About the book


She hungers for his taste, his smell, the feel of his soul touching hers...

Susannah Humphries must make the hardest choice of her life.

After another bitter fight with her controlling father, a strict priest, she is forced into fleeing to London. Penniless and alone, she finds work as a maid in the household of a peculiar Earl.

Adam Windham, the Earl of Malmore, is a wealthy businessman who spends most of his days locked up in his lab working on his inventions. Until the day he meets the new maid and desire flickers inside of him.

Caught in the web of forbidden love, everything that should have torn them apart only brings them closer together.

When an explosion destroys his lab, they know it is not an accident: someone is not only after Adam's inventions but also his life. And Susannah's worst nightmare becomes reality: a second attack takes place.

With an enemy that's always one step ahead of them, their only hope of getting to the truth just might lie in the scarred face of a stranger. A stranger they know all too well...

Chapter One


The woods were silent, except for the sounds of the night birds. Susannah Humphries slowed down. She was far enough away from her father’s house. She was breathing heavily after running along the wooded path. Through the branches, she could see the night sky. It was vast, with luminous stars.

The fall air was cool. Susannah’s breath rose from her lips in a small cloud. She pulled her coat tighter to her body. Her run had warmed her.

She was just outside of the small town of Lidcote, in the northern county of Yorkshire. She kept moving briskly, jumping every time she heard a twig snap. She had just run away from home, and she was headed to the inn in town, where she was to catch the coach to London.

A week had passed since she had received a letter from her friend Lucy. It had been two years since Lucy had left Lidcote to pursue a career in service. She had been on the lookout for a job for Susannah.

She had never believed that she would ever be there, running away from home to start a new life in London. Her father had an extreme dislike of Lucy, and had forbidden Susannah from corresponding with her. He had proclaimed Lucy immoral. However, Susannah and Lucy had been friends since they were very small. They had arranged it with an elderly neighbor so that Lucy sent Susannah letters there.

Lucy’s letter informed Susannah that there was a job as a house maid available for her, in the Earl of Malmore’s home in London. After Susannah had written her back, Lucy had sent another letter, which had included money and promised her a booking on the coach.

She finally neared the inn. She peered out of the bushes. No one stirred. There was a thin bit of smoke, rising from one of the inn’s chimneys. She sank down into the bushes, then settled in to wait for the coach’s arrival. Her pulse was loud in her ears. She had never done anything like this before. She was sick with worry for her mother, who would be terrified. But she had to do it.  

Last week, Susannah and her father had fought bitterly after she had turned down the proposal of Mr. Brandon, a newly minted vicar. While Mr. Brandon was a kind man, Susannah could not imagine a life with him. Her father had been livid when Susannah had told him that she would rather die than marry. 

Susannah dreamed of a life that was wholly her own. She couldn’t live to serve a man only. If she were to work, then it would be to support herself and herself alone. Her father would never condone or understand it. Matthew Humphries wanted his only daughter to marry a man just like him—a man who expected her to live quietly, keeping his house, and having his children.

Susannah had dreams. She had desires and a thirst to live a real life. She felt as though she were being slowly strangled to death. She knew that she needed to get out of Yorkshire—before it was too late.

In the darkness few things moved about. Susannah was the only person in view. She wasn’t afraid as she listened to the sound of the wind moving through the trees. The small town where Susannah had grown up was one of the safest places in all of England. But it was also one of the most boring. Nothing ever happened there. Susannah yearned for the excitement of the city. Moving to London was her dream, and now, she was accomplishing it.

The sky lightened as the sun rose. The birds called out to each other as they woke up. Susannah’s limbs felt stiff from sitting in the chill fall air.

As she watched, the innkeeper came out. He walked around to the stables. Finally, the coach pulled up. She watched as the passengers got out and went into the inn to eat breakfast. She pulled out a loaf of bread, which she had brought, and took a few bites. She ate an apple, as well. She planned to make the Earl’s coin last as long as possible.   

