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When you read “Gem City Gypsy” you must conceptualize a whole world.
The Wright Brothers.
Industrialization leading to WWI.
So many vivid elements. The story is about a gypsy girl who must leap over bodies to survive the sinking Lusitania and escape murderous Germans who kill her mentor in Ireland. She later returns to her hometown, recreated as a wealthy woman trying to meld into the upper class. Neci Star captures our imagination and heart as she claws her way out of one class and into the abyss of another.
She didn’t like the way he looked at her.
Nineteen-year-old Neci Stans scurried around the small cottage, tidying things that looked out of place, and trying not to make eye contact with Graham Moore. She tried to pretend he didn’t make her nervous or self-conscious, because she knew that was exactly what he was trying to do.
He gave her looks. Those looks. Neci had seen gazes like this before, from men just like Graham Moore. Perhaps she was even used to them. She knew what they meant; what they wanted. But unlike other times in her life, Neci felt safe; protected.
She knew this was because of Lord Pool, and how he treated her. The whole reason she was here, safe, and living in Kinsale, Ireland, was because of Lord Pool. She owed him everything. He’d rescued her from more than death, when they both survived the sinking of the Lusitania after it was torpedoed by a German sub. He’d rescued her from a life she didn’t want to live, teaching her to be a proper young lady, to speak correctly; dress correctly; act correctly.
She’d already been on her way, traveling with the Hubbards–as a maidservant–on the Lusitania to what she was sure was a new life and bigger and better things. Things didn’t end up the way she planned. While at first it was terrifying, the end result was even better than she could have planned. Neci was no longer just a “wild gypsy” girl. She had become a proper lady. It was all she had ever wanted.
Lord Pool lost his family in the horrible event. He watched them die, and was helpless to save them. Then an explosion knocked him overboard and he awoke on a small fishing boat to find Neci caring for him.
Neci knew she’d become a substitute for his lost wife and daughter. But she didn’t mind, or care. She was all he had, and he was there to help her achieve her dreams. She had him and her beloved dog, Theda, and they took the place of her family back in the States.
For the past two years they had lived peacefully in Kinsale, Ireland. Neci had escaped the gypsy camp—a rather dramatic escape, she thought ironically, remember her time floating in the water escaping the sinking Lusitania–and now she had learned the finer things in life from the elegant, refined, and kind-hearted Lord Pool. Graham Moore wasn’t going to change that, even though she was pretty sure he wanted to do just that.
She didn’t care what she had to do. This man she did not trust, with his quick tongue and his fiery eyes, had an agenda. Even though he was ruggedly handsome, despite the horrible war trench scar that ran from his left eye to his chin. It made him look very dangerous, which was appropriate, because Neci knew he was not to be trusted. She could sense it. She had, after all, been born a gypsy girl with a gypsy heart.