The garden party at the residence of Baron Vaughan’s estate was an annual event for the people of the Tamford Township. All of their neighbors from miles around attended the event. Madalene, daughter of Baron Vaughan, liked helping her mother prepare for the event.
This year was a bit different as her mother had been taken ill and was unable to attend the party. Madalene had been put in charge of making the party decisions with her mother consulting from her sickbed. It was with hollow pride that Madalene dipped her head and accepted the compliments for the party in her Mother’s stead.
Madalene slipped away from Captain Tallory and his wife, who tended to wind on about much of nothing mixed with random outbursts about the war. She spied Benjamin Grant, the son of their neighbors Viscount Langley and his wife whom Madalene always simply called Lady Laura due to having known the woman her whole life. The Langley family was an old one and one steeped in titles, but the loftier titles were scattered among various branches of the family leaving them with the lesser title of viscount, not that it seemed to bother the down-to-earth Langley family.
She walked across the stone patio keeping her eyes on Benjamin. He was just a couple of years older than herself. They had grown up together in these fields and forests. Their parents had let them have their freedom to roam and play as they saw fit when they were younger.
Now though they were supposed to be proper, childhood’s yoke is hard to fight off. Their parents for the most part still considered them children, and when Madalene slipped off into the garden, no one paid any attention. She crept along the hedgerow trying to be as quiet as she could.
“Are you plotting an escape?” It was Benjamin’s voice, and Madalene hid a laugh behind her hand.
She put her hands on her hips haughtily. “Do not sneak up on me, Ben.”
“Because you are as jumpy as a rabbit under the hawk’s eyes,” Benjamin finished for her.
Madalene stuck her tongue out at her friend. She squeaked and turned to flee when Benjamin took offense to her gesture. Laughing, she raced along the garden path lined with hedges.
Benjamin whispered, “You’ll have the guards on us.”
Madalene could not respond due to her laughter. She just ran. She could hear Benjamin’s footfalls behind her even as the path turned from stone to grass.
She turned to see how far behind her he was, and she tripped. Benjamin’s arms went around her, but instead of saving her from her fate, he toppled over with her. They landed in the soft grass, and Madalene sulked up at the blond-haired man. “You crush me, Sir.”
“But I finally have you,” Benjamin whispered in triumph.
Madalene rolled her eyes at the arrogant man. “I tripped. A three-legged dog could have caught me.”
“I had a three-legged dog one time. He was a good dog,” Benjamin said as he eyed her with amusement.
Madalene gasped for breath after their run, and Benjamin relented enough to roll them onto their sides in the grass. They lay there still loosely wrapped around each other as they caught their breath from their jaunt through the garden. Madalene watched Benjamin and found herself smiling.
His hair had pulled free of its ribbon, and it fell messily over his shoulders. She reached a handout and ran her fingers through his hair. “You never had a three-legged dog.”
“Red had three legs,” Benjamin countered.
Madalene frowned and then finally agreed, “That is right. I had forgotten about him.”
“Well, it was when I was eight,” Benjamin conceded. “Quite a few years ago.”
Madalene thought back to those days of childhood fun and sighed. She attempted to sit up but found her movement impeded by Benjamin. She lay back in the grass and gave the man a smile remembering the boy she grew up with.
She stilled as Benjamin pushed a piece of hair behind her ear. The crickets were singing in her ears so loudly that she could scarcely hear the party anymore. Her blood thumped out a rhythm as her breath caught in her throat at the gentle touch.
This was not the boy she had grown up with. He was a different person now. He smelled of secrets and danger. It was enticing, and when he leaned forward, she closed her eyes so that she was not overcome by his gaze.
She felt his lips against her own. She was frozen like a fawn under the hunter’s gaze. It was the briefest of first kisses before he pulled back.
She stared into his grey eyes as they lay together in the grass, and he stared back. How long had she dreamed of this moment? Madalene smiled at him.
Benjamin was already rising, and Madalene wanted to protest. She felt cheated of her first real kiss. She had been caught so off guard at the kiss that she did not get to fully realize it. What sorrow that it should be over?
