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QUEEN OF HEARTS by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Scandalous Scions Book 13.0

Victorian Era Historical Romance

More books by Tracy Cooper-Posey
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In America, she met an Indian called River.

Sadie travelled to America when she was nineteen, leaving behind her great family, to learn more about her real parents and how they died.  While traveling in the Columbia River territories, her party is attacked by Indians and saved by a different tribe. Among them is the brave she comes to know as River.

Sadie learns that not only is River an Englishman, he is the son of the Duke of Caldwell. When his family learns he survived his parents’ death when he was an infant, River faces a choice: Leave Sadie and his tribe behind, or let the people of Caldwell suffer at the hands of his indifferent and selfish uncle…

This book is the thirteenth and final book in the Scandalous Scions series, bringing together the members of three great families, to love and play under the gaze of the Victorian era’s moralistic, straight-laced society.

This story is part of the Scandalous Scions series:
0.5 Rose of Ebony
1.0 Soul of Sin
2.0 Valor of Love
3.0 Marriage of Lies

3.5 Scandalous Scions Boxed Set One
4.0 Mask of Nobility
5.0 Law of Attraction
6.0 Veil of Honor

6.5 Scandalous Scions Boxed Set Two
7.0 Season of Denial
8.0 Rules of Engagement
9.0 Degree of Solitude

9.5 Scandalous Scions Boxed Set Three
10.0 Ashes of Pride
11.0 Risk of Ruin

12.0 Year of Folly
13.0 Queen of Hearts

A Sexy Historical Romance

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Queen of Hearts
Average rating:  
 9 reviews
 by Kathi Soniat
Brilliant Heart-Wrenching Finale!!

We have come to know and love this family who does not always follow the precepts of the Ton. Our main characters actually meet, interact, and fall in love in America – I love this glimpse into the somewhat harsh yet delightfully simple life they have there. River was raised by Indians but has a pedigree in England. Sadie discovered she was born in America and wants to discover her roots.

River, in reality Duke of Caldwell, must travel to England to undo mismanagement and take his rightful place to save many families. Years later when Sadie returns to visit family, she endeavors to avoid interaction with him, as he is now married. Society does not work in her favor.

Turns out there is danger and intrigue currently and, in the past, which needs to be resolved. A touching and emotional journey for these wonderful characters.

 by Kathy
Saving A Good One For Last

This broad series of books sadly ends with this 13th book. Only sadly because this big broad family has become so familiar to me and I loved revisiting them with each new book. Here we have Sadie who has been in America for years suddenly return and that is when the surprises begin to unfold. The ending is a great welcome surprise. I for one say thank you to Tracy Cooper-Posey for taking me on a great sweeping journey with these great families she has imagined so well.

 by IngSav
Couldn't put it down! Love against the odds.

A gripping story with detailed immersion in the era and environment we followed the characters into: whether that be the American plains of the Indians when the Europeans started to move in or the drawing rooms of the Ton in London.

The two main characters are drawn to each other from their first meeting and it was only ever going to be circumstances outside their control that would part them!

Our strong heroine and hero didn't let social conventions get in the way of their passion...and boy did they get steamy!

Tracy Cooper-Posey is a talented writer who captures my imagination and transports me to where-ever her characters have their unpredictable and delightful adventures!

This was a very satisfying finish to the Scandalous Scions series and I loved the glimpses of all the other family members included in this book.

I highly recommend reading all the books of the series in order, as I have.

 by Stephany
Queen of Hearts

Another great book to the Scion series. Each book has been a different adventure for different members of the family so I'm not surprised with this adventure. As the other books in the series, I enjoyed this one so much I had a hard time putting It down. Sorry to see the series end....but as they say "All Good Things Must End!"

 by Beatriz
Last one!

Queen of hearts is the 13th and last book in the Scandalous Scions series. As this is a really big series it's almost if I didn't expect it to end... but, my goodness, this is really the last one! This is the story of Sadie and River. What I really like the most is that the author don't sugarcoat the story. Sadie has been in the States for 17 years and the coming back is harsh, but of course she's a tough woman. The plot is as always unexpected, it keeps you on your toes the whole book, and what and end! I also love to be able to encounter again with old characters and how they fare, that's something you don't usually have in other series, so thank you Tracy 😉

This is a series I'd absolutely recommend and one you can commit to from the beginning to end now that it's finished!

 by Cyndi Lamascola
Queen of Hearts - Scandalous Scions series

Welcome to the Great Family! A Passionate, loving, extremely loyal, and oftimes scandalous family. From the first page of the first book in this series you are drawn in and held captive right up to the last words of the final chapter of this final book of the series - Queen of Hearts. Queen Of Hearts brings the entire family together for an unforgettable finale. It's emotional, engrossing and so full of passion from beginning to end. Tracy Cooper Posey has brilliantly woven a story that will stay in your heart forever.

 by Susan Bradley Skov
A fitting conclusion

When I realized the other identity of River, I thought, “Lord Greystoke meets Jane Porter.” I was wrong. Queen of Hearts deals with the integration of disparate personalities and experiences, more than with the idea of the ‘noble savage’ trapped in the artificial world of European society. The integration also takes place inside each of the main characters, chiefly when they are together. It is beautiful and heart-breaking to observe these two people, who strive to be who they are, whether together or apart, and see them find their way home. This is a very satisfying book, on many levels, and a fitting conclusion to the series.

 by Hester Helm
Superb End of Series

Wow and wow!! This book is fabulous!! I know I have said it before, but this is my favourite book in the series! This is truelly an epic end of series tale!!

