She was determined to marry for love, never expecting that her adventures would lead her to a lifetime of passion.The Runaway Heiress
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March 25, 2004
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Excerpt from Adventures of a Scottish Heiress by Cathy Maxwell
Ian Campion was bloody tired of being poor.
Making his way through the foul and narrow streets of the rookery known as the Holy Land for the Irish inhabitants who lived one on top of another there in unrelenting poverty, he wondered how he could have ever believed he could create a better life for his family here than the one they'd had in Ireland. He hated the closeness of the buildings, the crushed spirit of the people, and the soot in the air from the hundreds, no, thousands of smoking chimneys.
Of course, the last time he'd lived in London, he'd been on his way to becoming a man of means as a student of the law at Lincoln's Inn. The streets he'd walked had been vastly different then. His future had been full of promise until he'd returned to Dublin and destroyed everything with his pride and arrogance.
His dark thoughts were interrupted when a half dozen children in ragged clothes dashed past him on the chase for a rat one of them had spied. Their mothers sat on the front stoop sucking down gin and laughing wildly at some joke one of them had shared. The women fell silent, their expressions speculative, when a party of barefoot, unkempt sailors newly off their ship swaggered by on their way to one of the area's many brothels. Meanwhile, in the entrance of a supposed butcher's shop, pick-pockets, lazy and in good humor from working richer areas, haggled with the "butcher" over fencing their stolen goods.
Ian walked through the party of sailors. They had the good sense to move out of his way, as he knew they would.
He was a big man, a hard one, and willing to use his size to his advantage. The wide brim of the hat he wore low over his eyes added to his dangerous air. His hand rested on the strap of the leather knapsack he'd stolen off the body of a dead French soldier during the war over a year ago. In it was everything he owned, including the flintlock pistol that could get him transported if it was found on his person. The English weren't comfortable with the idea of an Irishman walking their streets with a gun.
Not that they would need the gun as a reason to see Ian gone.
A whore sitting in a window across the street called in greeting, "Well, look who has finally returned home." She leaned forward, her breasts practically tumbling out of her bodice. "Hey, Campion, are you going to give me a go this time?"