“Ben,” Madalene whispered as he reached a hand down to help her to her feet.
He eyed her with a thoughtful expression. Was that worry she saw on his face? “Yes, Maddy?”
Her heart warmed at the nickname. “Must we go?”
“Do you not think they will have missed us by now?” Benjamin was always so level-headed. He was the one who tempered her mischievous schemes and the voice of reason when Madalene forgot to look before she leaped.
Madalene accepted his words with a simple nod. When she was on her feet, she kept her hand in his. He did not truly seem to mind, Madalene reasoned. She smiled as he picked a leaf off her shoulder. “I probably look a fright.”
“You look beautiful,” Benjamin said with a shrug.
Madalene felt her face warm, but she also felt a womanly pride. She was beautiful. Ben had said so. The idea that he thought her lovely to look upon made her skin tingle.
She let him lead her back toward the party down the very hedgerow where they had run their chase. She tipped her head up and looked at the stars. The stars would hold their secrets.
Madalene pondered telling her mother about her infatuation with Benjamin, as she had before. She wondered if her mother knew that her friendship with Benjamin had grown deeper as they grew older. Perhaps her mother already knew such things as mothers were wont to do.
The lights of the party intruded as they drew closer. Madalene noticed right away that something was different. The music was not playing, and there were voices raised with concern. Surely they had not been gone long enough to
warrant such distress.
Madalene moved away from Benjamin. They entered the party separately as Benjamin went around to the other side of the patio to not be seen returning with Madalene. As soon as she stepped onto the patio, Benjamin’s mother, Lady Laura, rushed over to her. “Madalene, your father was searching for you!”
“What’s happened?” Madalene had the worst dread well up in her stomach. The guests were leaving. “Why are the guests leaving?”
“Your mother has taken a turn for the worse. Your father is already up at the house with her.” Lady Laura wrapped a comforting arm around Madalene’s shoulders and guided her over to where the housekeeper was waiting.
Madalene forgot about Benjamin and the kiss. She freed herself of Lady Laura’s embrace and rushed past the housekeeper. She forgot everything as she raced along the hallways to her mother’s room. The doctor who had been in attendance at the party was already there, as was Madalene’s father.
Dr. Haynes straightened from where he had been leaned over Madalene’s mother and gave Madalene a sad look before his eyes went to Madalene’s father behind her. “Lord Vaughan, a word?”
Madalene watched as her father and the doctor slipped out of the room. Her mother lay still and quiet on the bed. “Mother?” Madalene did not dare raise her voice above a whisper.
Her mother stirred slightly, and Madalene breathed a sigh of relief as she rushed over to grasp her mother’s hand. Madalene knelt at her mother’s bedside. Lady Vaughan opened her eyes just a crack as if they were very heavy. “Maddy,” Lady Vaughan whispered.
Madalene gave her mother a smile. “I am here.”
“My lovely girl.” As she spoke, her mother’s fingers flexed around Madalene’s fingers. Lady Vaughan’s voice sounded so strange and strained.
Madalene whispered, “Do not talk so much. You will use up your breath.”
Lady Vaughan brought a shaking hand to lie against Madalene’s cheek. She gave Madalene a weak smile before her eyelids began to close again. Her mother’s hand fell from her cheek to the bed. “Mother?” Madalene squeezed her mother’s hand. Anxiety laced through her when her mother did not respond. “Mother?” Her voice rose, and she vaguely heard the door open behind her.
She felt hands on her shoulders and looked up into her father’s face. “Let her rest, Maddy.” Her father pulled her to feet. “There is nothing you can do here. Your mother would skin me alive if I let you stay here all night wasting away over her.”
Madalene heard his words, but she felt his worry. He was rambling as her father often did when his nerves got the better of him. She looked at her mother’s still form and nodded silently. She turned and left the room.
The hallway reflected the quiet heard in houses when death comes to call. It was so quiet that Madalene felt a shiver go over her. Part of her wanted to run to Benjamin and feel one of his warm hugs. She would give any number of things for one of those warm summer days running in the fields with Ben and feeling as if there were no worries in the world.
