In DAMON UNDONE, the heroine and her two sisters are sent to England by their wealthy father to escape scandal and, hopefully, gather a little elegant sophistication -- not to mention a few titled, landed husbands. The lady chosen to chaperone the sisters on this adventure is their aunt, a colorful, lively lady who has traveled extensively and, in the words of our heroine, is "well versed in the art of marriage and husbands, having disposed of several herself. Not all of them her own."
Queenie Du Bois likes to let everybody know that she is still grieving her last husband - a charming wastrel who died in debt - and she has no intention to marry again herself, but that doesn't stop her eagerly matchmaking for those three nieces in her charge. She takes this mission very seriously, but it's an uphill task, particularly when unsavory rumors manage to follow those young women across the Atlantic and into London drawing rooms.
Along with her brother Prospero she was born into poverty in Louisiana. Since those early days, they have both gained and lost fortunes several times over, but they possess a certain stubborn resiliency that soon helps them back on their feet and smiling after every defeat. They are never without resources for too long and will use whatever method they find at their fingertips to raise their status in life.
For the past few years Queenie has lived a full and luxurious existence, restlessly skipping about Europe and, basically, relying on her wits. Occasionally - when necessary - she has accepted her brother's financial assistance, and now she wants to repay that debt by getting his daughters married into the aristocracy. For the time being Queenie has settled in England, where she considers herself an expert on Society and manners, "even
going so far as to speak, at times, with a frighteningly inept semblance of an
English accent. Nobody had yet told her how bizarre it sounded."
Queenie is a determined lady, with a practical eye and a severe distrust of poets and lawyers. She is not averse to fighting dirty, as our hero discovers when he steps beyond his boundaries with one of her precious charges. But even he can't help admiring her fearlessness. Damon Deverell has squared
off, undaunted, against some of the most vicious delinquents and cunning rogues
from London's underbelly, but Queenie Du Bois could put them all in the shade.
As her niece likes to say, "One
could take Queenie Du Bois out of Hog's Flank, Louisiana, dress her up and give
her airs and graces, but one could not quite take the Hog's Flank out of
DAMON UNDONE arrives Wednesday, April 26th, 2017. Happy Reading!
copyright Jayne Fresina 2017
(Painting: A Portrait of Francisca Carolina Gonzaga de Braganca by Franz Xavier Winterhalter c. 1850)