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Lady Genneva Harrington is horrified when she stumbles upon the dead body of her former suitor, Count Duprey. She fears her hot-headed brother killed the count in a fit of anger and revenge because the count has discarded Genneva like last season’s hunting jacket. Waves of regret and doubt besiege her, but when her brother disappears, she vows his innocence and determines to save him from the hangman's noose by finding the count's real murderer.
When she meets the notorious rake, Lord Blackbone, shortly after the count's death, Genneva believes she has an ally. Yet, she must risk not only her reputation by associating with the wicked man, but risk her heart as well by trusting him. He, too, has a mysterious connection to the count. Will Blackborne's motives for corroborating with Genneva prove more dangerous than any murderer's schemes?
“Don’t shoot anyone, Charles,” Lady Genneva Harrington prayed as her carriage flew down the London Street. The bitter taste of desperation filled her mouth. She had to reach her brother, Charles, before he lost his head and shot Count Duprey. A shudder of fear raced through her.
If only Charles hadn’t seized his pistol before he stormed from their home. She covered her ears with trembling hands, but her brother’s menacing voice played over and over in her mind: I’ll make the count regret hurting you. He can’t rescind his offer of marriage on the night of the ball! The gossips will spread your humiliation among all the guests.
The coach’s brakes squealed in protest as the vehicle slowed before the well-lit townhouse in the darkness. Thank heavens she had finally arrived.
Swallowing her fear, she flung the door open and jumped from the still rolling conveyance. She heard the shout of the surprised driver as her feet splashed across the muddy ground, splaying the dirt. Ahead, she spotted a crowd gathered at the entrance.
“What ill luck,” she mumbled. She’d arrived during the crush. Pushing through the startled guests, Genneva made no excuses for her rude behavior.
She must speak to her brother before he acted foolishly. No doubt the count and his aunt, Lady Fleming, had disappeared into the ballroom with their company.
Inside the marble hallway, Genneva desperately searched through the milling visitors for a footman. Spying one of the servants, she darted to his side. “Is the count in the ballroom?”
The craggy faced man tossed a glance over his shoulder and leaned closer. His large frame hid the others from her view, and a large scar stood out across his cheek. “I believe Count Duprey retired to his library for a private moment with one of the gentlemen.”
A startled gasp escaped from her mouth. “Was it my brother?”
When the footman gaped at her she added, “Did the gentleman have bright red hair?”
“No!” she picked up the hem of her emerald day gown and fled down the narrow hallway. In the dimly lit corridor, walled portraits of deceased relations frowned at her in disapproval. Over and over she pictured Charles’ flushed, angry features and threatening voice. Rounding the hall corner, a large white form loomed up at her. She startled and halted.
“Oh,” she gasped. It was only an ancient statue of a warrior from one of the famous count’s collections. He had the statues shipped from his home in France when he inherited the London townhouse.
Gathering herself for the confrontation, she glanced at the doors lining the corridor. She must pay attention. Where was the library? She drew in deep breaths. Think. Had she passed it? She mustn’t waste precious time wandering the hall.
Genneva began to walk, searching for anything familiar. Suddenly she noted a stern gray-haired man peering down at her. Yes, she remembered the portrait from an earlier visit with the count. The painting graced the wall beside the library door.
She exhaled in relief. With hope and fear spinning within, she faced the walnut-paneled door. A soft light shone from beneath. “Mercy, Charles, please don’t do anything foolish,” she whispered.
Genneva edged closer to the panel and hesitated, listening for her brother’s voice. A soft rustling sound came from behind the wood. In her mind, she saw Charles aiming his black pistol at the count.
She jumped forward, grasping the cold brass handle and pushed the door open. Cool, rain-scented air greeted her. Another odor that she didn’t recognize permeated the room.
Her attention flew past the book-lined walls of the chamber to the heavy red curtains fluttering about the open terrace doors. Chills raced up her arms. Rubbing them, she took another step inside and peered toward the dark end of the square room. The breeze had extinguished the candles near the terrace. “Jean Pierre?”
"The book was enormously entertaining from beginning to end. The characters were well developed and interesting. The dialogue was exceptional. I especially appreciated the humor and attitude in much of the conversation between Genneva and Nathaniel. It added that little extra dimension that really made the book. "
Reviewed by: Ramona (The Lighthouse Literary Reviews)
"The book was enormously entertaining from beginning to end. The characters were well developed and interesting. The dialogue was exceptional. I especially appreciated the humor and attitude in much of the conversation between Genneva and Nathaniel. It added that little extra dimension that really made the book.
I also enjoyed the various societal roles portrayed by the characters: Grandmother, so proper and refined; Lucy, so emotional and petulant; Charles, so gentlemanly and shamed; Nathaniel, so roguish and charming; and Genneva, so prim and respectable. This is a very good book and I enjoyed it immensely. Thank you for sharing this tale!"
Reviewed by: Ramona FIVE BEACON REVIEW by Ramona of the Lighthouse Literary Reviews
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 290
Paper Weight (lb): 12.2
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