Fanny–raised as a poor relation by her jocular Uncle Edgar–is ready to seize her opportunity to flee England and become one of Florence Nightingale’s nurses. Then, she sees the two small children that she came to London to meet. One glimpse of her uncle’s new (also impoverished) wards–who have been shipped all the way from China–convinces the young woman that she cannot leave them to grow up at Darkwater without her. How can she condemn them to the miserable childhood she herself endured?
Maud Radford grows up in misery in an isolated house called Greystones. Her mother is a selfish spendthrift whose infidelity may have caused her husband’s death, and it is all Maud can do to look forward to the day the hateful old woman dies. When it finally happens, Maud takes control of her own destiny, lives her own life, and even falls in love. Yet, at the same time, there is something terribly, terribly wrong happening in Greystones . . .
Allison Weatherby and her mother–both widowed and impoverished– would have been in trouble without the generous care of Thorne d’Aumont, Marquess of Silverthorne. Having grown up with him and his cousin, James Betterton, Allison has always trusted Thorne completely. She might just be falling in love with him . . . and she thinks, he with her. Then, one night, Thorne proposes the impossible: to make Allison his mistress–but not his wife. Affronted and disillusioned, she flees Thorne’s household . . . perhaps to her own destruction.
After many years of working for a living, Maggie Chambers learns that she has inherited Bride’s Leap, a truly gothic edifice. Soon, she and her new companion, Constance, set out for Maggie’s new estate. Oddly, she’s plagued by accidents on the way–including a near-kidnapping that she is saved from by Captain Ian Sherrill. Unfortunately, when yet another “incident” opens Ian’s recently-received wound, he has little choice but to recuperate at Bride’s Leap. At least his forced convalescence will give him a chance to figure out who is behind the murder attempts–and who the mysterious “ghost” that haunts Maggie’s balcony actually is.
Rodney Nairn, not yet out of his teens, is in a terrible fix: his wastrel of a father is selling off everything the young man holds dear and has concocted an arranged marriage for him. Fortunately, Rodney’s honesty to his potential father-in-law, a merchant, about his reluctance for the match deflects his union with fifteen-year-old Judith Hammerton. Yet the glimpses the protagonists exchange in their initial encounter leave impressions. When Judith and Rodney, the new Lord Quenton, meet five years later, they must discover if their teenage attraction can survive the reality of adulthood. That is, if Rodney manages to escape the mysterious individual that threatens his life . . .
For years, the Ghost of Hammerswold castle has appeared to his descendants to advise them about whom to marry to ensure their family’s future security. The current heir, Lord Jared Faverill, is on the path to dissipation, destruction and an early grave. After he has a fit of apoplexy, his grandparents are desperate to get him wed and reformed. What better method can there be than to hold a Halloween house party, populated by eligible blondes, to tempt the ghost to appear and make his choice?
After the deaths of her father and her fiancé, the dashing Brion de Vaudraye, Climene is determined to purchase the mysterious old Vaudraye castle. Ignoring the advice of a guardian she’d never met (Captain Moreau), Climene moves into her unnerving new home . . . only to discover that it is rumored to the the gathering-place of a coven of devil-worshiping witches. When her guardian is murdered and Philippe–the “God of the Witches” who had been executed centuries before–appears in her house, Climene wishes she’d headed Moreau’s warning. Continue reading “Castle at Witches’ Coven”
Lady Elinor Melbourne had no idea she was an heiress. She was working as a governess when her estranged uncle’s solicitors informed her that she had inherited a fortune, an estate, and a rambling mansion. Now, she is trying to improve the decaying property with the help of her neighbor, Sir Michael Grenville. At the same time, she is being pursued by her amorous cousin, Sir Francis Crowley. Then, a series of strange occurrences begin: a servant is murdered, plans of her home are stolen, and the weeping ghost of her uncle’s wife–who killed herself during her pregnancy–begins to roam the hallways.
The red-headed Maggie McNair has had a rough life in pre-Revolutionary Boston. After her father and then her mother’s deaths, her stepfather (Zeke Preston) has taken over her parents’ business, Black Horse Tavern. The gritty inn is the favorite haunt of a bevy of British soldiers. Some are gentlemen-like, but most are as despicable as her stepfather, who is ready to turn her into a prostitute and works her to the bone in order to break her to his will. Fortunately, Maggie has secrets: She knows the hidden rooms and exits to the tavern, and she becomes the wife of one of the leaders of the Rebel cause–the educated, cultured, and daring Seth Wright. These circumstances make her an invaluable spy, but also put her in grave danger.
When the imperious Duke of Strathrannock suddenly summons his eight-year-old, orphaned niece to be raised as his heiress and the future leader of his Clan, her guardian, Fiona Windham, is filled with indignation. How dare the man who had–along with his bigoted father–disinherited her brother-in-law for marrying an Englishwoman try to separate Fiona from her ward?