Message From The Author

Author's Message

Buttons and Beaus

I love those oldtime bicycles. My only experience mounting a big-wheel boneshaker convinced me that anyone brave enough to ride one deserves, at the very least, to be the hero or heroine of his or her own book!

Bicycles were all the rage in Manhattan during the late 1800's, though they were responsible for no small amount of controversy and chaos. They spooked horses, and hardly a day went by that some buggy was not overturned when a careless cyclist whizzed by without regard. In 1890 America contained more bicycles than horses. Things were so out of hand, New York passed a law requiring a license for anyone wishing to ride a bicycle. Cycling schools popped up like mushrooms following a spring rain.

But no school was as well respected as Miss Amanda Blackwell's, BUTTONS AND BEAUS' heroine (both beaux and beaus is correct-honest!). Amanda sends shock waves through New York the day she opens her school to women cyclists. She creates a panic in the financial district by declaring that riding a bicycle sidesaddle should be banned.

All female graduates received the cycling badge that was required by law and possibly more. If she was single, willing and heeded Amanda's advice, she might also land a beau, or even a proposal or two in the process.

Yet Amanda has no intention of being caught in the matrimony trap. But everything goes to Hades in a handbasket the day Damian Newcastle rides into her life.

What a pity Damian doesn't have the personality to go with his devastating looks. Not only is he positively arrogant, he's uncommonly rude! From the moment she spots him staring at her in the park while she teaches that woefully clumsy old-maid school marm, Miss Quackenbush, to cycle, she knows he's a man who plays by his own rules. How she hates the way he takes liberties with his eyes, pointedly staring at her bloomers while commending her for being practical. And when she's purposely difficult, he has the audacity to tell her how much he likes women who "jump to conclusions."

Nothing she does riles him, though everything he does drives her up the wall. The nerve, trying to intimidate her into selling her property so he can build a 20-story building. Who ever heard of such a thing? Twenty stories, indeed. Well, she means to fight him every step of the way, even if she is head over handlebars in love!

Margaret promises to return Mel Gibson's call, clean her office and answer all her mail. P.O. Box 4528, Simi Valley, CA 93093-4528 E-mail M.Brownley@genie.geis.com


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