She remained hidden, expecting her father to come running down the road to drag her back home at any moment. She didn’t know what she would do then. He would likely lock her up in her room until the day that he married her off.

Her father would never allow her to remain at home unmarried. If not Mr. Brandon, then it would be someone else. Her father was often meeting young, unmarried men who had just graduated seminary and were on their way into the world looking for wives to occupy their new holdings, cooking and cleaning for them in perpetuity. That was not the life for her. 

But nothing happened. The horses were exchanged for fresh ones. The passengers exited the inn, then climbed back inside the coach. Finally, Susannah walked up showing the coachman her ticket.

“Any luggage?” he asked, looking around as though unused to seeing a young woman who was travelling unaccompanied or without a trunk.

“Just my bag,” she replied, patting it confidently. 

“Up you go, Miss,” he said, offering her a hand. She took it and climbed inside.

She sat on the plush seat. There were two men on the seat across from her. She had never seen either of them before. They paid her no attention. One was reading a newspaper in the pre-dawn light. The other was staring out the window.

She was so relieved that no one from Lidcote was getting on. There were no witnesses to her escape. For all that anyone would know she had gone North, toward Scotland, as she had told her parents in the letter that she had left for them. They would be looking in the wrong direction.

Susannah stared out the window toward the path which led home. She was still expecting her father to come barreling down the road atop his stout gray mare. The coachman climbed up onto his seat, then urged the horses forward. The coach pulled away and Susannah breathed a sigh of relief.

I’ve done it—I’m free.

As it turned out, travelling was much more difficult than Susannah had thought. The coach was, at times, crowded with as many as six people and Susannah had ended up in between two strangers their elbows poking into her ribs. It was warm and the only thing she had to look at was the three people crammed into the seat across from her.

She wished that she had brought a book. Then at least she would have something to occupy her mind and a place to direct her eyes. However, she had not wanted to steal any of her Father’s books. They were all religious doctrines and often wanted to make her scream from boredom.

She finally managed to slip over to one of the places by a window. She leaned her elbow against the side, cupping her chin in the palm of her hand. Outside, the English countryside stretched out in all directions. The grass was a brilliant green, while the trees were just beginning to turn bright yellows and reds.

Everywhere she looked, there were fenced-in pastures, with cows, sheep, and horses. They grazed lazily. From time to time, the coach passed tiny farms, with more animals and some people milling about.

Susannah sighed. She supposed that it was lovely but she had been surrounded by pastoral settings for her whole life. She was ready for the city; there was nothing for her in the countryside. She was sick of staring at animals grazing.  

Meanwhile, in the midst of all her excitement and boredom, she was terrified. She knew how her mother would be worried upon waking up and finding Susannah gone. She loved her mother; Mrs. Mary Humphries was a sweet woman, who doted upon her only child. They had spent the past nineteen years, together. She felt absolutely horrid for what she had done to her mother.

At the same time, she knew that she had to do it.

“It’s quite the view, isn’t it, Miss?”

Susannah turned to look across the carriage, where there was an elderly woman, knitting. She smiled at Susannah kindly.

“I suppose so,” Susannah said.

“Where are you headed?” the woman asked.

“London,” she replied, proudly. “I have a job waiting for me.”

“Ah,” she said. “That must be very exciting.”

“It is,” Susannah replied. “I’m to be a house maid.”

The man beside her scoffed. Susannah eyed him. “Service isn’t what it’s cracked up to be,” he said. “You spend all your days, bowing and scraping to a fine gentleman and then one day, you’ll be too old to work.”

“Oh, hush!” the woman said. “Service is respectable work.” She looked at Susannah. “Don’t you listen to him, Miss.”

Susannah smiled at her, then looked out the window. She had never spent so much time with perfect strangers before. Not to mention, every few hours, those strangers got out of the coach, and Susannah would never see them again.

When the elderly woman got off, she smiled back at Susannah. “Good luck, Miss!” she called out. “I’ll say a prayer for you.”

