Ann Colbert–recently married to the charming Glenn Stacey–is struck by a sudden blow: her father dies, leaving her alone in Boston. After receiving a desperate, half-finished letter from her childhood nurse, Miss Lucy, Ann rushes to fly to her childhood home in Devon. There, she meets the cousins she’d never known: the Thornes of Valicombe, a crumbling old mansion. After learning of Miss Lucy’s sudden death just days before, Ann sets herself up in her nurse’s cottage, determined to wait for her husband to arrive. Glenn never appears, however, and Ann finds herself drawn into a terrible intrigue.
Ariel Adams is in a bit of a pickle; her now-former business partner, darn her, has gone and fallen in love, abruptly. Ariel had been planning to spend a couple of years building up the business, then going on her own, but this change means she’ll have to really step up her game. Fortunately, the now-googly-eyed ex-partner has handed over all the client leads–and a beach house! She gets to the beach house, and discovers something she hadn’t been told: it is in the process of renovation, by a sexy beach bum named Jake Renner!
When the shipwrecked Marc de Courtenay washes up on the shores of French-occupied Scotland, he is picked up by the badly-scarred Lady Isobel Dalceann. Since her late father had been one of the few Scottish lords to refuse to bend to French rule, her castle has been under siege for ages. Nevertheless, something draws Isobel to Marc. She allows him into her keep, where she nurses him back to health. They also fall in love–but can their love survive when Marc returns, the head of the army that has been sent to crush Dalceann once and for all?
Note: This book deserves a TRIGGER WARNING, not just in the rating, but also above the fold.
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.
After the passing of her parents and the death of her cousin-fiancé, Dracot, Diana Gardiner is in a terrible position. Impoverished, she is living on the charity of her unctuous and obsequious relations, Lord and Lady Radley. Their son is abusing her younger brother, Archie, just because he communicates better with animals than people. Escape is essential, but Diana has nowhere to go. Then, she receives a letter addressed to “D. Gardiner” from the Earl of Blaize. The Earl is in need of a librarian. Diana jumps at the opportunity. After all, she is as much a scholar as Dracot had been.
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.
Phoebe Benedict is prepared for a fight when she shows up (with a kitten) at Simon Clare’s doorstep. After all, he was expecting his sister Diana to come and care for his dangerously ill son, Robert. Instead, Phoebe arrives. Simon Clare is known for his temper, and he has been a recluse since he was injured and scarred by an engine upon which he was experimenting. He is also scarred by his past–one that he would hide from the delectable Miss Benedict. Only her skill with Robert persuades Simon to keep Phoebe on.
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.
Grace Curtis used to be from the higher-ups, but her father, prior to his death, squandered their wealth, and died in debt. Grace took charge of her life, and went to work for the local baker–first, to work off her family’s debt, then for herself. The old Lord Thomson loves her little cream pastries, and is kind to her…and upon his death, leaves her with a little home to live in, and a difficult charge–take his bastard son in!
Captain Duncan is a prisoner of war, held in the notorious prison at Dartmoor, a privateer on the wrong side of an encouter with a English man-o-war. When Grace goes with Lord Thomson’s solicitor to fetch the man on parole, though, he’s dying, and his final wish is for her to take in one of his men, who will pose as him. Grace looks around her, and chooses the sailing master, Rob Inman.