,” he bellowed. “I will send an assistant in the morning to make sure you take nothing of monetary value. After tomorrow I plan to never see you again, Violet, although I might find you begging on the street.”
Violet would have collapsed if not for Mrs. Edmonds lending a hand.
Uncle Francis left and the solid oak door slammed shut. Violet was heaving as a flood of tears ran down the front of her face. She held Mrs. Edmonds’ hand so tight that she was surprised she didn’t break a bone, but she didn’t flinch. She was a sturdy woman and just what Violet needed.
“You’re feeling something that I have felt before, although not exactly. Yours is unique to you and don’t listen to anyone who says I know what you’re going through. How the heck do they know?” Mrs. Edmonds asked rhetorically.
She continued as Violet collapsed on the velvet couch. “A woman doesn’t get to my age without experiencing a lot of heartache and loss. My age, by the way, shall remain a secret, not that it’s relevant in this case. There have been times in my life when I’ve felt I had no one and nothing, so I might as well give up. Digging deep and finding a part of myself that I didn’t know existed was always the answer.”
Violet managed to speak between outbursts of tears. “What you’re explaining is the truth for me right now. I went to bed last night thinking I owned a home and a candy shop and now I have neither. With my money taken from me too, I’m not sure where my next meal will come from. Not only should I give up, I have no choice but to do so. That thing that you found deep inside simply doesn’t exist for me.”
Mrs. Edmonds pursed her lips. “You have one thing that you had yesterday, and you still have: you have me. I don’t see any choice but to move you and your cart of art supplies to Josiah’s Gambit. My home is plenty big, and you will have your pick of rooms for a studio. The orchard out front is bathed in sunlight each morning, although I’m no artist and don’t know which light is most suitable. The fruit trees like it since they grow with abandon all year long.”
Violet didn’t know how to begin responding to such a generous offer. “I’ve never known life outside of my village by Tucson. Your generous offer is overwhelming, but I don’t see that I have a choice. Are you sure you don’t mind sharing your home? Since your husband died you’ve lived alone. I’ve heard people get used to the freedom of living without anyone to bother them.”
Mrs. Edmonds chuckled. “I crave companionship at home as I fear becoming a widow who never leaves the house. Did you by chance read Great Expectations?”
“I did and don’t worry Mrs. Edmonds. You have no chance of becoming Miss Havisham and I’m no street urchin, at least not yet,” Violet assured her. “If I accept your offer, we will provide each other with companionship and privacy. If I become a bother, you must send me on my way.”
“That won’t happen. Your father was a dear friend and taking care of you will only begin to repay the many times he showed me kindness,” Mrs. Edmonds said. “Most people think I’m loud and a bit eccentric, but Bosworth took the time to get to know me.”
Violet had a couple of visits to make in her small village. Mrs. Edmonds insisted she accompany her. She didn’t think the area was safe for her alone since Uncle Francis was lurking about.
While they were out Mrs. Edmonds asked her driver to pack everything from Violet’s studio and have it brought to Josiah’s Gambit. Then she arranged for a cart to arrive after nightfall in which they would pack things of worth and send them away. When Uncle Francis sent his aide to supervise packing, they would bring the worthless effects that were left behind. She was not going to allow Uncle Francis to take away all memories of his niece’s father from her.
Mr. Chance was Violet’s family lawyer, and he had a copy of Bosworth Grey’s will. He informed Violet that Francis Grey had already paid a visit and had it declared invalid. According to the law, he had property rights over a female claiming such. As Violet thought, she was left with nothing.
“Thank you for your time, Mr. Chance. I know if there was something you could have done, you would have,” Violet said. She was always worried about how someone else felt above herself. “None of this is your fault and I will survive.”
“Your father tried to shield you from something like this happening. He had no idea his own brother would do something like this.” Mr. Chance hung his head.
Their next stop was the candy shop, and they were relieved to hear that Francis Grey had yet to stop there. Violet gathered the five candy makers and the store manager in the stock room. She had known most of them since birth and they were like family.
“As you know my father is no longer with us. Thank you all for attending his service, seeing you there was a great honor to Bosworth Grey. It was always his plan for me to take over the candy shop…” Violet was overcome with emotion. She hated letting good people down who had done nothing to deserve being fired. She could take the adversity since she didn’t have a family relying on her income, but they couldn’t.
Mrs. Edmonds stepped in once again. “What Violet is having such a difficult time saying is that by this time tomorrow you will no longer be employed by the candy shop. The shop has been ripped from her control by her Uncle Francis whom most of you have never met.”
Before she could finish, there were gasps and everyone rushed over to comfort Violet. They knew she would never close the candy shop and she was as devastated as they were. The only blame was put on Francis Grey.
Bob Melvin was the oldest employee and spoke for the bunch of them. “I think I speak for all of us when I say we wouldn’t work for a man like Francis Grey even if he offered us double pay. We stayed here because of the wage but more importantly, we stayed for Bosworth and Violet.”
