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Maid to Match

Maid to Match

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An excerpt from Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist, published by Bethany House Publishers.

Falling in Love Could Cost Her Everything

From the day she arrives at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled--by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack's rugged behavior by tutoring him in proper servant etiquette, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie's efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt's lady's maid. After all, the one rule of the house is no romance below stairs.

But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangled in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs, their aspirations ... and their hearts.
An excerpt from Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist, published by Bethany House Publishers.

Falling in Love Could Cost Her Everything

From the day she arrives at the Biltmore, Tillie Reese is dazzled--by the riches of the Vanderbilts and by Mack Danvers, a mountain man turned footman. When Tillie is enlisted to help tame Mack's rugged behavior by tutoring him in proper servant etiquette, the resulting sparks threaten Tillie's efforts to be chosen as Edith Vanderbilt's lady's maid. After all, the one rule of the house is no romance below stairs.

But the stakes rise even higher when Mack and Tillie become entangled in a cover-up at the town orphanage. They could both lose their jobs, their aspirations ... and their hearts.

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Published by: Bethany House Publishers on May 07, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/05/2013

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chapter 
One 
Biltmore EstateNear Asheville, North CarolinaAugust 1898
L
ike a butterfly breaking free from its confining cocoon,
Tillie Reese emerged from the barren, tan-colored
servants’ hall into the opulence of Biltmore’s main level. Thesepredawn hours were her favorite. All was dark, no one stirred,
and she had the entire floor—easily a half acre in size—all
to herself.
She’d walked this path many times and could navigate
it without candle or lamp. For just a moment, she imagined
herself mistress of the chateau. Elegantly dressed, gliding acrossthe parquet and trying to decide whether to have Chef prepare
 petites bouchées
or
 puits d’amour
. Whether to spend the morn-
ing reading Yeats, Browning, or Dickens. Whether to call the
 
12
deeanne Gist
carriage round for a drive through the country or ride one of the thoroughbreds waiting in the stable.Tightening her grip on her housemaid’s box, she inhaleddeeply. The polish she’d made of linseed oil, vinegar, turpen-tine, and wine tickled her nose. She allowed herself a sneeze—something strictly forbidden were anyone about.The click of her heels echoed throughout the vast, wide-open area as she skirted the sunken atrium filled with palms,
exotic plants, blooming shrubs, and a large fountain sculpture
yet to be turned on. She finally reached the tapestry galleryand paused, listening to the silence, enjoying the anonymity
of the dark.
Let there be light 
.
She pushed the familiar white button. Electric lights flared,
illuminating a room so long it could hold two modest houses.Several groupings of sage brocade sofas and chairs filled thearea. Huge tapestries lined one wall. Opposite them stood awall of windows and French doors.The soft hum of the Edison bulbs bid her good morning.The thrill and miracle of the electric lights never failed to stirher. But this morning something else warred for her attention,
and suddenly, the light made her feel exposed, vulnerable,
naked.
She touched the black button. Darkness slammed back
down like a closing trunk lid. All was quiet again. Not a whis-per of sound.
She held her breath. Felt her heart hammering in her breast.
And allowed the thought she’d been hiding since last night tofully form in her head.Bénédicte was leaving. Returning to France. Leaving thenew Mrs. Vanderbilt without a lady’s maid.
A lady’s maid 
. Next to housekeeper, the highest-ranking

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