By: Debra White Smith

A Contemporary Retelling of Persuasion

To my wonderful friend

Rose Blackburn.

You know the whole Smith clan

loves you!


Allie Elton: Based upon Anne Elliot from Persuasion. The daughter of Richard Elton, Allie is devoted to her family and to the legacy of Georgia Gold Plantation.

Brent Everson: Based upon William Elliot from Persuasion. Brent married Richard Elton’s niece, who was killed in a tragic accident. Brent is in search of another rich wife.

Darren and Sophia Cosby: Based upon Admiral Croft and Sophie Croft from Persuasion. Darren is married to Frederick Wently’s sister, Sophia. The Cosbys are personable, successful, and wealthy.

Evelyn Elton: Based upon Elizabeth Elliot from Persuasion. The eldest daughter of Richard Elton, Evelyn manages the Elton mansion and tries to manage everybody and everything else in her sphere.

Frederick Wently: Based upon Frederick Wentworth from Persuasion. Frederick joined the Air Force and was a fighter pilot in the war in Afghanistan. He came home a decorated hero. His love for flying is second only to his love for Allie Elton.

Helena Grove: Based upon Henrietta Musgrove from Persuasion. The younger daughter of Charlie Sr. and Martha Grove, Helena is considering marrying Craig Hayden.

Jim Bennington: Based upon James Benwick from Persuasion. A close friend of Frederick Wently, Jim mourns the death of his fiancée, Felicity Harvey.

Landon Russ: Based upon Lady Russell from Persuasion. Allie Elton’s aunt, Landon is Allie’s best friend and confidante. She believes she has Allie’s best interest at heart.

Louise Grove: Based upon Louisa Musgrove from Persuasion. An incurable flirt, Louise is the eldest daughter of Charles Sr. and Martha Grove.

Macy Elton Grove: Based upon Mary Elliot Musgrove from Persuasion. A hypochondriac, Macy is married to Charlie Grove Jr. and is Allie Elton’s sister.

Penny Clayton: Based upon Penelope Clay from Persuasion. Penny Clayton is the gold-digging friend of Evelyn Elton. She uses her friendship with Evelyn to further her chances of matrimony.

Richard Elton: Based upon Sir Walter Elliot from Persuasion. Richard is the third wealthiest man in Georgia. He is the father of Allie and Evelyn Elton and Macy Elton Grove.

Sarah Hamilton: Based upon Hamilton Smith from Persuasion. Sarah is Allie Elton’s dear friend from high school. Although Allie’s family disapproves of her relationship with someone from lower financial standing, Allie and Sarah share a “sister” bond.


“A yardman!” Landon Russ’s thin eyebrows arched. “You’re wanting to marry a yardman?” Her blue eyes couldn’t have been wider . . . or more disdainful.

Allie Elton’s face went cold. Even the afternoon heat suffocating the Georgia plantation couldn’t stop the rash of chills. She never considered that her aunt would object to her enraptured news. Never. Allie’s fingers tightened around her sweating lemonade glass, and she stared at the droplets trickling down the tumbler until her eyes stung and the lemon slices blurred. She ducked her head before continuing. “I thought you knew we were—”

“I saw you were friends, yes. We all saw that, your father included, but we thought that’s all it was—that, plus the fact that you had to work together. But we thought you had the good sense not to—We never imagined you would—”

Aunt Landon sprang from the back porch’s swing and hovered over her niece, only twelve years her junior. “Allie, this can’t happen! It won’t happen! Your father will never let it happen!”

Allie pressed her sneakers against the wooden porch. The swing stopped swaying. She blinked. Her eyes misted anew. A tiny blur of feathers and beak zipped into her peripheral vision. Afraid to lift her focus from the lemonade, Allie refrained from even glancing toward the hummingbird. The diminutive creatures gorged themselves on the sweet liquid Allie provided in the feeders hanging from the porch. She loved watching the birds and considered each of them her friend. But now she was beyond even their influence.

Aunt Landon’s disapproval bore into Allie, ushering in a barrage of thoughts that tore at her heart. In the midst of the mental whirlwind, one thing became increasingly clear: She had misread the entire situation. She thought her family knew she and Frederick were falling in love. And she thought they would approve since they all seemed to like him.