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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?
"This excerpt is from an unedited ARC and there may be small changes in the final book."
“Good morning, my lady?” Ravenhill’s playful rumble resounded around the garden.
Sarah’s finger flew to his lips. Even though she’d decided to choose proving her innocence over possible gossip, caution had been too well ingrained for her not to heed its call.
She towed him through the door and locked it behind them. The lantern she’d left to light their way glowed weakly in the narrow, rock-lined tunnel.
“Is this a secret entrance, my lady?”
She exhaled in exasperation, and whispered, “My staff’s ears could win prizes.”
Ravenhill removed his cap and hunched under the low, curved, rock ceiling. His muscular physique filled the confined space reminding her of the tight spaces they’d encountered in the rookery. How easy it would be for her to accidentally brush against him. “I prefer we not be discovered.”
Lantern light caught the glint in his eyes. A moment passed before his gaze moved beyond hers and into the tunnel.
He gestured with his cap. “I confess, I’m all aquiver to begin our search.” His drawled words sounded like veiled intimacies. He seemed in a mischievous mood… and so early in the morning.
“Mr. Ravenhill, please talk quietly. I fear our voices may carry.”
He dipped his head further. His warm breath tickled her ear. “Should I consider myself special… to be shown your secret entrance?”
Innuendo, coated with a healthy dose of charm, wove through the smile in his voice. Her insides started to flutter. Men had never flirted with her, and she didn’t know how to respond. Instead, she grasped the chain around her neck, grabbed the lantern and tripped down the passage. A door appeared on the right. Unlocking it, she lifted a tapestry and led him into a small chapel where she stepped to the altar and knelt.
“Do you pray for your past sins or your future ones, my lady?”
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. Her first book, The Trouble With Misbehaving, was published in February 2016. Victoria and her husband live in rural New England surrounded by a host of wildlife.
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