“Thank you, Madam,” Susannah replied, waving to her. She watched as she disappeared into the crowd of people that were milling about in the town square.

Susannah was exhausted by the time that London finally came into view. From the window of the coach she could see buildings as far as the eye could see. Through her exhaustion, her heart rose up. She was there. It felt unreal, like a dream.

As the coach plunged deep into the heart of the city streets her excitement merely grew, blocking out her exhaustion. For the first time in her life, Susannah felt alive—her life was finally beginning. 

She watched the buildings of the city as the coach passed them by. They were made of brick and stone. There were shops of all kinds. There was a seething mass of humanity. People, crowds of them, were everywhere. Susannah tried to see everything, all at once. They passed by a bakery with its window filled with pastries of all kinds. There was a bookstore with many leather-bound tomes in the window. She spotted a mother, her child’s hand clasped in hers. Both of them were dressed in simple clothing, which was clearly well-worn. They walked slowly. Susannah noticed that they looked tired, hungry.

A window opened and an elderly man peered out yelling at someone in the street. There was a well-dressed gentleman riding a very fine-looking black horse. There was a group of young ladies climbing out of a fancy black carriage as they went into a tea house. Their brightly colored silk dresses reminded Susannah of a bouquet of flowers. She watched as they all stepped gingerly around a puddle, holding their skirts so that they weren’t ruined. 

The farthest Susannah had gone was the small town of Lidcote, where her father was the vicar. London was a whole new world, one which was alive with sights, sounds, and smells. Not all of them were pleasant but in her excitement, she could overlook them. 

The coach pulled up at its stop and Susannah and the others all piled out. She stood there, with her bag on her shoulder, and looked around. There were people everywhere. In the streets, horses pulling carriages raced by. She was out in front of an inn and pub. She could smell food cooking and her stomach rumbled. She realized that she had no idea how to get to the Earl’s house.

She began to walk, her bag slung over her shoulder. She clutched it, suddenly nervous that someone might attempt to snatch it away from her. She kept walking, hoping that she might catch sight of Harrington Court Road, where the Earl’s home was located. But she kept walking and she didn’t see any sign of it.

Her heart was pounding, her stomach twisting nauseously. Her hands began to shake. Everywhere she looked, there were people and carriages and buildings. Everything was unfamiliar. She was lost in London.


Chapter Two


Adam Windham, the Earl of Malmore, had been focusing hard. He thought that he was close to a breakthrough. His lab was filled with the sound of the mixture boiling, frothing and bubbling. At the moment, it had a sweet smell, one that was rather pleasant. Slowly, he added another chemical to it. If he was right, then he could use the mixture to help augment the taste and texture of pipe tobacco, thus improving business for himself.

Suddenly, the scent coming from the mixture turned absolutely rancid. Adam covered his nose and mouth with his hand taking it off the flame and then running for the window. He threw it open breathing in the cool, fresh air. 

He stood there, feeling the weight of his defeat. It had been nearly two years since he had come up with anything that worked. He sat down at his worktable in a dark torpor. It had been a long string of failure after failure. No matter what he did, it always ended up not working.

What if I never come up with another successful invention again?

He couldn’t imagine it. To fall into obscurity while others, like his old nemesis from his college years, Percival Sullyard, rose to success. Mr. Sullyard was a sallow-faced individual with gleaming rat-like eyes. He and Adam had clashed from the moment that they’d met, in their very first class. Mr. Sullyard had been a charity case, his way paid by a kind elderly lady who had seen his aptitude for science.

Adam’s first few smaller inventions had given him the edge in the tobacco business. While Mr. Sullyard was thriving in the tobacco business, he had made it very clear that he would pay a great deal to have access to Adam’s schematics for his inventions, something Adam would never give him.

There was a knock on the door. Adam got up with a sigh. There was only one person who ever bothered him there without a prior invitation. He opened the door.

