betrayal is always the worst sin.
After her sister’s tragic memory loss, Lady Diana Dunkeld must endure the slew of suitors that her father pushes on her. But the youngest daughter of the Earl of Lutterhall rejects every single one of them.
With terrible rumors surrounding his family since his mother’s death, Elijah Saunders, the Viscount of Cambolton knows that finding a wife is going to be a hard task. Until the day he meets Lady Diana.
Social equals and yet worlds apart, they court their own ruin in each other. But they soon realize that their yearning for each other is not their only problem…
As new evidence of the death of Elijah’s parents comes to light, they find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy. When death knocks on their door, they can make only one wish…if only Diana’s sister could remember her accident.
Ever since her sister’s accident and loss of memory, Diana Dunkeld’s father the Earl of Lutterhall has been parading titled suitors before her; all asking for her hand in marriage. She has declined every one of them as she is looking for the almost impossible, love.
With each refusal her father gets angrier with her, he wants her married to someone with a suitable title.
This of course has led to rumors of her being a flirt with no intention of ever marrying.
Elijah Saunders, the Viscount of Cambolton, has returned to his family’s country home. He has been schooled abroad and only met with his family at their London home. Since the passing of his father, he now has the title and the estate. He knows he needs to marry but he knows there will be difficulties since there are rumors since his mother died after falling down the stairs in their home.
With the appropriate time of mourning passed, he agrees to attend a ball given by the Marquess of Forstall. It’s here he stumbles upon Lady Diana in the gardens.
This is a favorite scene.
Diana had gone into the gardens in an effort to avoid the gentlemen asking her to dance. She had already danced five sets in a row. In her new dancing slippers, her feet were crying out for a rest. She couldn’t do another.
She knew that she was blushing. In the moonlight, no doubt, it was hidden. As Diana was walking, she could hear him behind her. She whirled around, to find him following her.
“I’m sorry, My Lady,” he said. She felt something inside of her melt. The gentleman was tall and muscular, with high cheekbones and a well-formed jaw. He was looking at her with kind concern. Her heart was doing a pitter-patter— one that she had never thought possible.
“I was escaping the ball,” she said, if only to explain her presence there.
“I was also escaping,” he replied. Their eyes met, and they both laughed.
“It’s quite lovely out here. I’d no idea that Forstall Hall boasted such fine gardens.”
“They do,” she agreed. “Though the gardens at Albany Manor certainly rival them.” She hadn’t seen him before. She wondered who he could be.
She glanced around. They were alone. However, she knew that if anyone came upon them like this, her reputation would be ruined. Her father would never forgive her. She was only lucky that he had decided not to attend.
“We shouldn’t be caught here like this,” she pointed out.
The smile fell from his face. He cleared his throat awkwardly. “Quite right. My apologies,” he told her.
“I would like for us to be properly introduced,” she said, feeling daring. “Who do you know here?”
“Lord and Lady Forstall?” he suggested. “Unfortunately, I know very few people here. I haven’t been much in the area.”
She smiled. It sounded, to her, that he had a county seat in the vicinity. “Excellent. I will go and find one of them, and then you come and find us.”
“Promise me?” Diana wanted nothing more than to get to know this dashing gentleman better. With the way that her heart beat faster when he was near, she knew that she had to.
“I swear to you, My Lady.” He bowed gallantly.
“Good. I’ll go in first, and then you follow, My Lord,” she ordered.
He nodded, smiling. She turned away from him, her heart beating soundly in her chest. She had never felt this way about anyone before. She wondered if it was merely the intrigue of the situation.
Not only was he handsome, he interested her. She knew instinctively that he was not like other gentlemen.
She wondered what and who he was. She would learn, soon enough. She stood in the doorway, looking for Lady Forstall. When she saw her, she made her way over, planning in her mind to begin a conversation that would last long enough for the mysterious gentleman to find them.
Elijah was blissfully happy, for the first time since his father’s death. He had never been so interested in someone before. He didn’t even know her name. He waited until she disappeared from sight, and then he began to walk slowly back to the house.
Once inside, he spotted her talking to Lady Forstall, over by the refreshments table. He made his way over.
“Lady Forstall,” he said. “You’ve outdone yourself with those flower arrangements.” They were, indeed, a profusion of bright colors.
“Lord Cambolton,” she replied, beaming. “Are you enjoying the evening?”
“I am,” he said. “I just toured your gardens, and find them stunning.”
“Have you met Lady Diana Dunkeld?” she asked. He turned his gaze toward her. In the brighter light, he could see the pale cream of her skin, and the way that her brown eyes shone. He could now see the spray of freckles across her nose and cheeks, and how pink and luscious her lips were.
“I have not had the pleasure.”
“Lady Diana, this is Elijah, the Viscount of Cambolton.”
She curtsied to him, while he bowed to her.
“It is a pleasure,” she murmured. Her name suited her. She was as lovely as a huntress, as mysterious as a moon goddess. It was only right that the first time he had beheld her, she was awash in silvery moonlight.
“The pleasure is all mine,” he replied. They both smiled, the weight of their shared secret meeting stretching between them deliciously.
“Well, if you would both excuse me,” Lady Forstall said, her eyes travelling over the fast-emptying table once laden with desserts. “I must go and check on the serving staff. We need to have more refreshments sent out forthwith!”
They watched as she walked off, a bustle of silver silk skirts and brunette ringlets. Then, they turned to each other and grinned.
Scarlett Osborne. Sinfully Bound to the Enigmatic Viscount: A Steamy Regency Romance (Kindle Locations 198-241). Scarlett Osborne.
This is the beginning of a relationship that would more than vex Diana’s father. He didn’t consider a Viscount worthy of his daughter.
He does however allow the courtship as this is the first eligible bachelor Diana has shown any interest. He also hopes she would reject him as she has all the others.
Alas this is not to be and interesting information comes to light about Elijah’s father’s demise.
Secrets, blocked memories, a love that won’t die and a surprising resolution combined with some heated scenes make this a page-turning read.
I look forward to reading more of Scarlett’s books.
5 Contented Purrs for Scarlett!
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Born in the Sunshine State of Florida, but of both British and Nordic descent, Scarlett Osborne grew up reading historical romances from the land of her ancestors. Fascinated with the British society of the 1800s and armed with a wild imagination, she obtained a degree in Creative Writing and immediately started her career as a Regency romance author.
A daydreamer extraordinaire, Scarlett likes to jump in the shoes of her heroines, immersing herself in her own stories, living the adventures that she wished she had experienced as a child. An avid reader and fan of the outdoors, Scarlett spends her free time either reading or going on long horseback rides along with her two sons.
Get lost in a land of enchantment, where adventure and love await around every corner…Scarlett hopes that through her heroes, you too will get to live a whirlwind romance in the Regency era, when fairytales were real and all dreams possible!