My stop on the Victoria Hanlen Blog Tour and I have a sizzling excerpt of this very seductive book for you! Enjoy!
Rebellious, Scandalous and Irredeemable
Sarah, Lady Strathford is ready for a little harmless frivolity with a man of her own age and her own appetites…surely that’s not too much to ask! After the death of her beloved husband years before Sarah is ready for an adventure… Enter the dashing, roguish – and baffling – Mr. Cornelius Ravenhill.
Ravenhill, however, is not the gentleman he seems, and soon Sarah finds herself battling against the corrupt and harsh world around her as it threatens to destroy all she holds dear. The question is, will her seduction at the hands of Mr. Ravenhill prove to be her saviour or her downfall?
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“Women convicted of murdering their husbands used to be hung and burned at the stake.” Sarah stared at the thin circle of fire on the end of her cigar and grimaced.
“That hasn’t happened in at least a hundred years,” Amelia, her best friend since childhood, and now the Countess Grancliffe, reassured. She reached across the outdoor table and placed her hand over Sarah’s. “Don’t let the police inspector upset you. He’s obviously an uncivilized bully. Is your brother helping you deal with him?”
Sarah slowly gazed about the Beech tree’s long branches extending to the ground around them, forming a spacious leafy cave, and shielding them against unwanted onlookers. She shook her head. “His answer, as always, is to let my husband take care of it.”
“But you don’t have one.”
“Precisely. I know my brother loves me, but problems often get bigger, rather than smaller, when he gets involved. His solution is for me to marry his friend.”
Amelia frowned. “Never you worry. You have a top solicitor. He will take the inspector in hand.”
Her solicitor had been helpful in the past, but he’d not filled her with confidence when they met with Hooker. “I’ve been advised to contact someone with influence in judicial and police matters.”
Calista, Amelia’s cousin from New York, expertly tapped the ash off her cigar into the ashtray and blew a thin trail of smoke into the air. “Lord Sutterland would be the one to talk to.” She gazed at Amelia. “Don’t you think?”
“Oh, yes. I agree. He’s very well connected in those matters.” Amelia fingered her cigar. “Do you play chess?”
“My father and I used to play.”
“Good, we’ll introduce you. Calista plays chess with him every week. In the meantime, we must do something to take your mind off your troubles.”
“I don’t wish to make light of your situation.” Calista waved her cigar expansively through the air. “I, of all people, can certainly sympathize. But it helps to go somewhere highly diverting, someplace amusing… with lots of entertainment.”
What would Sarah do without her friends? The world had seemed to be closing in on her until they’d arrived to cheer her up. She took another dainty puff on her cigar and made a little cough, still not quite accustomed to the mechanics of smoking.
Calista gave her a bright smile. “See, a tiny sip is best until you get used to it.”
No wind circulated inside their leafy enclosure, yet to Sarah’s eyes, the branches seemed to undulate strangely. Was it from the cigar or the contents of a flask Calista had produced from her reticule and added to their lemonade?
“I have a favor to ask, Amelia.” Sarah rolled her cigar between her fingers. “It has come to my attention that perhaps someone connected to Edward’s accident was at your party a few weeks ago. Would it be possible for you to make a list of all present? And could you please include the servants and anyone else who might have arrived late, guest or not.”
“Oh, my, Sarah! Whom do you suspect?”
About Victoria: Award winning, historical romance author, VICTORIA HANLEN, has worked at a wide range of jobs, from fashion, to corporate business, to treading the boards of stage and professional opera. A lifelong writer, she once put her skills to use in PR and advertising. But her favorite form of writing is stories with happily-ever-afters.
Additionally, she likes to bake (especially pies), paint (especially barns with cows), and take photographs (especially of sunsets and critters) Victoria and her husband live in rural New England surrounded by a host of wildlife.
Visit Victoria Hanlen fabulous website!
A huge Thank You to Neverland Blog Tours for letting me be part of this fantastic tour!
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