“Gerard,” he said, when the door opened to reveal his best friend, Gerard Perry, the Earl of Wrentbour. “I see you’ve gotten past my butler.”

“Adam, my friend. Have you been here all night?” he asked, glancing around and completely ignoring what Adam had said. “What is that smell?”

“It’s the smell of defeat,” Adam muttered, sinking back down into his chair. He felt worn thin.

“I see,” Gerard said, clearly well-rested. Adam put his hand over his eyes. “Let me guess. Another failure?”

“In a very long string of failures.”

“You’ll get it,” Gerard assured him. “It will come to you.”

“I can only hope,”

“How are things between you and Lady Cecily?” “Have you solved your argument?”

The evening before, Adam had gotten into a disagreement with Lady Cecily’s father, Lord Sizemore. Apparently, his future father-in-law disagreed with Adam on ladies’ roles in the household. Lady Cecily had agreed with her father. They had all parted on less than amicable terms.

“I’ve only received a rather angry missive from her father. It seems they are giving me time to think it over and change my mind. The thing is, I don’t see why I should. Why can’t we both have what we want, Gerard?”

“I’m so sorry.” Gerard frowned in concern. He sat down in one of the chairs, his top hat balanced on his knee. 

“It’s for the best,” Adam assured him. “What we want are two very different things.” He was disappointed, yes. He didn’t love Lady Cecily, but he had presumed that they would come to some sort of mutual affection at some point or another. They had become engaged as soon as her mourning period for his brother had ended.

Though they were opposites, Adam had thought that Cecily’s love of painting would give her a pursuit of her own. That way, while he was in his laboratory, she could be in her studio. He had proposed to her, believing that they could both be successful in their chosen fields, leaving the balls and such to the rest of the ton. Clearly, he had been mistaken. The idea that, after marriage he would have to eschew his work in the lab in favor of hosting balls and parties was appalling to him.

“Yes, well, announcing to the ton that you believe that women are equal to men, and intimating that the ladies and gentlemen of the ton are no better than ordinary folk, you’re bound to be labeled as a firebrand,” Gerard pointed out. 

“Was it the terminology that I used, or the idea?” Adam mused.

“Both,” Gerard replied with a laugh. “They like to believe that they are the natural elite in every way.”

“Women are not inferior to men. It’s ridiculous to treat them as such. They have been forced into a very small box. We should allow them to explore other options, let them pursue their passions. Society just needs to give them a chance.”

“Perhaps you’re right.”

“Of course, I’m right.”

Gerard laughed at this and then said, “Well, I for one, am glad to hear that you still have fight in you. Can I tempt you out of this room for a trip to my club?”

Adam looked mournfully at his failed experiment. What he needed was a break to clear his head and to come up with a solution. A drink or two with his friend was in order.

“Yes, I suppose you can.”

“I suppose you’ll want to shave first?” Gerard asked.

Adam rubbed his chin, finding whiskers. He tried, but he could not recall the last time he’d shaved.

“I’ll be but a moment.”

***

The lighting at Gerard’s club was dim. There was a fireplace, along with several lit candelabras. It was decorated in dark green, with lush leather seats and mahogany wood furniture. Off in the corner, a man played the piano. There was the low buzz of conversations in the air. Cigar smoke hung in a haze.

Adam knew that his friend was trying to distract him from his many failings of late. Not only in the lab but the pending dissolution of his engagement as well. He had the hunch that his father had written to Gerard, asking him to check on Adam.

“When do you plan on paying Lady Cecily a visit?” Gerard asked, gesturing with his full glass of brandy.

“I don’t have any plans. Although I should do it sooner rather than later.”

“What’s keeping you?”

“I thought…well, I was beginning to care for her,” Adam replied. “I was looking forward to marrying her.”

“But you only respect her,” Gerard pointed out.

“I suppose you’re right. The engagement was nothing more than a misunderstanding of how we wanted to live our lives.”

