But when the beautiful young Sadira Bourne is told she is to marry him, she is appalled. Not only because she does not love him or even like him, but also because he has little regard for her and is actually in love with her stepmother, the Marchioness of Langbourne.
The Earl only means to marry Sadira to save her stepmother’s reputation and indeed his after her husband discovered her affair and is intent on divorce, which would take a long time and cause a major Society scandal, which everyone involved in will suffer from.
Wickedly the Marchioness gives Sadira little choice, threatening the lives of her beloved horse and dog and assuring her that she will besmirch Sadira’s name forever in the Social world.
Refusing to marry a man she will never love, Sadira flees to Morocco to become a student of the famed Medical Missionary, Father Christopher.
But little does she know how much her intelligence, sylph-like figure, striking blue eyes and ineffable beauty have entranced her forced fiancé.
Or that he is setting out in his fine yacht to come to her rescue.
And little does either the Earl or Saira know in what terrifying circumstances they will be together once more!
The bet concerns whether they can successfully replicate the experiment in George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, in which Eliza Doolittle is taken from the flower market in London and trained to pass as a ‘lady’ in Society.
Unbeknown to her, Sir Hugo’s niece, the beautiful, innocent orphan, Lorena, whom he summons back to England from her French Convent School, is chosen by him to play the part and is taken to meet the sophisticated Windlemere Set made up of the Duke’s spoilt entourage.
On arrival with her uncle at the Duke’s palatial stately home, Mere, Lorena is overawed by her surroundings and by the dashing and handsome Duke.
And for his part the Duke is captivated by Lorena’s intelligence, honesty and loveliness. Not only is Lorena capable, it seems, of being accepted by his snobbish friends.
She inspires respect as well – and even love.
After being knocked out with a drugged coffee, she finds she’s been duped. The boys have kidnapped her on the orders of their leader – a handsome, charismatic man the people have named ‘Juarez’ after a Mexican hero.
But it is not ransom he seeks. He needs her money to build a dam that will end a drought and save the lives of his starving people – and to get that money he intends to marry Orina!
Orina is furious but there’s nothing she can do. However, soon the plight of Juarez’ people melts her heart and when at last the water flows, and Juarez sets her free, she realises that he is still the captor of her heart!
On arrival, she finds the Duc as surly and rude as he is handsome. Worse still he hates the English and she struggles to win him over while resisting the attentions of the Duc’s dashing cousin the Comte, who is rumoured to be a murderer.
And soon, despite herself, Arletta finds herself losing her heart to the haughty Frenchman who despises everything she stands for. And who, surely, can never feel anything for her but contempt.
Benedict Fairburn does not quite need his ailing great-aunt’s fortune, especially since he’ll have to marry to get it. His family, however, thinks otherwise—as do many of the eligible ladies in London—and the pressure is mounting. An embarrassment of attentions fill Benny’s time, but the young lady he prefers roundly dislikes him.
Claire Dalton, cousin to one of Benedict’s oldest friends, is too busy debuting in Society to pay much attention to the Fairburn boy who once insulted her past bearing. He doesn’t recognize her, but that’s hardly upsetting, especially with the fetching Mr Graham offering his arm.
Unfortunately, Mr Graham is not all he seems, and each week brings a fresh disaster for Claire’s first Season. It’s enough to drive a young woman to distraction, especially since Benny Fairburn keeps behaving so very oddly. Concealed tragedy, poor orphans, a dotty great-aunt, deception and misunderstanding whirl in every direction, ready to explode.
Benedict and Claire are perfect for each other. Unfortunately, it may take catastrophe to make them realize as much…
Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her . . . or pull her under?
Harper Taylor is used to being alone— after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own.
So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name?
Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future.
Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.
“Free-dive into a romantic suspense that will leave you breathless and craving for more.” --DiAnn Mills, bestselling author
"As always, Colleen Coble never disappoints. Strands of Truth is no exception. I was hooked from the first page. Trying to read this story slowly is impossible. Don't be surprised when you find yourself flipping the pages in a hurry to find out what happens next! This one is for your keeper shelf." --Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Blue Justice Series
“Colleen Coble's latest book, Strands of Truth, grips you on page one with a heart-pounding opening and doesn't let go until the last satisfying word. I love her skill in pulling the reader in with believable, likable characters, interesting locations, and a mystery just waiting to be untangled. Highly recommended.” --Carrie Stuart Parks, bestselling author of Formula of Deception
“Once again, Colleen Coble delivers an intriguing, suspenseful tale in Strands of Truth. The mystery and tension mount toward an explosive and satisfying finish. Well done.” --Creston Mapes, bestselling author
“Just when I think Colleen Coble’s stories can’t get any better, she proves me wrong. In Strands of Truth, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The characterization of Ridge and Harper and their relationship pulled me immediately into the story. Fast paced, with so many unexpected twists and turns, I read this book in one sitting. Coble has pushed the bar higher than I’d imagined. This book is one not to be missed.” --Robin Caroll, best-selling author of the Darkwater Inn series
“It’s in her blood! Colleen Coble once again shows her suspense prowess with a thriller as intricate and beautiful as a strand of DNA. Strands of Truth dives into an unusual profession involving mollusks and shell beds that weaves a unique, silky thread throughout the story. So fascinating I couldn’t stop reading!” --Ronie Kendig, bestselling author of The Tox Files
They call him the Duke of Ruin.
To an undaunted wallflower, he's just the beast next door.
Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.
Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart.
When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.
Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?
And a two-legged dog.
And a foul-mouthed parrot.
And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .
Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him.
Not if he ruins her first.