Darien Avery followed Caitlyn Sinclair from England to Australia, memories of their intense love affair fresh in his mind. When they arrive he quickly learns he isn't the only man in this new country who's infatuated with the breathtaking, blonde-haired beauty.
Women are turning up dead, victims to the worst kinds of depraved acts—women who fit Caitlyn's description—and every clue to the murderer leads back to Darien's family. Frantic to save Caitlyn's life, he sends her up north to her family, hoping to free her from the murderer's grasp. But she never makes it there. When he receives word that her dead body has been found, his heart breaks and he throws himself into a life of debauchery and sin as punishment for failing to save the woman he loves.
When yet another murder occurs, Darien believes he will be accused of the crime, so he flees. He finds himself in Jarvisfield—the same town where Caitlyn's family lives. But he soon learns that the murderer who has been butchering blonde-haired, green-eyed women has followed him there.
He's in for even more of a shock when he discovers that his beloved Caitlyn is not dead, and has in fact, been living in Jarvisfield for months. This time he will protect her. However, Caitlyn is having none of it. She believes Darien has betrayed her, and she won't fall for him again. No longer is she his lustful lover, but rather a lady of chastity, determined to live an independent life—one without Darien.
Content Warning: contains sex, strong language, and some violence
“My sister has told me often that lust isn’t a becoming feature of any woman. We should only indulge ourselves in chastity and nothing else.”
Having refastened his trousers, he righted his shirt before reaching out to her, his fingers softly grazing her arm.
“What will you tell your sister about us?” he asked.
She shrugged. “Probably that chastity is nowhere near as satisfying as lust.”
“I’m serious,” he said from behind her, his breath hot against her neck. “Will you tell her the truth about our relationship?”
She stopped what she was doing and took a step away from him, a sudden slight uneasiness filling her. “It’s not really the note one pens to their sister, now is it?”
“So what do we do?” he asked. “We can’t continue sneaking around as we did back in England.”
She was silent for a while, wondering on his words. He was right. This place wasn’t England, nor could they expect to carry on as such. Slowly, she turned back to face him. “We return to the hall.”
Darien followed Caitlyn back to the ballroom, puzzled by the strange emotions settling in the air between them. Each walking discretely out from behind the velvet curtain, they stepped in the direction of the crowd of revellers scattered around the hall, some dancing, some indulging in the supplied refreshments, others still trying to escape the heat of the room.
Upon arriving at the edge of the crowd, she went to turn away from him but he reached out to her, stopping her. He could take no more of this.
“You’d just walk away from me?” he asked, confused by what was happening. “After what just transpired between us, what we did, you’d leave me as if—”
“As if we’re little more than casual acquaintances,” she cut him off. “You’re engaged to my sister, Darien, not to me.”
“That was not of my choosing. You are of my choosing though,” he told her yet again. Taking a deep breath, he tried to control his growing frustration with this woman. “You didn’t seem to care much about either of our engagements a few moments ago when you were writhing in passion in my arms.”
“But the world didn’t see that,” she replied, diverting her gaze away from him. “That is a transgression only we two shall bear witness to.”
Reaching out to her, his fingers stroked the soft skin of her upper arm gently. “What if I don’t care if we’re seen together or what will be said about it? What if I told you I hoped some rumour of our affair would find its way back to your father and he might allow me to break my engagement to Martha and insist I marry you instead?”
She pulled away from him, stepping back to create a small space between them. “In case you’ve forgotten, I’m not one of the girls you rent out in that whorehouse you run. I can’t be bought and sold or bargained with to suit your will,” she said in a tart tone, turning on her heel to leave.
“That wasn’t what I meant,” he said as he reached out to her. “Caitlyn, wait.”
But she wouldn’t listen to him. She instead walked away and back into the crowd of dancers and other guests.
Faye Hall's passion driven, mystery filled books are set in small townships of North Queensland, Australia during the late 1800's.
Each of her novels bring something symbolically Australian to her readers, from Aboriginal herbal remedies, to certain gemstones naturally only found in this part of the world.
Each of her books tell of a passionate connection between the hero and heroine, surrounded and threatened by deceit, scandal, theft and sometimes even murder.
These romances swerve from the traditional romances as Faye aims to give her readers so much more intrigue, whilst also revealing the hidden histories of rural townships of North Queensland.
Faye finds her inspiration from the histories of not only the township she grew up in, but the many surrounding it. She also bases most of her characters on people she has met in her life.
Faye was able to live her own passion driven romance, marrying the love of her life after a whirlwind romance in 2013. Together they are raising their 9 children in a remote country town in northern Queensland, Australia.
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