 The two friends sat silently sipping their drinks. Adam thought back over the time that he had spent pursuing Lady Cecily. He hadn’t had to try very hard. She had been engaged to his brother, Thomas. After Thomas had passed after a long bout with consumption, both Adam’s parents, as well as Lady Cecily’s had decided that they would be engaged.  Adam was angry with himself for going along with it. He wished that he had questioned it all. It was like he was being forced even further into a life and a role that didn’t fit him.

Gerard’s gaze was on the door. “Don’t look now,” he muttered.

Adam turned, to find that Mr. Percival Sullyard was walking through the door. Mr. Sullyard was a self-made gentleman. He was Adam’s biggest competitor in the tobacco trade. Adam suspected that Mr. Sullyard had chosen it merely to continue to continue to plague him. Mr. Sullyard had gotten lucky—although he always claimed that he made his own luck.

“How is he allowed in a gentlemen’s club?” Adam asked.

“He bought his way in,” Gerard replied. “How else? Speaking of which, you can too.”

“Not if he’s allowed in,” Adam stated flatly. 

Adam and Mr. Sullyard’s eyes locked immediately. Adam saw the gleam in his eyes. The man was absolutely wretched. He sneered, baring his crooked teeth, as he crossed the room.

“Lord Malmore,” he said, bowing. “It’s so good to see that you’ve left your laboratory for once.” Mr. Sullyard was a sallow individual who wore a wig, not because it was fashionable but because he was balding. His manner of dress was overly ostentatious; his frock coat was a pale green with gold embroidery on the lapels. Underneath, he wore a flamboyant waistcoat with an intricate golden watch chain.

“Mr. Sullyard, I can’t claim the same,” Adam replied, taking a sip of his drink to steady himself. He and his rival often got into heated discussions since their Oxford days. They had both been fellows of All Souls College. 

“It’s good to take a break,” Mr. Sullyard said. “I have been hard at work coming up with an invention that will affect all industries at once.”

“All?” Adam scoffed. “Impossible.” Mr. Sullyard was often all bluster and few results. He was certainly an intelligent individual, but he was not an independent thinker. He lacked the brilliance to come up with something on his own. He stole ideas, like a magpie, weaving them together into something that worked yet was not his own original idea.

Mr. Sullyard raised an eyebrow. “What about you? Come up with anything new of late? How long has it been since your last patent? Has it truly been years, My Lord?” 

Adam knew that the comment was meant to cut him down. It was successful; it rankled deep inside of him. Adam made sure to keep his composure on the outside. It would not do to let Mr. Sullyard know that his ill-bred comments were working.

“As a matter-of-fact, I have,” he replied. “It’s far better than anything that I’ve done yet. I’m quite pleased with the initial tests.”

Mr. Sullyard eyed him doubtfully. He folded his arms over his chest. One of his eyebrows quirked upward. 

“Oh? What is it?” he asked.

“Why would I tell you, Mr. Sullyard?” Adam looked down his nose at Mr. Sullyard. He mustered every single ounce of aristocratic ennui that his blue blood contained.  

“I think you’re bluffing,” Mr. Sullyard said. “You’ve reached the pinnacle of your scientific achievement. You’ve nothing left. By the way, how is Lady Cecily these days?”

“I’ve no idea.” Adam gritted his teeth. He hated that Mr. Sullyard knew all of the ton’s gossip.

“Because you told her that she could have a painting career?” Mr. Sullyard asked. “Laughable. No woman is any good at art. They haven’t the minds for it.” Adam knew that Mr. Sullyard got all of his news from the rather chatty Lady Catsmore.  

“Our goals are merely different,” Adam knew that this was not the time to start arguing with Mr. Sullyard. He was baiting Adam, as he always did. Since this was not Adam’s club, Gerard was eying him. Adam had been kicked out of his own club about four years prior, after a disagreement with another gentleman on the rights of women in society. After the incident he had been labelled a firebrand.  

