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.
Sarah Tallentire is in a difficult position: she is the daughter of a wealthy strip-miner in Rivertown, and the man she is involved with is an avid environmentalist who opposes everything her father represents. Lance Glover–a hill-person who rose above his roots and became a local school teacher–has always been fascinated with her. Then, suddenly, Sarah and Lance find themselves a married couple, living under her father’s roof. Sarah never anticipates the anger roiling through the Rivertown community until the strip-miners dig up the bodies of two children whose parents wouldn’t give up their land. This callous event leads to a bitter conflict between the hill-people and miners, Yankee welfare workers and conservative local factions, and Lance and Sarah. As the battle heats up, Sarah finds herself being ripped to pieces–to whom must she be loyal? Her father . . . or her husband?
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.