Lie With Me

By Patricia Spencer

Things aren’t what they appear to be.

The widowed Countess Maryam Wyndham finds herself destitute. One last asset, Skylark Manor, stands between her and homelessness. So she must sell it to the highest bidder to provide for her three young children.

The man who wants Skylark most is the Marquis Julien D’Avenant, a half-English half-French aristocrat who fled the bloodbath in France after the revolution and has lived in near-seclusion since his return to England. When he does come out in public, he causes a stir. His nose is a beak, his face is slashed, and he dresses in the long trousers of the working class revolutionaries who stormed the Bastille.

One look at the extraordinary D’Avenant takes Lady Maryam’s breath away. He has an air of wildness about him. D’Avenant is an anarchist with eyes the colour of lapis lazuli. And he says her property isn’t worth anywhere near what her solicitor says she can get for it.

When she decides to go see distant Skylark for herself, D’Avenant impulsively invites her and her children to stay at his estate. It is only on cooler consideration that D’Avenant realizes that opening his home to this beautiful stranger could destroy everything he has built over the past ten years.

Because D’Avenant is not who he says he is. ‘He’ is Julianne D’Avenant, passing as her brother.

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