Mr. Sullyard laughed. “It’s because you’re already married to your laboratory. You can’t have a lady as a mistress.” He paused, studying Adam with a keen eye. “You must really have come up with something truly exciting if you can give up Lady Cecily.”

“I have,” Adam said hated how well Mr. Sullyard knew him. He wished that he could prove him wrong. Unfortunately, he could not. “It really is exciting.” He continued to glare at Mr. Sullyard, attempting to come up with a stinging riposte. Gerald cleared his throat.

“We must be off,” Gerard announced. “Come, Lord Malmore. I have some particularly good cigars that you must try out.” Adam nodded, standing up. “Good evening, Mr. Sullyard,” Gerald said curtly.

“Looking forward to hearing about your new invention,” Mr. Sullyard called after them. They stepped outside of the front doors and into the cool, crisp, late-autumn air.

“They’re all going to find out that you lied when you have nothing to show,” Gerard muttered as they both waited for the carriage to be brought around.

“Yes, well, I’ll just have to come up with something, won’t I?”

“You never give up, do you?” Gerald was grinning at him. They had been friends since they were children. Their families’ estates neighbored each other, and Adam and Gerald were as close as two brothers.

“I will never give up. I have nothing but my lab.”

Gerard nodded, though his face was full of concern. “You have your friends and family, too,” he said. “We are concerned about you, you know.”

Adam smiled, though it didn’t reach his eyes. “You’ve been exchanging letters with my parents, then?” His parents, the Marquess and Marchioness of Wiltshire, even while they were out of town, never failed to know everything that was going on in London.

Wiltshire was located a half-day’s journey from London. Thus, if they were so inclined, Lord and Lady Wiltshire would be able to surprise their son. Lord Wiltshire was the sort of gentleman who expected his desires to be treated as though they were the word of God. His wife, Lady Wiltshire, was less stern, although she was excellent at redirecting her husband’s ire. She had stood up for Adam many times. Adam’s brother, Tom, had gotten along best with their father. Lord Wiltshire had doted on him.

“I am merely their eyes and ears here in town, Adam,” Gerard said, “and only when it pertains to you.” The carriage pulled up in front of them and they both climbed in.

“My father’s reach is long indeed,” he mused.

Adam settled back onto the seat leaning his head back against the plush light-blue velvet. He closed his eyes listening as Gerard ordered his coachman to take them to Wrentbour House.

Adam had everything to lose. Lady Cecily and their engagement was merely the tip of the iceberg. If he continued to remain strapped for workable ideas, then he would have nothing. After all, a title and money meant nothing to him. He was an inventor, first and foremost. And if he had nothing to show for all the work that he did, for all that he had sacrificed…then what was he, besides a failure? 


Chapter Three


Susannah kept walking. She was tired and frightened. She didn’t see anyone to ask, no constables, no one who looked friendly. A man leered at her as he passed her, looking her up and down, his eyes raking over her in a lascivious manner. She looked away from him picking up her pace. She was resolved to look like she belonged there.

But the sun was about to begin lowering behind the buildings. Her throat tightened and she felt like she was about to cry. She gritted her teeth.

I need to do something. Anything. No one is coming to save me.

Back in Lidcote, she had never needed directions. She had always known where she was going, and how to get there. Her mind swam. She hadn’t foreseen this.

She tried to calm herself, reminding herself why she was doing this. In her mind’s eye she saw her father’s angry face, a shocking shade of puce, telling her that she would marry Mr. Brandon.

I will not have a daughter of mine, lounging about, he had said.

I never lounge about, she had replied. I’m always helping Mother with the cooking and the cleaning.  

You are to marry Mr. Brandon, and that’s final, he had ordered. When he returns next week, then you will give him your answer.

She had fled the house, feeling as though the walls were closing in on her. She had run for their neighbor’s house. The elderly widow next door allowed Susannah to receive letters at her address. That was how she had continued to correspond with her best friend, Lucy, after her father had forbidden it after he had caught Lucy helping Susannah to get to an assembly ball when they were both sixteen.

