The Silent Curse of the Red Countess by Patricia Haverton

The Silent Curse of the Red Countess
By
Patricia Haverton

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Winning what you want may cost you everything you love…

Persephone Sheridan guards precious cargo.

Her years as the caretaker of a comatose elderly noblewoman had always been uneventful. Until the day Lady Humbertson woke and bestowed upon her a mission that was never meant to be her own.

With a title that he never wanted for himself, Silas Galashields, Earl of Dornham, bears the guilt of his brother’s death. When a stormy night brigs a strange young woman right outside his door, he offers her shelter. Not realizing that he’s offering shelter to the darkness she carries with her.

Worlds apart and yet bound by the red thread of fate, they trudge the line between bliss and ruin.

When Persephone’s horse is found poisoned, the message is clear: the people she loves are next. Desperate to protect Silas from the shadow that follows her, she makes a grave decision: reveal the secret that Lady Humbertson entrusted to her. A bloody tale sealed in a scroll, older than the Crown itself…

*If you like powerful Dukes, loving Duchesses and a marvelous depiction of the majestic Regency and Victorian era, then The Silent Curse of the Red Countess is the novel for you.

This book jumps right in with the suspense with Penny and Poppy caring for Lady Humbertson, she has been in a trance like state since her son died years ago. The physicians don’t know why she hasn’t come back but she certainly is getting the best care the two girls can give her.

When she refuses the medicine from Poppy and then later Penny, she speaks with an urgency to Penny, telling her to take a scroll and the money with it to her former maid. She also insisted she leave immediately and tell no one.

Penny steals a draft horse and rides barely eating and sleeping, until she has not choice but to try to sleep under a bush. A farmer finds her and brings her to the Manor of Silas Galashields the Earl of Dornham. He is appalled at her state and makes certain of her comfort before he himself retires with a persistent headache. He gives her a letter to give the innkeeper so she has a place to spend the night before completing her journey.

Things don’t go as she expected they would and she ends up robbed by the former maid’s son and her horse Bessie had spooked and run. With no other recourse she heads back to accept a position with the Earl of Dorham.

As Silas is enjoying an afternoon ride he spots Bessie without her rider concerned he doesn’t see Penny, he mounts Bessie and leads his own horse heading to the Inn he had arranged for her.

This is a favorite scene.

With the gates of Ebshire in view, Silas found himself growing ever wearier.He did not like the idea of leaving the young woman out on her own overnight, if she was out, but there was nothing he could do after dark. He would send a messenger to Primrose Hall to let his cousin know he intended to spend the night in Ebshire and return the following day.

He directed Bessie down the dirt road which led directly to the inn, on the northern edge of the town, when he spotted her. At first, she was but a dark figure, walking his way slowly, shoulders slumped forward and her head hidden by her cloak. Yet he knew it was her at once. He didn’t know why but something inside him knew.

“Miss Sheridan!” He called out and almost as soon as he’d said her name, Bessie appeared to spot her, too. The horse bucked, surprising Silas so much he nearly slipped off the saddle. The woman looked up and to his surprise, ran off the side of the road and into the bushes.

“Miss Sheridan! It is I, Silas.” He hesitated, then added, “Earl of Dornham.” He did not like using the title, for it felt as though he was stealing his brother’s name. However, it worked in this case, for the young woman stopped running and stood, her hood now pulled back, in the field and looked at him.

A moment later, she appeared to recognize her horse and she rushed toward them.

“Bessie!”

She was beside them in a moment and Silas dismounted the mare. She ran up to the horse, petting her side and putting her face close to the horse’s muzzle. The percheron appeared just as pleased to see her rider, for she gently pushed her snout into her face.

After their brief reunion, she looked at him. He was taken aback by her appearance. The new gown Mrs. Caldwell had provided her with was torn and dirty, her cloak ripped. Her light brown hair was loose over her shoulders, leaves sticking from it. But what took him by surprise above all was the hopeless expression in her eyes, the sadness. Something had happened to her since last they saw one another, something terrible.

“Miss Sheridan, what has befallen you? Did you fall off the horse?”

She shook her head, her lips quivering.

“My Lord, I am so grateful you have found her. She was startled and ran. I …” The sun had almost set and the moon was rising in the distance. The stars lit the   evening sky enough for him to see that her eyes were tearing up. She shivered, pulling her ripped cloak around herself.

“My dear, you are frozen. Here…” he took off his great coat and wrapped it around her before she could muster the strength to protest. “We must get you out of this cold. Are you well enough to ride?”

She nodded, pushing her arms into the sleeves of his coat. Tears were spilling out of her eyes and rolling down her cheeks. Silas felt his heart melt at the sight of her and found himself overwhelmed with a desire to help her, to comfort her.

“Come, let me help you to the horse. We will ride to Ebshire and stay at the inn tonight. Some ale and soup will do you good. And a rest. Then we will determine what to do.”

He assisted her onto her horse and then mounted Claymore. They trotted side by side toward the town in silence. He found himself glancing at her, taking in her pretty face that was so marked with sorrow.

I wonder what she keeps to herself that is causing her such pain. If only she would tell me so I could help.
Patricia Haverton. The Silent Curse of the Red Countess: A Historical Regency Romance Novel (Kindle Locations 1107-1134). Patricia Haverton.

With a position secured where she can also keep her horse, Penny finds herself spending more and more time with the Earl. There appears to be a forbidden attraction between them. She knows as well as he such thoughts are frivolous.

Things escalate quickly and Penny’s secrets will soon be unveiled, just not quite the way she thought they would.

These two are definitely made for one another, and it’s the Earl’s cousin’s attraction to a dairy maid that makes him realize it as all the puzzle pieces finally start coming together.

A Fast-paced, enjoyable, romantic and suspenseful tale.

5 Contented Purrs for Patricia!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Born the oldest of three children, Patricia Haverton grew up believing that she’d follow in her father’s footsteps and pursue a career in science. However, her worldview changed when she decided to explore her British mother’s roots. The trip to her ancestral lands solidified her conviction that she had found her true calling in the romanticism of the Era of Kings and Queens.

A hopeless romantic and a firm believer in the idea of soulmates, Patricia changed the course of her life and decided to get her degree in Creative Writing and Psychology. As she jokingly says ever so often, “she lives in the past now, where love shows the way and Dukes save the day!”

When she’s not weaving tales of love that prevails, Patricia enjoys spending time with her husband, roaming the British countryside, where they have been living in for the past decade.

Now would be the time to let yourself go and experience the true magic of the Regency Era! Let your imagination run wild, live amazing adventures through the eyes of brave heroes! Like the legendary wise wizard, Patricia will be your guide!

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