Published by Entangled Publishing on March 27th 2017
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Constable Will Danbury has infiltrated a school to investigate an alleged crime. What he finds is a deeper, darker mystery—and a potent attraction to the alluring headmistress, Jacqueline Trouvère. But a constable can't get romantically involved with a suspect; even one he thinks is innocent, without committing career suicide.
As headmistress of a school devoted to saving the innocent daughters of London's soiled doves, Jacqueline’s life is complicated. Will tempts her in ways she never thought to experience, but she believes no respectable gentleman could love a former courtesan.
Despite their best efforts to fight it, a romance blossoms. When danger jeopardizes the school, however, his deceptions and her omissions come to light, threatening to destroy their love. They must look beyond the past to save both their future together and the lives of those they’ve sworn to protect.
Will barely stopped himself from exclaiming in shock at the sight of the pale, puckered scar circling Trouvère’s wrist. He looked away before she could catch him staring at it. Now he knew why instead of the tight elbow-length sleeves currently in fashion, hers went all the way to her wrists before ending in a froth of lace.
My God… Had she done it to herself? He risked another glance. No. It wasn’t the sort of mark left by a blade; it was the sort of scarring left by rope rubbing and cutting into flesh. Horror warred with curiosity. How had she come by such a terrible wound? Did she have a matching one on the other wrist? He’d seen such marks before in his line of work, and they usually came in pairs. Those who bore them had almost always been held prisoner at some point and struggled against their bonds. From the layered look of the scar, she’d done so for an extended period of time.
Thoughts tumbled over one another in a melee of suspicion, accusation, and speculation. She was French. Had she fled incarceration in France and settled in England to escape justice? Was Trouvère really her name? What was a woman with scars like that doing running a school?
She has suffered. The thought evoked a queer sensation of heaviness inside him, as if a weight had settled on his chest. Whatever the origin of that scar, she’d endured great pain in the making of it.
Who put it there? He longed to ask, but the way she snatched her hands back and drew them down out of sight behind her desk made him suspect she wouldn’t want to discuss it. One after another, questions popped up in his mind like mushrooms after arain.
Who is she, really?
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