Genre: Gothic Romance Publication Date: October 1, 2018
A grisly murder leaves a haunted estate without an heir, and a powerful medium scrambles to find answers from beyond the grave.
Determined to escape the nightmarish memories of her childhood, heiress and psychic Maribeth Sommerset pursues the adventurous life of a psychic investigator, beginning with a murder and the spirits who hover behind at the haunted Chateau Swansea
Meanwhile, devoted steward of the chateau Arthur Dunn plays a dangerous game of deception to shield his employer’s good name, landing himself at the top of Maribeth’s suspect list.
Amid scandalous secrets and destructive lies, will Maribeth uncover the secrets of Chateau Swansea before the killer strikes again?
Don’t miss out on this thrilling Victorian gothic romance!
ìIs that a dead body?î Edith suddenly whispered. ìGod in HeavenÖî
Maribeth pounded her fist on the roof of the hired hack. ìStop the coach!î She grasped the handle to the door.
ìWhat are you doing?î her friend shrieked, tugging on Maribethís sleeve. ìWe must leave at once. You heard the gentleman. The chateau is closed to visitors.î
But not investigators. This might be the luckiest evening of her existence. She had less than a month to prove to her guardian that she could support herself in her chosen path in life. A bit of rain and a bad-tempered servant wouldnít hold her back.
ìWait here,î Maribeth said, jumping from the moving coach. ìIíll only be a moment.î
She lifted her skirt and trudged through the knee-length grass toward the men gathered near the pond. Goodness, but her dress was a nuisance. Before she managed five steps, someone caught her arm from behind and yanked her to a halt.
ìWhere do you think youíre headed?î The surly man from the road glared at her, his steely blue eyes boring into hers. He was so close she could make out the silver whiskers interspersed in his black sideburns.
ìI beg your pardon,î she said, yanking free of his hold. ìIím here to offer my services. Where might I find the master of the house?î
ìThatís enough, Webber,î another man said from behind. ìIíll handle this matter.î
Maribeth whirled around, coming face to face with none other than Mr. Dunn. What business did he have here? Not that she cared one whit about him, except that he owed her a favor. Webberís footsteps receded behind her, and the odious man resumed barking orders for the coaches to evacuate the premises.
ìI apologize if Webber alarmed you,î Mr. Dunn said, folding his arms at the base of his lower back. ìThe butler is distraught at present. What can I do for you, MissÖ?î
ìMaribeth Sommerset,î she said with a lift of her chin. ìAnd you are Mr. Dunn. You stole my hired hack earlier at the Inn at Oxwich. Donít even try to deny it. The bellman confirmed the truth. That wasnít well done of you!î
His eyebrows lifted, and a spark of amusement ignited in his lovely brown eyes. ìI beg to differ, madam. Hired hacks are, by definition, ëfor hire.í The driver accepted my generous offer to pay a premium fare.î
Cheeky fellow. Men shouldnít steal coaches from ladies. His mama would be appalled by his behavior.
ìEven so,î she said, tugging on her gloves, ìIím sure the bellman informed you that the hack was ordered by me and my dear friend. You should be ashamed of yourself.î
He coughed into his hand and glanced away, but not before she saw the undeniable curve of his lips. Running off with a ladyís carriage wasnít amusing. After months of planning this trip, sheíd almost missed her opportunity to tour Chateau Swansea on his account.
ìExcuse me,î he said, meeting her gaze once again. ìI do apologize for any inconvenience. Iím the steward of Chateau Swansea and had urgent business to attend here.î
Steward. Well, that changed everything. He was the right-hand man of the master of the estate. Bloody hell. Had she offended him with her quick temper? She dug inside her handbag and plucked out one of her trade cards.
ìApology accepted,î she said with a smile. There was no reason to quibble over a silly coach. She thrust the card into his hand. ìAs I said, Iím Miss Maribeth Sommerset. Private psychic investigator, at your service.î She gestured to the group of men near the pond. ìI communicate with the dead. Iím staying at the Inn at Oxwich through Saturday should you need my assistance. My rates are reasonable and negotiable.î
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R.C. Matthews is the author of contemporary and historical romances featuring bold, sassy heroines and magnetic alpha heroes. Warning! The chemistry between her characters is off the charts hot, so read at your own risk. She resides in the Midwest and is surrounded by men: her husband and three sons. During her free time you’ll find her watching The Walking Dead, reading a fabulous book or hanging out with her family.