It begins in 1796 when Hester Devlin, Dowager Countess of St. Audries is dying just after the birth of her daughter, Morgana. Months before, Hester’s husband was murdered—unbeknownst to her, by his brother who wanted his title and his wealth. Overhearing the man’s perfidy instructing another to “get rid of” Hester’s baby, she leaves clues in a Bible and prays her child survives. Morgana does. By 1815, 19-year-old “Pip” is living on the streets of St. Giles as a boy with two young men she thinks are her brothers.
Royce Manchester is a handsome American with lands in Louisiana and England, a connection to the nobility and enough money to buy anything he wants. One day, while out with his friends, a street urchin (Pip) tries to pick Royce’s pocket. Royce plucks the boy from the streets and decides to give him a better life. When he discovers the boy is actually a woman named Morgana, he makes her a maid in his London household—for her safety. But she is hardly safe from him, as he wants her for his mistress. (Of course, he would never marry a petty thief.) And then he recognizes her striking gray eyes…the St. Audries eyes! He assumes she must be the bastard child of the earl, his enemy. Ah, the plot thickens.
It’s 400 pages of action and mystery with many twists and turns. I recommend it!