Secret Sin Book Two ‘The Easterly Line’ Julian, ‘The Most Notorious Duke of Easterly’ has reached his thirty-fourth year, and rather reluctantly decided it is time for him to marry if he means to continue the Easterly name. He has pondered this for several years, freely admitting, as does most of Society, that there is nothing but bad blood, obsession, and violence in the line. Therefore, perhaps ...
Series: A Certain State of Marriage
Paperback: 278 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 6, 2016)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
Amazon Rank: 11616533
Format: PDF ePub fb2 TXT fb2 book
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best to let it die out with him. But two thoughts have swayed him, and both can be put at the door of the lady he has secretly admired for a number of years. Firstly, the Countess of Sommers has so changed the duke’s friend’s character since she married the earl more than four years before. Simon has learnt to control his temper, and no longer suffers from bursts of damaging impatience, or spells of moody introspection. In fact, Cerise has so transformed her husband’s life for the better, Julian feels perhaps a lady with a similarly generous-hearted and constant spirit might be able to ease him into a more peaceful and fulfilling existence for his latter years. Secondly, the Countess of Sommers has recently presented her husband with their second child; a daughter who has inherited her mother’s pale, Saxon colouring. And the couple have insisted that Julian become little Lady Imelda’s godfather. On first being presented to his new godchild at her christening, Julian was so taken with the babe he found himself almost bereft to be leaving her when his brief visit at Crescent Court came to an end. And for several weeks afterwards, in the quiet moments before he drifted to sleep each night, he thought of the beautiful babe, and of Simon’s proud face when he beheld his two young daughters, and couldn’t help wondering whether he could also become such a doting parent. Julian believes that a love match is out of the question, and so that in itself will make his marriage very different to his friend’s. Whether that means he is unlikely to be as content as Simon, he can’t be certain. But of one fact he is very sure. Blood will out, and so if there is any chance of diluting the poisonous influences flowing through his veins, and the veins of each Duke of Easterly before him, the mother of his children must come from an impeccable bloodline. She must be kind of spirit, although definitely not a bore; she must demonstrate intelligence and wit, and have been brought up by parents with the most respectable reputations. And most importantly, he must be able to trace her ancestors back to the Middle Ages without finding the taint of an Easterly connection in any branch or twig of her family tree. It isn’t during a great ball, or at Court, or at any other social gathering that Julian meets Atlanta. No, it’s on the wild Yorkshire moors as a storm sweeps down with sudden ferocity, as if crying out for their very souls. Following that first fateful meeting he is struck that in every way bar one she seems the perfect bride. There can be no doubt to her wit and lively intelligence, or her kind, but courageous heart. And her linage, as the daughter of Sir Gabriel Horsham, and his aristocratic and aloof French wife seems more perfect than Julian had ever hoped for. But Atlanta is only seventeen, and hasn’t yet been presented at Court, let alone experienced her first Season in London. He sees in her slender form and innocent face the promise of great beauty in the years to come, but at present Atlanta is just a gangly, amusing child-woman in his jaded eyes, and so initially Julian dismisses any thoughts of an alliance between them. However, Atlanta has other ideas. For she has the most passionate and expressive of natures, and also has a wildness in her young spirit, which verges on obsession. From that first meeting with the duke she is convinced she has fallen head over heels in love; with her soul so perfectly partnered in a moment of blissful awareness, and will never be happy again unless she can live the rest of her life at his side.