The Duchess Disappeared

The Eternal Collection

Book 60
Barbara Cartland Ebooks Ltd
1
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When Angus McKeith knocks on the door, the lives of Fiona Windham and her niece and ward Mary-Rose are changed forever. Following the recent death of Fiona's father, Lord Ian Rannock, and sister, Rosemary, the child has become heir-presumptive to her Scottish uncle, the Duke of Strathrannock, who has summoned Mary-Rose to his castle in Scotland. Reluctantly complying, but insisting that she accompany Mary-Rose, Fiona finds the Duke handsome, yet distant and cold. Ostracised by the Highland community after the mysterious disappearance of his wife, the Duchess, and a bitter feud with his father, the Duke has withdrawn from Society and seems an insensitive, even brutal man. Soon, though, as Fiona's innocent beauty warms the Duke's cold heart and love between them blossoms. But when she attempts to solve the mystery that traps him in the past, Fiona finds herself in mortal danger at the hands of a woman possessed by a deranged desire for vengeance.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Barbara Cartland Ebooks Ltd
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Published on
May 14, 2013
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Pages
345
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ISBN
9781782133612
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Romance / Historical / General
Fiction / Romance / Historical / Regency
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Amidst the exciting preparations for the grand opening of Prince Albert's prized Crystal Palace, a young orphan, Sorilda, is being forced into marriage by her recently cuckolded uncle, the Duke of Nuneaton. Having sheltered lovely Sorilda since the tragic death of her parents, the usually fair-minded Duke has been driven to jealous retaliation by his deceitful new Duchess. Suspecting his close neighbour, the Earl of Winsford, of ungentlemanly conduct with his beautiful wife, the Duke issues an ultimatum. The Earl must renounce the Duchess and marry the Duke's flame-haired niece or face the public embarrassment of a scandal. Handsome, intelligent and fabulously wealthy, the Earl makes his choice and reluctantly marries Sorilda, his helpless bride. Angry at being pressured into such a union and aghast that he does not know, let alone love, his wife, the Earl remains distant and determined not to let Sorilda into his life. Enjoying the freedom from the miserable prison of her uncle's home, Sorilda's natural charm and positive nature soon force their way to the surface, despite the coldness of her bridegroom. Delighted by everything around her, it is not long before she has made her way into the hearts of everyone she meets. But, as London Society eagerly awaits the Great Exhibition, a spurned Duchess is busy plotting. Furious at being caught in a compromising situation, and filled with hatred for Sorilda, who has married the man she desires, she will not rest until she has her revenge.
The Marquis of Elvington, heartbroken to discover the woman he intended to marry has deceived him, decides to leave England and put as many miles as possible between them. Handsome, intelligent and a great favourite at the Court of King William IV and Queen Adelaide, the Marquis is used to the admiration of women and respect of men, so the duplicity of his intended wife strikes him a cruel blow. However, a thick fog makes it impossible for his yacht to leave Dover Harbour, so he is forced to remain on British soil another night. Anger swiftly chasing his sadness, he decides to visit a cheap quayside inn to escape the loneliness he feels and drown his sorrows. Sitting alone, his mind firmly fixed on how the woman he loved has betrayed him, he vows never to love or trust again. But Fate seems determined to challenge him as almost immediately he is forced to act as a 'Good Samaritan' to protect a young lady, Ola, intent on escaping the clutches of her hateful stepmother and dishonourable cousin. Blaming his act of charity on the vast quantities of brandy he consumed and against his better judgement, he offers to sail her in his yacht, The Sea Wolf, to Calais. Ola is brave, opinionated and daring - as well as possessing the most flaming red hair he has ever seen. From the moment she steps aboard, decrying men and their dastardly intentions, the Marquis is hard put to keep in step with her wild ideas and brave deeds. In turn admiring her free spirit and amazed at her lack of understanding of the ways of the world, they form a strange truce based on the fact that both vow never to marry. But Fate has not finished meddling yet and they are soon embroiled in incredible adventures, too fantastic for either of them ever to have imagined, that push their friendship to its very limits.
