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.
After almost falling prey to a fortune hunter during her first season, Lucy Percy flees to the country-side to escape the scandal. To secure her anonymity, she trades names with her aunt and companion. Now known as “Mrs. Percy,” who tragically lost her husband in the war, Lucy is ready for her peaceful, cottage retreat. Unfortunately, she attracts the ire of her neighbor, Lord Avedon. He suspects her of being a low-bred schemer bent on ensnaring his ward, a witless, wealthy young nephew and Lucy’s landlord. Thus begins a furious campaign: Avedon swears to evict Lucy Percy by any means necessary, and Lucy is equally determined to remain in her cottage and defy her tormentor.
Miles Fletcher, a dandy who has made his living by dealing in beautiful art, is about to inherit his ailing uncle’s vast estate. After Uncle Lester has an unusually good night at the card table, he sends Miles to a house party to “save an innocent lamb from being fleeced.” Little does Miles know that the innocent lamb–one Aurora Ramsay–would be a diamond in the rough. Little does he know that they would strike a bargain: she will teach him how to run a farm, and in exchange he will teach her the skills necessary to secure a wealthy husband. And little does he know that he would fall in love with her.
Deme Chattox, the eldest of five sisters who are all witches, rushes back to Chicago when her youngest sister, Aurai, vanishes during a sorority initiation. She and the other four Chattoxes have high hopes for the undercover detective that has been assigned to the case. What makes the situation all the more difficult for Deme is the fact that the detective is none other than the wildly attractive Cal Black, the man whose proposal of marriage drove Deme away a year earlier. Then, it becomes clear that Aurai’s disappearance is the work of a malignant supernatural power . . .
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”
Mary Grey’s life isn’t what one would wish. She spent her last few dollars to travel from Canada to the UK, where she lives in a dingy apartment and works in a cafe. Then, on a day trip into the countryside, she meets the dangerous and charismatic Connor, who mistakes Mary for a long-lost heiress, Annabel Winslow. Due to Mary’s poverty, her remarkable resemblance to Annabel, and Con’s passionate desire to manipulate Annabel’s dying grandfather into willing the Winslow land to him, a plan emerges: Mary will pose as the presumably-dead Annabel and ensure that Con gets what he wants. In exchange, Mary will receive a competence. All is going well until a man from Annabel’s past appears–and Mary realizes that her life may be in as much danger as Annabel’s had been eight years earlier.
Brandon Wycroft, Earl of Stockport, and the investors in his proposed textile mill have been plagued by a cat-burgler who is bent on shutting down their venture. One night, as Brandon and his colleagues are meeting, the burglar strikes his own home. When he corners the crafty creature, he discovers that the person who has plagued his project is a woman–and a very sexy one who is willing to use her wiles to escape. Frustrated in more than one way, Brandon swears to discover the identity of the desirable woman he dubs “Cat.”
In Jerusalem, Isidora Binte Deogel watches as her father–a driven and talented alchemist–slowly poisons himself with his dangerous experiments. Shut out from his scholarship, Isidora struggles both with her exclusion and her dislike for the obsession that is driving her father to madness and death. Then a handsome, fair knight, Lucien de Griswold, arrives at their doorstep, obsessed with a desire to learn alchemy himself. Several years after Lucien’s return to England, Deogel’s dying wish is for Isidora to deliver his dangerous discoveries to his favorite apprentice. This request compels the young woman to travel to a new land and either betray her father or give the man she loves the key to his own destruction.
Mrs. Joanna Merrill is a proud woman: when her husband dies, she is unwilling to throw herself into the care of her older brother. Instead, she works as a governess. When her lecherous employer forces her to flee with pennies in her pocket, she travels across the country to her brother’s house. When she arrives–famished, dirty, and frozen through–at the estate he manages, she learns he’s been dismissed from his post. In his place she finds the new manager, Ned Greaves, and promptly faints at his feet. As for Mr. Greaves, he has bigger problems than a mysterious woman at his doorstep. He is, in fact, Sir Edward Greaves, new owner of the impoverished and ruined estate, operating in disguise to uncover the criminal elements who are inciting locals to violence.
Miss Claire Yelland is in a tight spot: almost alone in the world, she has few options for employment. Therefore, she turns to the theatre, reinventing herself as the dashing Clairisse Deschampes. She goes to great pains to hide her identity beneath a raven wig and guards her virtue to such an extent that she becomes known as the “Iceberg.” Then, her younger brother gets into a scrape that requires a large sum of money fast. Claire must make an uncomfortable bargain to save him: she agrees to marry the jaded Sir Egon Hollister. Egon wants to thumb his nose at his imperious, matchmaking grandmother by parading a scandalous bride at her house-party. Now, Claire must give the performance of a lifetime: loving newlywed in public, indifferent professional in private–while enduring Sir Egon’s assumption that she is a loose woman . . .