My False Heart
When Elliot Armstrong, the dissolute marquis of Rannoch, pursues a spiteful mistress into the wilds of Essex to sever their relationship, he is surprised to find himself hopelessly lost -- in more ways than one. Inexplicably drawn to a warmly fit house along an isolated country lane, he is mistaken for an overdue guest -- but he dares not reveal his identity for fear of being tossed back out into the torrential rain, a fate he admittedly deserves. The loving family that innocently welcomes Rannoch into their midst soon challenges his cynical convictions, and ultimately, resurrects his shattered dreams.
The beautiful Evangeline van Artevalde is an artist of exceptional talent and extraordinary secrets. Isolated from society by choice, the half-Flemish refugee has fled her homeland in search of a secure haven for the children in her family. But even the Essex countryside, she finds, is not without danger. As the clutches of her aristocratic English relatives tighten, Evangeline holds them at bay by sheer force of will, unleashing her emotions only within the walls of her studio. The furthest thing from her heart is desire -- until a drenched, strikingly handsome man shows up at her doorstep late one night. Soon, Evangeline finds she can no longer confine her passions to oil paint and canvas.
Drawn by desire, Elliot and Evangeline discover a powerful love neither thought possible. But malevolent forces surround them, and soon their secrets will be exposed and their hearts tested to unthinkable limits. Only if they can forgive the past will they have a future....
Read an Excerpt
Give due light to the misled and lonely traveler...
-- John Milton
London, May 1819
The splatter of ice-cold champagne hit the marquis of Rannoch full in the face like a blast of well-chilled reality. From his lap, a buxom brunette leapt to her feet with an annoying scream, brushing ineffectually at the rivulets of wine that now marred her pink silk evening dress.
In a dimly lit back room of the Theatre Royal, Antoinette Fontaine stood before the fashionable après-theatre crowd, weaving unsteadily as she raised her empty glass in mock salute to the dark, surly man sprawled with... see more