It was that very day that she had received the good news from Lucy, about the job. She hadn’t hesitated once. She had sent word back to Lucy immediately. And now she was there, in London.

Thinking back to the austerity of her father’s house and how she and her mother had always lived in fear of his temper, Susannah straightened her shoulders then paused to think.

She was approaching a pub. She had never been inside of one before. Her father would have locked her in her room for a month if he’d ever suspected her presence in the small one in town.

It’s up to me. If I don’t turn things around, then I’ll be wandering the streets after dark and that’s going to be much worse.  

She entered the pub and went up to the bar. This, too, was new to her. She had never before entered the village pub. As the daughter of the vicar she was never to be seen inside. Alcohol was forbidden in her father’s household.

“What can I get you, Miss?” the man asked.

“I’m trying to get to the Earl of Malmore’s home,” she explained. “I’m his new house maid. I’ve gotten all of the way to London, but…I can’t seem to find the right road.”

“Don’t know who he is, unfortunately,” he replied, to her disappointment. “I don’t know any of the ton.”

“It’s on Harrington Court Road,” she replied.

“Ah. You’ll want to take a hansom cab. It’s a long way.”

“A what?” she asked, completely unfamiliar with the term.

“You’re not from London, eh?” he asked, studying her.

“No,” she admitted, her face going red with shame.

“A little country mouse in the big city,” he laughed. “Be careful, lass. You don’t want to get all swallowed up.”

“Thank you?” Her heart suddenly knocked against her sternum.

How do I know that I can trust him?

The realization put her on edge.

“You remind me of my little sister,” he said, his expression softening. “I’ll help you hail a cab. That Earl should have sent someone to meet you.”

She nodded. “Thank you.”

“Of course,” he replied, wiping his hands on a rag. He turned to the room, all of whom were watching.

“Oy! You lot behave yourselves!” he yelled.

“Didn’t know that you were a knight in shining armor, Harry,” one of the pub’s patrons called out. There was a smattering of laughter. Susannah felt her cheeks warm.

“Not every knight needs to be a lord,” the man shot back. 

They went out and onto the street where he raised his hand, catching the eye of a man driving a carriage by. Almost as if by magic, the coachman pulled the cab to a stop.

“Now,” he said as he opened the door for her. “It’s not safe to trust just anyone in the city. If you get lost, a pretty young girl like you could end up in a lot of trouble.”

“Thank you,” she said, gratefully. Relief settled into the pit of her stomach. It might be a big city, but luck was on her side that day.

He smiled and nodded. “What’s the address?”

“Seventeen Harrington Cross.”

“You hear that?” Harry asked the coachman.

“Sure did.”

“Good luck to you, Miss,” he said.

“Thank you,” Susannah murmured, not knowing what else to say. He closed the door then stepped back. Susannah sank back against the seat breathing a sigh of relief.

London was far more dangerous than she had expected. With any luck, she would learn how to navigate it. She raised her chin.

There’s no going back now. 

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35 COMMENTS

  1. I’m so excited to see how Susannah and the Earl’s story plays out!😁. This is a cleverly written story that just pulls you along. You can’t help but fall in love with them. It’s like you’re in it yourself. Can’t wait to read the rest of their story 😉.

  2. Wow Ms Bennet I so enjoyed your preview. Looking forward to seeing the whole book.

    Thanks for allowing me the to read it.

  3. Wow Miss. Bennet,
    As usual you have captured my attention in the first few chapters and I will purchase the book to find out how the characters maneuver their lives through your story.

  4. A very interesting story of two people who seems to be asking the world for a fair chance.
    I can’t wait to see how these two beat the odds and find love and happiness.
    A really good story so far!

  5. What I have read so far is promising. I shall certainly buy the book and find out.
    Thank you for giving us the chance to read this preview.
    Christina Brett, fellow author.

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