“On behalf of Violet and her father you will all be given one month’s salary. Francis Grey might want you to stay and use up the remaining supplies. He’ll also ask that you help with clean up.” Mrs. Edmonds winked. “It’s up to you if you choose to do him the favor.”
They all had a good laugh. Francis Grey would be on his own to get that done.
Violet and Mrs. Edmonds spent the rest of the day collecting the rest of the important items from the house. Violet wanted certain sentimental items that Uncle Francis would likely throw on the trash heap. Mrs. Edmonds put the silver in a carton and saved it for Violet. Uncle Francis wouldn’t know it had existed in the first place.
“I’ve done all I can for the night,” Violet said before going to bed. “I realized, as I was visiting father’s office for the last time, that this is no longer a home. It’s simply a hollow house. I’m not sure what to expect from Josiah’s Gambit, but it’s bound to feel more like home than this place.”
“I feel good about your future home in Josiah’s Gambit. I believe your father is looking down on you and will keep you safe. Problems and heartaches can be expected but I know things will work out in the end.”
Violet managed a smile and went upstairs to spend her last night in Tucson. On her bed was her most recent book. The seventh episode in the latest mystery series had just become available and she was savoring it. It was to be the last, but Violet would start another as soon as she could get her hands on it. Reading the suspense would temporarily allow her to escape her current difficulties.
Violet thought of herself as an orphan for the first time, but she was twenty-two. Surely that was too old to be an orphan but with no father, husband, or means, she felt she qualified. Four rooms were scattered across the second floor of the home and Mrs. Edmonds told Violet to select one. She recommended the third floor be used as an art studio. The entire structure was overwhelming and larger than anything in her village near Tucson.
Violet peered out the window of the second bedroom she looked at. It had a view of the orchard below out one window and out the other, she noticed the back of a man’s head. His hair was blond and his posture so straight that he could have been a statue. She knew he was human because his arms moved and looked as if they were flipping the pages of a book.
“Something to look at other than trees,” she mused to herself. “Sketching the back of a person’s head would be something new.”
Violet decided on that room. She went down to tell Mrs. Edmonds which quarters she had chosen.
“Have you selected a suitable room?” Mrs. Edmonds asked as she sipped a sarsaparilla.
“I chose the one looking next door to your neighbor’s porch. I saw a man reading a book and thought I could sketch him from my window.”
Mrs. Edmonds chuckled. “You’ll have to excuse me, but I’ve never considered James Oroville a neighbor. You likely had plenty of neighbors in your old house and they were probably the type you could borrow supplies from. James lives next door, but I’d never go out of my way to go knocking on his door.”
“Why? Is he not a nice man?” Violet asked.
“I wouldn’t say that since I don’t know him well. He has loads of money but doesn’t seem happy about it. Can’t say much about James except that he doesn’t smile much,” Mrs. Edmonds remarked. “There are a lot of folks like that in this town. It seems they got rich quick and don’t really know what to do with their wealth.”
“I don’t want to be rich. I just want enough to live within my means and someday repay your kindness. I’ve never been poor before, and I intend to scrape my way back to respectability.”
“This town needs more people like you. Don’t go near the saloon because if they see you’re looking for work, they’ll try and lure you in. Not that you’re the type to consider becoming one of their girls.”
“No, but I’d like to see how they move and carry themselves. I’ve never sketched a saloon girl before and I think it would be a good challenge. Josiah’s Gambit is going to be a new experience with a lot to sketch that I haven’t seen before,” Violet commented.
“You’ll be something new and different in Josiah’s Gambit because an artist is one of the few things we don’t have in town. We have a museum and I host several chamber music concerts but we don’t have an artist in residence. Being sketched might make folks feel important and that is something people around here value.”
“Are you going to tell me about the history behind the town which I’ll be calling home?” Violet asked.
“It’s best told by Josiah himself but he’s a busy man these days. I don’t think it was his plan to work so much but that’s the card he drew. He’s many things, but to his credit, Josiah Meeks isn’t one to shirk his responsibilities.” Mrs. Edmonds remarked.
“Do you know Josiah well?” she inquired.
“Oh, um, well, yes,” Mrs. Edmonds fumbled her words. “I know him well enough. Josiah Meeks got lucky at cards and won the Dollar silver mine along with the town of Dollar. The gambit took place in Tombstone about twenty years ago. You can imagine it made him a very wealthy man but also in charge of a townful of folks. I don’t think he knew how much responsibility he’d be taking on and it took time for him to grow into his role.”
“Is he an approachable man?” Violet asked.
She found sketching a person provided a great opportunity to get to know them. A man had nothing to do but sit still when they were her subject and usually they opened up to her.
“Oh, yes. Josiah is an incurable flirt but don’t worry, he knows not to take it too far. He’s calmed down as he isn’t so young anymore, but he’ll still charm a pretty lady like you,” Mrs. Edmonds explained. “Do use my name because the two of us are old friends. Some folks in Josiah’s Gambit look at me with disdain but certainly not him. He’d be open to being sketched if his time allows.”
“Who would dare look down on you?” Violet asked.
