ROSE OF EBONY by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Scandalous Scions Book 0.5

Victorian Era Historical Romance Novelette

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An unwanted marriage turns tragic.

Raymond, Viscount Marblethorpe, eldest son to Elisa and stepson to Vaughn Wardell, casts off the solitary confines of a mourning widower to seek the company of his extended family.

His sharp-eyed cousins and siblings refuse to let him lie to himself, even if he must deceive the ton to save the family from yet another scandal.

The Rose of Ebony novelette is an introduction to the spin-off series following the historical romances of Scandalous Sirens.  Scandalous Scions brings 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

13.5 Scandalous Scions Boxed Set Four
A Sexy Historical Romance Series

This series is also available as a Special Bundle

{Also see: Romance, Historical Romance, Novels}

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Innesford House, Cornwall.  1857.

It vexed Raymond that despite Herculean effort to remember to sit in the middle of the carriage seat, he continually found himself against the edge of the old carriage, making way for hoops and petticoats that would never again push up against his thigh.

It didn’t seem fair that a marriage entered into reluctantly, maintained minimally, and ended tragically should continue to impinge upon him in this way, but there is was.  He was making way for Rose and her skirts.

Then the carriage rounded the last curve and the multiple peaks and gables of Innesford House appeared among the rusty red, dusky orange and yellow leaves still stubbornly clinging to the black oak branches, and the upright silver birches.

From the nearby Dunstall Woods, he could hear a hunting party—the cry of the dogs, peppered by rifle blasts and horns.   As the carriage turned into the gravelled drive in front of the big, old house, he could feel the bothersome itchiness that had driven him out of London fall away.

Corcoran stepped out the door as the carriage came to a halt, the driver calming the horses with soothing phrases.  Behind the Innesford butler, a half a dozen maids and footmen streamed out.  A footman opened the door of the carriage, the other three began removing his trunks from the back of the carriage.  The two maids stood in file by the door, waiting.

Corcoran, as usual, looked calm, even though Raymond had given no warning of his arrival.  He was utterly unflappable and completely devoted to the family.

Raymond stepped out and stretched.  There were very few carraiges built for a man of his height.  He looked forward to the trainline from Falmouth London being completed in the next year or so.  The long hours in a carriage with little spring left in it was not nearly as comfortable as an upholstered first class train cabin.

There were late larks twittering in the trees, fighting over the last of the summer green for their nests.  The sun was high overhead and pleasantly warm.

He sniffed.  He could smell the salty tang of the sea and hear the screech of gulls. “Ah, that smells good, Corcoran.”

“Viscount Marblethorpe, we were not expecting you,” Corcoran chided him.  “However, lunch has just been served and I have asked for a place to be made for you.”

That explained why he couldn’t hear children shouting or the murmuer of chatter from the back end of the big old rambling country house.  They were all sitting down to eat.  “Day two of the Great Family Meeting, hey, Corcoran?  Does that mean they’re outside?”

“Of course, my lord.  The pavilion was erected last week to accommodate the numbers.”

“How many this year?” Raymond asked, as he removed his great coat and straightend his coat and cravat.

“Twenty-seven, my lord, including yourself.  Even Miss Emma has been deemed grown enough to sit at the family table for this occasion.”

“Has she, indeed?” Raymond remarked.  Emma would be four this year.  The last time he had seen her, she had been a toddler wearing a big lavender bow in her dark hair, gripping a much battered and chewed doll.

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