Madalene sighed and gathered herself up as she wrapped her arms around herself. She had to rest. What if her mother needed her later? Madalene walked toward her bed with legs that felt heavy and stiff.
She made sure to say a prayer for her mother before she sank into sleep. She was certain she would be visited by nightmares, but they did not come. The only dreams that kept her company while she slept were memories of her mother that replayed through her mind as if she might ever forget her mother’s soft voice.
Madalene awoke to a sound she could not place. The room was still dark, and Madalene sat up straining her ears to hear what the unusual sound was. She slipped from her covers and pulled on her dressing gown.
She crept along the hallway until she found the source of the noise. Her father, his head in his hands was leaned against the wall weeping. Madalene came to the man unobserved and put her hand on his arm. “Father,” she whispered.
Lord Vaughan quickly straightened and cleared his throat. “What are you doing out of bed?”
“Is it Mother?” Madalene felt that dread again. It sat cold in her stomach and became all the heavier when her father did not deny her words right away.
He drew in a ragged breath. His voice broke as he said, “She has left us, Maddy.”
Madalene’s eyes filled with tears, and she felt her father pull her into a warm embrace. He held her as he had done when she was a child and scraped her leg in some mishap. This hurt so much worse, though.
She clenched her hands in his jacket and sobbed into the material that smelled of the cigars he liked to smoke. When she had cried herself out, she just closed her eyes and whispered, “I did not get to say goodbye.”
“Yes, you did. She got to see you, her sweet, lovely girl. It made her so happy.” Her father gave her shoulders a squeeze. “Now, go on back to bed. Your mother would not want you losing sleep.”
Madalene looked up at her father. “And you? Would Mother not want you to sleep as well?”
“There are customs to be upheld, and someone has to be here to attend to things,” her father said in a very reasonable tone.
Madalene shook her head. “I have had some sleep, and you have had none, I would wager. I shall help you get through this. I shall not hear any naysaying of the matter.” Madalene straightened and smoothed down her dressing gown.
Her father smiled. “You sounded very much like your mother just then.”
“Did I?” Madalene asked as she turned to walk with her father back to her mother’s room.
He nodded. “Yes. Did I ever tell you of the time I first met your mother?”
“Many times,” Madalene said. “But I would love to hear it again.”
The sun, despite the events of the night, rose. The birds still sang, and Madalene felt empty. She moved about, but she was very much like the puppets that Viscount Langley had made for her and Ben when they were children.
Madalene certainly wished that there was someone who could pull her strings and make her carry on through the motions of life. Her father seemed in need of a puppeteer as well. For his sake, he had Madalene, and she was determined to help even if her father seemed just as determined to shield her from all of it.
“Miss Reid,” Miss Yates said as she came down the hallway all bustle and brimming with the energy that always seemed to surround the woman.
Madalene regarded Miss Yates with a smile. “It appears the dawn has come whether we like it or not. I thought you might still be sleeping after our vigil last night.”
“I had the same thought about you, Miss,” Miss Yates said as she put her arm around Madalene’s shoulders. “Where are you off to so early?”
Madalene shrugged under the weight of the woman’s arm. “I thought I might take a walk. Mother always liked taking walks.”
“A good constitutional might do you some good. Perhaps you should eat first.”
There it was. There was that not quite a suggestion tone in Miss Yates’ voice. The woman was older, and with no grandchildren to speak of, she seemed to have set Madalene in that role years ago. Madalene allowed the woman to steer her toward nourishment even if she was not particularly hungry.
As they entered the dining hall, Madalene spied her father who sat with a steaming cup of what Madalene had to assume was that bitter coffee he had taken a liking to after a business trip. “Good morning, Father,” Madalene called out as Miss Yates guided her over to the table.
Miss Yates was swiftly out of the room to fetch Madalene’s breakfast. Baron Vaughan whispered, “See that she got you
“Ah, so you were not in here for your health then?” Madalene gave her father a smile. She was grateful to see the man’s humor still present.
