BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE - Lorraine Heath
Sins for All Seasons – Book 1
London, England - 1871
A common practice in Victorian London was the farming out of babies born of mistresses of the peerage. When the infants were barely hours old, they were taken to women in the tenements who were paid coin to raise the children. Sadly, many of these babies were murdered. Ettie Trewlove was different. She took in five children and formed her very own family. The eldest child, Mick Trewlove was delivered to Ettie wrapped in a blanket bearing the crest of his parent: the Duke of Hedley. As Mick matured he dug his way up out of poverty to become a very wealthy entrepreneur, vowing to get even with his father. Mick is buying land in London's seedy areas and building new shops and apartments, including a hotel. His major goal is to move Ettie to a fine apartment with servants to spare; the second (and just as important goal) is to demand public recognition from his father that he is the Duke's son, no matter that he is illegitimate. In order to accomplish that, Mick plans to bring ruin to the Duke's heir, the Earl of Kipwick, and Kip's betrothed, the Lady Aslyn Hastings.
Lady Aslyn Hastings has been sheltered all of her life. Her parents died when she was a young girl and she became the ward of Gerard Lennox, the Duke of Hedley. It has always been taken for granted that Aslyn would inevitably marry the Duke's son, Kip. In spite of her set path in life, Aslyn longs for adventure and romance, Kip treats her like a sister and not his betrothed. And of course, an unmarried miss must never invite scandal or talk, but still, isn't it permissible for Kip to kiss her now that they are engaged?
A chance meeting in the park brings Kip and Aslyn into acquaintance with Mick and his youngest sister, Fancy. Aslyn is besotted of Mick; he is one of the most handsome men she's ever met, so mysterious and alluring! He gifts her a brooch, which she promptly has returned to him, and after that, she seems to run into him continually on her outings about town: near the milliners, shopping for a parasol, even while she is walking in the park! But Kip has warned her away from Mick Trewlove; he was born on the wrong side of the blanket, and it is not proper for Aslyn to associate with him.
And so begins the dance of attraction that goes BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE as Mick boldly engineers meeting Aslyn here and there in public, then inviting her to his hotel while he plots her seduction and the ruination of his father's son. She is truly an innocent, and as Mick leads her down the pathway of improper behavior, he begins to realize that he is falling in love with his brother's betrothed. Meanwhile, Aslyn is torn by her conflicting feelings. She is falling under Mick's spell; he is flamboyant and always a gentleman. However, she is engaged to Kip, and Mick was born a bastard.
BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE is the first novel in the S ins for All Seasons Series. The next book is sister Gillie's story, WHEN A DUKE LOVES A WOMAN, September 2018. Meanwhile, don't miss BEYOND SCANDAL AND DESIRE. This is a complex novel of revenge, love, and a hint of mystery with a plot twist that wraps up the story.