Get drawn into the London setting of this historical romance to join Nathan and Vanessa as they open their broken hearts and try to love a second time. Their journey is not an easy one; will they end up hurting worse this time?
This novel is about finding love a second time when one feels that all has been lost and there's no future, nor anyone to share it with. Vanessa and her hero will enchant you and pull you into this page-turner set in England, 1778 as they travel the oceans and attend London's balls with the English aristocracy.
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While avenging the death of his fiancé years earlier, Michael Nathaniel Clairmont, Duke of North Yorkshire, learns that he CAN love again. Will the woman he wants also learn to love again? He sets out to capture her heart.
Vanessa is heartbroken over recent events in her life; she’s also head strong, flaunts London aristocracy and takes on breeding horses, something unheard of in the society circles of London. She finds herself trying to put the pieces of her life back together, but can she do it alone? With a child on the way, she is forced to do just that - their future depends on her strength. Then a friend offers to help. Dare she trust a man sworn to carry out a vow taken on a death bed? She refuses to accept that his love is true when his honor of sticking to his word is also at stake.
Can Nathan survive another heartache? Join him and Vanessa as they work through the torments of their past and work together to fight for their love and a future together.
Note to readers: These characters are being reincarnated to meet again in my next book, Whispers at Ghost Point, a contemporary romance, due out in late fall of 2012.
North Yorkshire, England, 1775
Michael ‘Nathaniel’ Clairmont, the Fourth Duke of North Yorkshire, crumpled the missive he’d received from his fiancée’s parents as he raked his fingers through his shoulder length hair. Fear tightened his chest as he stepped to the door and called to his squire. “Prepare Caesar, now!”
Stepping back into the room, he addressed his longtime friend, Anthony Faulkner. “I’m going to see Lady Stockholm’s parents. Clarissa is missing. Are you with me?”
Faulkner jammed his tricorn hat atop his head. “Bloody right I am!”
Moments later, after meeting with the Stockholm’s, Michael urged his bay Barb to greater speed along side Anthony’s. An unnatural scattering of branches and leaves strewn about the road ahead caught his attention. He reined Caesar and dismounted for a closer look.
Footprints of horses and men marred the dirt and led deeper into the woods where the underbrush lay trampled and broken.
After tethering Caesar to a branch, he motioned for Faulkner to follow him along the path. A piece of green silk shimmered atop a briar bush, and Michael grabbed up the soft material. It was the color he’d last seen on Clarissa. The fragrance of jasmine assailed his senses. His eyes widened in recognition of the scent...the same one Clarissa wore!
He gripped the material in his fist. Bile rose in his throat as fear knotted his gut. Though afraid of what he’d find ahead, he pushed forward; low-hanging branches slapped at his face and caught at his shoulder-length hair. He pushed the foliage out of his way and tromped the underbrush in his desperate search.
When he reached out to block another branch, a silk stocking skimmed his face and he grabbed the stocking for inspection. Michael looked at Faulkner’s worried face, swore under his breath and moved on but a foreboding feeling ate at his senses, almost like being watched.
He couldn’t miss a gown strewn atop the bushes. The shock that tore throughout his system stopped Michael dead in his tracks, his muscles recoiling in reaction. Meticulously arranged over the waist-high bushes, as if in preparation for wear, lay a dark green silk gown, a vicious tear low in the neckline. His gaze moved slowly over the material. Tightness gripped his chest, feeling as though someone had reached in and squeezed his heart, the pain so intense it burned. He touched Faulkner’s arm, and gritted his teeth. “It’s the gown Clarissa wore at the ball last night,” he said in a gut-wrenching rasp. His gaze searched the area until the very thing he wanted to avoid seeing lay before him. His body froze.
A bare, delicate ankle peeked from beneath the underbrush.
Lunging forward like a wild beast, ravaging the area, throwing branches and uprooting ferns, he uncovered her body...clad only in her white satin chemise, splattered with her own blood.
His tortured scream echoed throughout the surrounding forest as he fell to his knees beside her battered body. Praying she might hear, he whispered her name. Touching her bruised cheek--he found it still warm. A flicker of hope ignited within his heart as he pressed his fingertips against the slim column of her throat. Moments later, finding no trace of a pulse, that slight flicker of hope extinguished itself. His mind was a whirlwind of thoughts at who could be her killer.
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