An American Beauty
ISBN: 978-1-4967-3943-8 (e-book)
A true story of rags-to-riches, and the remarkable woman who defied convention to enjoy life on her own glittering terms.
Even as a teen, Arabella Yarrington was the primary breadwinner for her widowed mother and four siblings. She survived the Civil War working in an illegal gambling saloon in Richmond, Virginia, enchanting customers with her wit and remarkable beauty.
Collis Huntington is a railroad tycoon and one of the wealthiest men in America, a self-made multimillionaire and extraordinary visionary who becomes drawn to Belle like the ocean to the moon.
It’s not a match made in heaven—but on hard, practical earth. They begin an affair that rocks high society and catapults Belle and her family to the fabulous opulence of Gilded Age Manhattan, where food is plentiful and extravagance is the rule. Posing as a genteel Southern widow, Belle begins to amass a fortune of her own, all the while living in the shadow of her married lover.
Their relationship is an open secret, and no one is surprised when Belle and Collis wed after the death of his wife. Now out of the shadows, society’s elite still shuns her, and no amount of money or jewels or the fine art she collects will change that. Belle, however, remains determined to forge her own path and damn the consequences...even while being blackmailed about her past.
Even while accidently—and catastrophically—discovering true love with a man who isn’t Collis...
“An interesting examination of a lesser-known figure from the Gilded Age, one whose story extends beyond the confines of late-19th-century New York…fans of stories set during the period will find much to enjoy. This story of one woman’s ascent offers a fascinating look at the choices she made to become a Gilded Age titan.” – Kirkus Reviews on An American Beauty