Tracy shares this beautiful story about Sadie and River. The terrible circumstances under which they met, their idylic bliss and the burden of duty and it's consequences. The plot is stunning with it's slowly unfolding tidbits, resolving the mystery and the unexpected twists and turns that shoots the reader to the edge of their seat.

I enjoyed this book tremendously! The action is fast paced and terrifying and the romance is hot, sweet and sweaty. The story made me smile, cry, experience whiplash during a schocking twist and share elated joy with the memorable characters, that will stay with me forever. I strongly recommend reading the series in order. I am pleased to report that this book has a wonderfully happy ending.

Well done Tracy on a magnificent story and end of series! It is truelly superb!!

 by Charles Smith
Adventure and Romance

Sadly, this is the 13th and last in the series but we leave with a romance and adventure that reveals the skill of this prolific writer. Sadie Davies is the adopted now 19 year old daughter of Princess Annalies and Rhys Davies and a member of the Great Family. Wanting to find out about her natural parents she travels to America and takes a wagon train with friends where they are attacked by indians. Fortunately, they are saved by another tribe and Sadie falls in love with River a brave who was found as a baby huddled under his dead parents after an indian attack. Raised an indian he is chosen to learn the white tongue so that the tribe can communicate and learn the ways of the whites. When visitors arrive and inform River that he was the only son of the Duke of Caldwell and that he is needed to return to his estate in order to save it from the cruel mismanagement of his Uncle he does so. The two lovers are apart many years and expect never to see each other again and so marry. But after fifteen years pass and Sadie is again single and now wealthy having acquired a steamship the Queen of Hearts she returns in her ship to Portsmouth, England and to see her family. A reunion occurs happily and then she sees Rowan who also has never lost his love for her. A fascinating tale.


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Excerpt

EXCERPT FROM QUEEN OF HEARTS
COPYRIGHT © TRACY COOPER-POSEY 2019
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

River didn’t react or acknowledge Remington.  His gaze remained upon Sadie.

The door clicked softly shut behind them.

River still didn’t move.

Sadie recognized the stillness in him.  It was the same absolute motionless he had maintained the first time they had met.  She had only learned later it was how he reacted to what he thought might be danger or a threat of some kind.

Although on that first occasion, or even the last time Sadie had seen him, River had looked nothing like he did now.  He was a proper English lord now—his suit was immaculate, the collar crisp, the tie perfectly arranged.  His hair—his beautiful raven’s wings hair, which had once brushed the skin beneath his shoulder blades, was now as short and neat as any gentleman’s.

Only his eyes revealed the River Sadie had once known.  There was the wariness of the wild thing about his eyes.  He was uncertain.  Not of himself, but how those around him might react.  How she would react.

“Relax, River,” she said tiredly.  “I am not about to show you the door or scream at you.”

River didn’t relax.  Of course he did not.  He wouldn’t lower his defenses just because she said so.  He would do it only when he knew he could safely do so.  “I apologize for the subterfuge.”  His voice…ah! His voice.  The sound of it tumbled her back ten years.  She could feel the chill of winter upon her nose, and the heat of him behind her, as he spoke quietly by her ear.   Small things.  Intimate things.  Whispers that made her shiver in delight, before his arms came around her and pulled her back toward the tipi.  Their tipi…

Sadie drew in a breath, to control her reaction.  She could not afford to let her mind drift back to then.  That lay in the past.  She needed a clear head, now.  “You could have simply sent a letter.  Asked to see me.  There was no need for this drama.”

“If I had sent a letter, would you have agreed to meet me?” River asked.

Sadie didn’t answer.  Of course she would not have agreed.  She had hidden away on the Queen to side-step this very meeting.  She had avoided the entire city of London and any journey that might take her too close to Caldwell itself.  She had refused invitations from acquaintances who had known her during her first season, and now begged to renew their friendship, now she was back in England.

She had remained a recluse, to avoid River.

And now he was here.

Sadie sighed.  “It would have been better if we had not met.  Why are you here, River?”

“To speak to you.”

She rolled her eyes.

River stirred and finally took a step further into the room.  “Why would I not want to speak to you?” he demanded.  “We were…we meant much to each other, once.”

“Then you returned to England and became the Duke of Caldwell…and got married,” Sadie finished.

River grew still once more.  “You knew about that?”

“They have newspapers in America, too, River.”

“Not on the plains,” he said swiftly.

“No, not there,” she agreed.  “But I did not stay there.  Not after you left.”  Her heart ached, for she couldn’t not help but recall the bleakness of those days after he had left.  The bewildered and lost sensation that had lingered in her mind and heart for a very long time afterwards.

