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Heart's Pride

Written By: Liberty Stafford
Published by: Devine Destinies
ISBN #: 978-1-55487-312-8
Word Count:50000
Page Count: 199
Heat Level:
Price: $4.99
Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Microsoft Reader, Hiebook, HTML, Mobipocket, Rocket, Epub, Sony PDF, Sony LRF

    Peter had taken a late dinner date with Lady Hertford at her grand mansion on the outskirts of the city. Her husband was away on business and Peter had designs upon winning his latest bet. Both money and his reputation depended upon it and he had to amuse himself somehow before the ball.

    “Do you like my husband’s brandy?” the older, attractive, brown haired lady asked him directly across the small luncheon table.

    Peter swirled the warm liquid in his hot palm, “I do. Your husband’s possessions are fine indeed. Can I pour you another glass of wine?”

    “I shouldn’t,” she replied demurely, “although it is very fine. His taste has always been for the finer things in life. Pour, do.”

    “Is that a squirrel in the garden?” Peter asked, peering through the French doors towards the sweeping greenery.

    “Oh, where!” Lady Hertford asked and did not notice the white powder nimbly slipped into her glass from Peter’s ring. When she turned around, any trace was already vanished.

    He passed her the beverage, “My mistake.”

    Over the pristine white linen tablecloth, their eyes met lustily and Peter began to wonder if he had needed to introduce the drug after all.

    “My, my,” she swooned, “is it hot in here?”

    “A little. Perhaps I should open a window?” Peter watched her reactions closely. Her eyes had begun to bat languidly.

    “Not necessary,” she smiled weakly and took another sip of wine.

    “A turn around the garden perhaps?”

    “No, sir, suddenly I feel rather tired.”

    Peter measured his words carefully and let them fall heavily and deliberately from his mouth, “Then perhaps you should lie down? May I be of assistance?”

    Lady Hertford took his offered hand. “I thought you would never ask.”

    “Yes.” Peter softly laughed. “Gentlemanly behaviour will be my downfall, everyone claims it so.”

    Georgian London 1785. Innocence lies side by side with decadence and debauchery, especially in the royal palace. Even the rich have dark secrets and pure love rarely found strives to overcome the excesses of the day. Poets seek muses. Cads seek chastity. Actresses seek rich patrons. Few seek unselfish devotion. Only the worthy, the noble, the eternal lovers can survive. Three poor sisters—Arabel, Maria and Grace Longe. Three rich brothers—Edward, Peter and William Fitzbruce. All are handsome. All are single. Not all, however, are well behaved. Though wholly different, they find one another in the bustling city of London in 1785, a time of decadence and daring romance. Although from wholly different stations in society, their hearts reach out to one another across the bustling city but in their whirlwind culture emotions are put to dire tests. Both families contend with their own challenges. Arabel struggles to keep her dysfunctional family in order with a mother besieged by addiction, a vain actress sister with dubious morals and another stricken by emotional sensitivity. Edward has a similar family—a callously strict father, a libertine brother and another tortured by poetic angst with a penchant for back street opium. Arabel and Edward need one another to survive. They love one another with a burning desire. Yet carefully constructed lies, sudden death and family honour twist their paths apart. With all odds against them—social class, jealous siblings and cruel fate—can these lovers ever obtain the happiness they deserve?

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