Banished by her malicious stepmother, Lady Cranleigh, after the death of her father, Melita braves a long and lonely sea voyage from England to the Caribbean island of Martinique. With a heavy heart at leaving her childhood home, as her father has left her penniless, she has no choice but to comply with her stepmother's bidding and accept her reduced circumstances with grace. As the ship sails ever closer to her destiny, Melita is determined to face her new life as a lowly Governess to motherless little Rose-Marie with fortitude. Arriving in the French colony, Melita is delighted to discover Martinique is a sun-drenched island blessed with beauty. Overwhelmed by the clear blue skies and the abundance of colourful flowers and shrubs, she begins to believe that she can be happy again, especially when she meets the handsome and surprisingly young, Comte de Vesonne, her new employer. Gazing at each other in astonishment, both are pleasantly surprised to discover something that they were not expecting. But not everyone at the sugar plantation is so pleased to welcome her and, when Melita hears drums pounding softly in the night, shattering the tranquility of the safe haven she has found at Vesonne, she remembers with foreboding the warnings she has heard about Voodoo practiced by the African slaves. Can the mysterious old woman that the slaves call their Mamba really call on the spirits of the dead? And if so, do they mean to help or harm her and the Comte she so much admires and is beginning to love? One thing is for sure - she will protect her young charge, little Rose-Marie, with her life if needs be.
Amidst the exciting preparations for the grand opening of Prince Albert's prized Crystal Palace, a young orphan, Sorilda, is being forced into marriage by her recently cuckolded uncle, the Duke of Nuneaton. Having sheltered lovely Sorilda since the tragic death of her parents, the usually fair-minded Duke has been driven to jealous retaliation by his deceitful new Duchess. Suspecting his close neighbour, the Earl of Winsford, of ungentlemanly conduct with his beautiful wife, the Duke issues an ultimatum. The Earl must renounce the Duchess and marry the Duke's flame-haired niece or face the public embarrassment of a scandal. Handsome, intelligent and fabulously wealthy, the Earl makes his choice and reluctantly marries Sorilda, his helpless bride. Angry at being pressured into such a union and aghast that he does not know, let alone love, his wife, the Earl remains distant and determined not to let Sorilda into his life. Enjoying the freedom from the miserable prison of her uncle's home, Sorilda's natural charm and positive nature soon force their way to the surface, despite the coldness of her bridegroom. Delighted by everything around her, it is not long before she has made her way into the hearts of everyone she meets. But, as London Society eagerly awaits the Great Exhibition, a spurned Duchess is busy plotting. Furious at being caught in a compromising situation, and filled with hatred for Sorilda, who has married the man she desires, she will not rest until she has her revenge.
 Sheldon Kinswood was at White's Club with his friends when a Steward asks them if they know of a really good valet, as the Duke of Dartmoor is desperately looking for one. It is then that Sheldon tells his friends that the Duke is his uncle and he is living the life of a recluse in the country.  The reason being that nine years ago the Duke's fiancée had left him the day before their Wedding and ran off with her riding master. This had affected the Duke so badly that since then he has categorically refused to allow a woman to come into his house nor onto his estate.  Or indeed anywhere near him. Worse still, he has not allowed his family any of the money that they were entitled to as he did not want any of his money to go to females. Sheldon's friends suggest that, as the Duke would not recognise him, he applies for the position of valet at Dartmoor Hall to find out exactly what the Duke is doing with his money. They then take bets as to whether Sheldon will get the job and if he does whether he will be able to change the Duke in any way. Shortly after his arrival at Dartmoor Hall the Duke is shot by a burglar in his shoulder and is seriously ill. Sheldon then asks his cousin, Lady Kenton, to urgently send a nurse, who, of course, must be male, to care for the ailing Duke. How the male nurse, when he arrives, looks rather strange to the Duke's staff, but seems competent. How the Duke himself recovers almost miraculously and unexpectedly appears to have changed. And how Sheldon finds love at the magic pool in the wood is all told in this unusual and exciting story by BARBARA CARTLAND.
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