Title: A Balancing Act
Author: Ilona Fridl
Genre: Historical Romance
Lenora LaRue, Bareback Rider Extraordinaire, is the star of her family ’s circus—until a cyclone hits. A main tent pole falls on her during the storm, and when her injuries require the loss of her leg, her family abandons her, believing she is of no further use to them.
John Mallory, the young surgeon who does the necessary operation, decides to help her readjust to the real world, against his father's advice. John takes her to his aunt’s sanitarium in the resort city of Waukesha, Wisconsin, where the two of them undertake to teach Lenora how to live outside the harsh circus culture that has been her whole life. He sets up a practice in the town to be near her, positive that rehabilitation is possible.As a woman doubly cursed by society as both a cripple and a former circus performer, Lenora is not so sure. She struggles to learn social skills…but can she learn what love is, too?
The young man nodded to her, but his eyes were sad. “Miss La Rue, I’m Dr. Mallory, your surgeon. I need to talk to you.”
The nurse set a tray of bandages and tools on a stand by Nora’s bed. She, too, looked sad. She slipped her hand around Nora’s and squeezed it slightly.
Mallory absently ran his fingers through his hair. “You asked what happened.” He paused. “Miss La Rue, from what I was told, you were found under the tent with your leg trapped under a horse and a tent post. Apparently, in it's death struggles, the horse ground your leg into the wooden blocks of the ring.”
Nora’s throat constricted and tears filled her eyes. “King is dead?” She gripped the nurse’s hand.
He nodded. “That’s what I was told.” He took a deep breath. “Your leg was severely shattered. We had to remove it above the knee.”
What he told her went through her ears, but her mind rejected it. What seemed like an eternity passed before she realized what he said. Shaking, she sat partway up, lifted the sheet and looked down at the bandaged stump that was once her right leg. “No! Oh, please, no! It can’t be gone! Put it back! Put it back!” A wail came from her throat like it had been sent from the bowels of hell.
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Why is your featured book a must-read?
It's set in the fabulous Springs Era in Waukesha circa the 1890s. Waukesha was world-famous at that time, and the water was deemed a cure-all, so many went there for treatment.
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Ilona Fridl was born in West Hollywood, California, where she developed an interest in the movie industry. 'Silver Screen Heroes' came to be from her love of silent movies. When she was in her twenties, she moved to Wisconsin where she lives now. She always had a love of writing, but a hatred of typewriters, so she started writing when she got her first computer. She sold short stories to magazines, but always dreamed of selling a novel. She credits her family and friends as her biggest cheerleaders. She has written seven novels for The Wild Rose Press.
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