Garters by Pamela Morsi

An impoverished hill girl tries to marry a shopkeeper to help her family.


Never underestimate the power of a pair of garters. 
Esme Crabb has spent a lifetime in the mountains trying to stir up good gravy from watery "poor-do". And she's had no help from her ne'er-do-well father or silly sisters. The family lives rough and gets by beholden to their neighbors. Esme was hoping the twins could marry well, but like everything that needs doing in her family, it seems she has to do it herself. Cleavis Rhy, Vader, Tennessee's prosperous storekeep hardly takes notice of the raggedy hill girl. That is until she asks him to marry her. 

That will never happen. 
Cleav, a would-be gentleman, has been all the way to Knoxville for study. And as self-taught pisciculturist he corresponds with some of the best academics in the field. He has a love of reading and an enjoyment of stimulating conversation. He's romantic ambitions lie, much more reasonably, in the direction of the quiet and refined charms of the pastor's daughter.
An ignorant hill girl in a shabby dress and sagging stockings holds no interest for him. Nothing on earth could ever bring those two together. 

Genre: FICTION / Romance / Historical

Language: English


Word Count: 90,000

Sales info:

This book is a romance classic that has been racking up sales for over 20 years in North America. It was chosen as Favorite Book of the Year by RT Magazine when it came out in 1993. And was re-released for the first time in digital format in 2011. Today it's ranking is about 5,000 in historical romance.

Sample text:

Winter was still enough of a memory to whip a distinct chill into the morning breeze, and the smoky-gray haze had not been burned off by the sun. Yet on this inhospitable morning Esme Crabb made her way down the mountain, her threadbare coat pulled tightly about her. Her thoughts, however, were not on the weather.

When she reached the foot of the mountain, Esme made a quick stop to right herself. Hiking up her skirt, she pulled at the much-mended black wool stockings that now clung precariously at her knee. After first carefully smoothing the material up her thigh, she rolled it down about two inches. Grabbing one edge of the roll, she twisted it until the material tightened, painfully digging into her flesh. The near-knotted twist was carefully tucked underneath the roll. It was a makeshift solution, not as good as garters, but such trifling matters didn't concern Esme.

Stockings straight and skirt brushed, Esme raised her chin, proud. She was wearing her Sunday best and bravely assured herself that if she did as good as she looked, she'd do all right. With a determined stride she headed for the store.

       Her sisters had really gotten her into this, she supposed. The twins were now seventeen and, to Esme's thinking, the prettiest girls in the county. Most considered them to be identical and they sure to graces had the same shortcomings! Presently, both of them were calf-eyed and mooning over Armon Hightower, and a more worthless piece of Tennessee manhood never existed, except maybe for Esme's own pa.

Ma had been just like the twins, all starry-eyed over a handsome face and broad shoulders. Well, Ma had won her handsome face and broad shoulders, and then she'd worked herself to death for them. Esme was determined that her sisters wouldn't meet the same fate. That's why she was here.


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