Book 2 is Serena and Brendan's story. He is a textiles importer and she is one of the girls from The Market.
Serena secured the band around the hatbox that held her newest acquisition. The little top hat with a veil and trailing ribbons was perfect for her riding habit. Excited to try the hat on with her dress, she waved to the girl behind the counter and scooted out the door. The bright sunlight blinded her as she stood on the stoop of the store. There in the haze of the brilliance was the most handsome angel she had ever seen. His blond hair seemed to glow like a halo around his head as he lifted his hat in greeting.
For a moment Serena was sure she was seeing things. Then the sun shifted and she could see that there was in fact an incredibly handsome man staring at her. She started to smile at him, but was distracted by a gentleman who greeted her politely as he strolled by, eyeing her appraisingly.
She shifted her weight, not realizing she stood on the lip of the stoop and quickly found herself off balance.
The world reeled. Her feet were no longer solid underneath her, and her limbs waved wildly out of control. Her hatbox flew off her flailing arm as her other bag dropped to the ground. Then all was made right by the solid feel of a steady arm around her waist.
Her breath caught in her chest. If she did not know better, she would have thought Lettie had laced her corset too tight. But no, that was not the case. There was a very solid, very male chest pressed against her that argued the truth of the situation, the very inappropriate truth of her standing on the street in the arms of a strange man.
Slowly, Serena peeled herself from his warmth. Hands braced on his powerful shoulders, she took a moment more to be sure her feet were steady and then stepped back to see it was her angel who had rescued her. Her heart pounded as he bent to retrieve her packages from the ground.
"Are you all right Miss?"
For a moment, for this moment, she could feel like a normal young woman experiencing the attentions of a handsome young man. Heat crept up her cheeks that had nothing to do with the sun as he held her hatbox out to her. "I- I- Yes. I am. Thank you." His blue-grey eyes seemed to bore into her.
"I am so glad, I was sure you were a goner there for a moment." He flashed a brilliant grin that melted Serena's insides instantly. "Please let me introduce myself. I'm Mr. Brennan Whitling of Whitling Textiles Importer and Wholesaler."
"How do you do Mr. Whitling?" Serena smiled. "I am Miss. Serena Freemont."
"It is a pleasure. May I interest you and your-" he glanced around the bustling street "-chaperone in a cup of tea?"
Serena knew a moment of panic. Chaperone? Harlots did not require one of those. "Oh, Aunt Henrietta is in the bookstore and I fear she will be in there a very long time. I am certain she won't notice if we slip off for a quick spot of tea."