A Lady of High Regard by Tracie Peterson, 2007.
The first in a new series, Ladies of Liberty, A Lady of High Regard is set in Philadelphia. Our heroine, Mia Stanley is the daughter of a wealthy businessman--or should I say the daughter of a retired businessman. But she is not spoiled rotten. Prone to getting into trouble? Yes. Sometimes a little too outspoken? Yes. But spoiled and selfish? Never. Mia is a reporter for Godey's Lady's Book, the very popular publication of a Mrs. Hale. And her mission of the moment is to see that justice is done for the poor living on the wrong side of town--the docks and waterfront. The wives and widows of sailors who are struggling to survive and raise their children. When Mia learns that one of the rent collectors is raping the women who can't pay, she knows she has to do something. The problem, she is not good at delegating when it comes to saving the downtrodden. Luckily, her neighbor and best friend, Garrett Wilson is always keeping track of her whereabouts. For one thing, this friendship means much much more to him. Suddenly, this girl-next-door is the woman he can't imagine living his life without. Can Garrett win her heart by saving the day?