River took another step toward her, as if he was compelled to move.  “I heard…Remington heard from associates…that you were married, not long afterward.”

Sadness welled up in her, making her chest ache and her throat to constrict in pain.  “Yes,” she whispered, for it was the truth.

River’s hand twitched.  His knife hand.

Was it his knife hand anymore?  Had he held a knife in that hand since he left the plains ten years ago?  Had he forgotten the feel of his knife?  Or was that twitch his true nature making him reach for the hilt?

He grew still once more.  “You have changed,” he said softly.

Sadie nearly laughed at the absurdity of the observation.  Nearly.  She shook her head, instead.  “Why do you want to speak to me?”

“I suspected…that perhaps you might think it best to avoid me,” River said.  “I wanted to assure you it isn’t necessary.”

“Or was it that you wanted a public meeting of this sort to occur so you could more easily explain away how we know each other?” Sadie guessed.

River’s jaw worked.  It was the first hint she had seen of any emotion other than a hunter’s wariness.  “That would imply I do not want anyone to learn that we met in America.”

“You don’t want to hide that fact?” Sadie asked, surprise stirring in her aching chest.

“Would you prefer that I do?” River asked, his tone curious.

Sadie didn’t know how to answer that.

“You have a precarious reputation,” River added.  “England does not know quite what to make of you.  Having my name associated with yours could tip the balance against you.”

“Or blacken your name and reputation?” Sadie hazarded.

“I survived the first flood of disapproval.  I am sure I would easily navigate another, should it occur.  Everyone has forgotten who I am.  Who I was, I mean,” he added quickly.

Sadie’s surprise increased.  “They disapproved of you when you came here?”

“Of course they did!” River said, his tone harsh.  “I was a savage in thought and deed.  I had to be taught how to dress like an Englishman, how to use a knife and fork, how to…how to do just about anything a boy learns in his first ten years.  All I was good for was hunting!”

“They hunt here, too,” Sadie said coolly.

“For sport.”  His tone was disgusted.  “They waste the lives and spirits of animals to entertain themselves.”

There was the River she remembered.  “Átwana…” she whispered, her eyes prickling with tears.

River flinched.  “Do not call me that,” he ground out.

Sadie swiped quickly at her eyes.  “And what does your wife call you?”

“Caldwell,” he said, his tone cold.  “As a duchess should.”

“Even in private?” She was aghast.

River looked away from her.  “Then, she sometimes calls me River,” he admitted.

It hurt.  Perhaps he had meant it to hurt.  “I apologize, I should not have asked you that,” Sadie said.  “It was rude of me to pry.”

River nodded.  He cleared his throat.  It was a typical gentleman’s response to awkward emotions.  “Well…I have said what I must.  Do not restrict your movements here on my account.”

“And what do I tell people about how we met?” she asked.  “My brother will demand nothing but the truth, now you have roused his curiosity.”

“And his suspicion and ire?” River guessed.  “He is very Irish, isn’t he?”

“He is Welsh, actually,” Sadie said, a small smile pulling at her mouth.  “But he has the black Celtic temper, yes.”

River’s gaze lifted to her hair.

And his fingers shifted.  A tiny movement that she might have missed if she had not been watching every small movement and memorizing every word he spoke.

Her hair.  That had been the thing which had drawn his attention.

“It still glows,” River said softly.

That was what he had said when they first met.  It glows.  Only she had not understood what he had said until much later, when he had given her the tribe’s name for her.  Timna’ilkwish.  Heart of fire.  She was the first blonde woman he had ever seen.

Sadie sighed.  Sadness pulled at her.  Wretchedness.  “River, please…” she whispered.  “I stayed away for so long because I didn’t want this…this agony.”

River’s face worked.  His jaw flexed.  Then he contained himself.  She watched him close down everything in his heart and mind.  He shut it off.  His shoulders straightened. He tugged at his cuffs.   “You should tell your brother anything you wish to tell him,” he said, his tone stiff and formal.  “You will, anyway, despite anything I say.”

Sadie caught her breath.  “That is unfair.”

River consider her words.  “Perhaps.  But it is also true.  You never did anything I said unless you wanted to.”

“It is as well you are rid of me, then.  You have a properly domestic wife by your side.”

“A fact I am aware of every single day,” River said.  His voice was toneless, his face still and unrevealing.  “Goodbye, Sadie.”

“Goodbye, River.”  She was wildly grateful that her voice was as even as his, for her insides were roiling, her heart aching and her head throbbing.  Could she let him simply walk from the room?   Leave, and never come back?

This was River!  He looked nothing like she remembered, but there was enough of the man she had known still left in him for her to glimpse. Her heart hurt with the recognition.

He gave her a stiff nod that was as proper and formal as any duke she had ever met.

Say something!  Anything!  The voice screamed in her mind, but Sadie could think of not a single word, nothing that might make River turn back and stay in the room with her.

He was not hers anymore.  She must let him leave as he wished.

River opened the door and stepped out.


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