SOUL OF SIN (Scandalous Scions: Story 1.0)
Sexy Historical Romance
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“The main reason I ever began reading Cooper-Posey’s work was her adventurous historical fiction – and she’s back at it, in high style.”
EXCERPT FROM SOUL OF SIN
COPYRIGHT © TRACY COOPER-POSEY 2017
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
London, England, 1858.
There was always a handful of people visiting West of London and Westminster Cemetery, every time Natasha returned there herself. If it were not for their black crepe and bombazine, it would be easy to lapse into thinking the visitors were strolling through a park, for the cemetery was garden-like in its appointments, with shady arbors, elaborate family crypts and well-clipped lawns.
No one spoke to anyone. That was the other difference. They were all strangers, there for a common purpose, but still quite alone. Not even the civil nod of acknowledgement that strangers would exchange in Hyde Park was used here.
Natasha missed the path to the Innesford family crypt, and lost her way. It had been so long since she had last visited, she could not remember how to find the crypt. Her discomfort rose.
When she found the crypt, her cheeks were hot with mortification, and she was slightly breathless from hurrying. She used the big iron key to unlock the gate and stepped into the cool, dim stillness of the hexagonal crypt. Her boots crunched on the tiles, as grit shifted beneath her feet. It sounded loud in the small, marble-lined room, and she flinched. She was disturbing the dead.
Seth was at the back, in the new wall. She slipped off her glove and pressed her hand against the carved plate.
Richard Seth Williams
18th Earl of Innesford.
1804 A.D.—1854 A.D.
“Oh, Seth,” she whispered, her eyes stinging with tears. “Four years since you were taken from me. It has been a year since I came to see you. I meant to come sooner. I miss you every day. I still forget sometimes that you are gone. I find myself starting to speak to you. Then I remember you are not there and it makes my chest ache.”
There was no answer, of course. She wished for a moment she was spiritual enough to believe that Seth watched over her and if she prayed hard enough and listened with a pure heart, he would speak to her. Other widows often claimed they had entire conversations with their departed husbands. They would consult with them on all major decisions in their life. The shades of their loved ones would continue to direct their lives from beyond the grave. It would be wonderful to be able to visit Seth eagerly and return to her life filled with the contentment and peace that other widows derived from standing at the foot of their husbands’ graves.
Instead, Natasha always stood here in the silence and felt confusion and a roil of emotions that all seemed wicked and inappropriate. Anger was one of the strongest. She sometimes wanted to beat her fist against the silent headstone and rage at the Fates for doing this to her and to Seth. Despair and grief and sadness were always there.
But more and more often, lately, what she felt was a terrible, fear-inducing loneliness.
Seth had been a pragmatic man. Seven years a convict had stripped from him any belief in divine justice and he would have laughed at those widows who talked to their dead husbands. Natasha, though, was beginning to understand why they might. It was comforting to think that Seth might be lingering in some other plane and watching over her. Although if that were true, then Seth would be caustically advising her to give up such nonsensical ideas and go put on that blue dress he liked so much….
Her tears spilled. She hung her head.
“I don’t know what to do…” she whispered. “I’m so busy, Seth. There are never enough hours in the day. The twins are turning into women right in front of me. Lisa Grace is nine…nine, Seth. She is going to be tall. She is already up to my shoulder. And Daniel’s voice has broken. He’s a baritone. I know you would laugh about that. You’d have given him brandy to celebrate and perhaps a cigar. Neil is in his last year at Eton. Lilly…” She sighed. “Lilly seems content. Oh, and Cian starts at Cambridge this year. I decided…I hope you don’t mind, but I thought he should finish his education, even though he’s already taking over the management of his titles and the estates…”
She reached under the lace veil and wiped her cheeks. “Every time someone calls me the Dowager Countess, I look over my shoulder to see who it is they’re addressing. Then I realize that it is me they are talking to.” She laid her hand back on the stone, her damp fingers marking it. “I don’t feel like a dowager anything.” She closed her eyes and leaned her head against the stone. “I just feel so alone.”
The silence was her answer. No ghost whispered. Nor did the wind stir to shift leaves over the paths outside.
“You will struggle to put it down. It is truly historical romance at its finest!”
READER ADVISTORY: This book contains frank sex scenes and sexual language.
“One of the best historical romances I have read this year. Tracy Cooper-Posey deftly blends historical detail with heart-touching romance.”
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