“There are a lot of snobbish people who know I wasn’t born to my wealth or the position I hold in society. I consider myself lucky to have known both struggle and strength,” Mrs. Edmonds said. “I feel I should warn you that people will make assumptions about you that aren’t dissimilar to the ones they make of me. They will see you as the girl who was taken in by the ‘merry widow’ with no means of her own. Expect them to look down their noses at you for no good reason.”
Violet was disappointed but not entirely surprised. “I understand, although I think it’s unfortunate that so many have closed off their minds. They can look down their noses as I sketch them,” she joked.
“We can create a new background for you. I can say you’re my wealthy niece from Colorado. Would that do?”
Violet shook her head. “I’d never say I’m someone I’m not. I’m proud of the woman I’ve become thanks to my father. Denying my past and where I am today would be disrespectful to my father’s legacy. Let them think what they want and if they shun me, it will be their loss.
Mrs. Edmonds stretched her lips into a smile. “I can see that Bosworth raised you right. What a fool your mother was to leave the two of you.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” Violet said. “Tomorrow is a new day and I plan to acquaint myself with Josiah’s Gambit with my sketchbook under my arm. Remind me again of the man’s name who lives in the grand mansion next door?”
“His name is James Oroville. He’s one of those people that will likely look down his nose at you.”
“Good. I love a challenge,” Violet chirped. She gave Mrs. Edmonds a peck on the cheek and scurried away to her new bedroom.
Violet went about unpacking her things. She was aware her attire wasn’t suitable for Josiah’s Gambit as it had been at home. Her village was very small and rural and now she lived in an urban boomtown. She didn’t have fancy dresses because every day had been spent at the candy shop. Nice clothes would be soiled and even laundering wouldn’t help. Many of the ingredients she used would stain her garments.
She decided that the people of Josiah’s Gambit were just going to have to take her as she was. If anyone took the time to know her, they would be pleasantly surprised.
Violet struggled to close her bedroom window when she noticed James Oroville. He walked to the chair that he’d occupied before and continued to read. If he was as rich as Mrs. Edmonds had said, he must have work to do. One would think that with great wealth came great responsibility but all he did was read. He was alone too, which was odd. Violet would have thought he’d have servants running about as they catered to his every need.
James was a mystery because she had only seen him from behind. His blond hair came to his chin and his ears didn’t stand out. She had seen some men who you could identify from behind on account of their ears being large. Violet realized that she might pass James on the street and walk right by him.
The window finally closed but it did so with a loud clatter. He turned to see what had broken the silence and saw Violet. Not knowing what to do, she waved. He narrowed his gaze into an annoyed look before turning his back and returning to his book. Violet had seen his face and it wasn’t hard to look at. He had a gently sloping nose and perfectly spaced eyes, which was something an artist noticed.
A part of Violet wished she knew nothing about James Oroville as the picture Mrs. Edmonds painted was not a flattering one. She’d do a much better job creating a fake history and personality than the real thing.
His name would be Felix McTavish and he would be an orphan adopted by a wealthy family. His parents would have perished in an unfortunate accident, leaving him rich and all alone. He never forgot the filthy orphanage where he spent the first five years of his life and he donated loads of money to the place. They renamed it the Felix McTavish Home for Boys, and it had become a model for excellence all throughout the country.
Of course, Felix was without a wife. He searched the land over for the right woman and after a tireless search, Felix was losing hope. Then, he saw the slender woman with the beguiling hazel eyes, and he knew his search was over.
Violet laughed at her overactive imagination. She read too many stories of intrigue and had to keep in mind that there was a difference between them and real life. It was all in fun and her imagination helped pass the time. Now she was tired, so she climbed into her four-poster bed.
“The Art of Coloring his Heart” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!
Violet Grey is an intelligent, and creative young woman, who aspires to study art. Yet, her dreams are shattered after her father’s untimely death and the arbitrary deprivation of her fortune. Lost and heartbroken, she tries to regain control of her life by taking advantage of her talent; she paints and sells portraits of wealthy men in her new town. But her big break comes when she is asked to portray the dashing man living next door… The spark between them is undeniable, but can she get past his arrogant facade and build a truthful connection with him?
Her heart is slowly blooming like a colorful garden…
James Oroville is a handsome yet arrogant man who looks down on people who have less, as he believes it’s a fate they brought to themselves. However, his father’s sudden passing leaves him with a cattle ranch and an enormous legacy to manage, and his life suddenly becomes isolated and mundane. All until he meets the lovely Violet; he is mesmerized by her but his pretentious mannerisms build a solid wall between them. Is Violet what he needs to throw him off his high horse and help him overcome his prejudice?
Love is not in his choice but in his fate…
Their lives take an unexpected turn once again when James finds himself in desperate need of Violet’s help and skills. As they work together to uncover the fraud that could potentially change his life forever, Violet starts seeing past James’s snobbery, and a ray of hope lights their way. Can they ultimately find a way to make their two worlds one? Will they manage to cooperate harmonically to save the day and create a happy future together?
“The Art of Coloring his Heart” is a historical western romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.