Baron Vaughan nodded and took another sip of his coffee. “I would have been here eventually, but it was Miss Yates’ firm hand that landed me here so early.”
“I am glad to see you all the same. You will rest today.” She nodded toward his sleeve. “Where is your armband?”
“Oh, I have one of the maids preparing it. The one from when my mother died was in no condition to be worn, and I wanted a new one for your mother.” Baron Vaughan put his hand on his arm where normally during the mourning time he would have a black armband. “She knows I miss her, and no one will know here that I am not wearing it.”
Madalene agreed with a dip of her head. “That is true. Everyone here knows how much you love Mother, and I doubt any would question your loyalty to her memory.” She waved at her own dress which was a simple grey dress that her chambermaid had laid out while Madalene bathed to refresh herself after the night’s work. “I am not much better by society standards I should think.”
“I doubt anyone is after a night like ours,” Baron Vaughan said. He reached over and gave Madalene’s hand a pat. “I have to go make arrangements today.”
Madalene frowned. She gave her father a stern look. “I thought you were going to rest.”
“There are things that need doing that only I can do, Maddy,” Baron Vaughan said with fatigue dragging down every word.
The endearing nickname made Madalene soften. She could not be ill with him at a time like this. “I know. I just worry.”
“It is right that you should.” Baron Vaughan went back to his coffee.
Miss Yates came into the room with a tray. “Here you are.” She sat the tray in front of Madalene.
Madalene eyed the tray with its pastries, fruit, and meats. “I do not know if I am hungry enough for all of this.”
Baron Vaughan chuckled. “It appears you shall be occupied for a time. I think I will retire to my study so I can collect the papers I need to take with me to set up your mother’s funeral and such.”
Madalene gave her father a look of betrayal as he left her to her fate. He merely gave her a smile as he left the room. Madalene eyed the tray dubiously. “Will you join me, Miss Yates? I know that you cannot have eaten yourself. After all, it was not that long ago that you were aiding me with Mother.”
Miss Yates shook her head. “I could not do such a thing.”
“Let us not stand on society’s boundaries now. We have bonded, you and I, as most others have not.” Madalene patted the seat next to her.
Reluctantly, Miss Yates sat down. The older woman eyed Madalene and then she said, “You are very much like your mother.”
“Thank you,” Madalene said with a genuine smile. “Now do you like sugar in your tea?”
Miss Yates tutted and took the teacup from Madalene. “I shall eat with you, but I will not suffer you serving me. That is not your place, Miss.”
Madalene accepted this with a nod of her head because she knew it was pointless to argue with the woman. She let Miss Yates pour tea into the cups then took the teacup that she was offered. She settled back in her chair as she dropped some sugar into her tea. “Tell me about when Mother and you first met.”
Miss Yates gave a light laugh that ended with a sigh. She looked up at the ceiling as if seeing the memory floating overhead. “Your mother and father were not long back from their honeymoon. I had heard from a previous employer that she was looking to hire. I remember coming here for the first time to meet your mother.” Miss Yates smiled. “She was not much older than you. I was older. The first thing she asked me was if I was married. I told her no, and she said I was quite sensible in that. I think she and your father were having their first spat at the time.”
Madalene giggled at the thought of it. “You and Mother were close.”
“We were as close as people in our positions can be. Her own mother had died some years before, and I think she was feeling lost.” Miss Yates lifted her shoulders in a light shrug. “She was a refined and well-mannered young lady. It always surprised me that she was so carefree about your upbringing. I expected her to be stricter.”
The thought of her mother as strict was a silly one to Madalene. Her mother indulged her every whim, within reason, and Madalene had rarely had occasion to even be scolded. “Perhaps she wanted me to have what she did not grow up.”
“That is possible. Society can be very restricting, but it can be for the better of a young lady. After all, there are very unscrupulous men out there.” Miss Yates frowned down at the teacup she held as if she could personally attest to that statement.
Madalene leaned forward. “What did Mother say to you when I left the room last night? She wanted to speak with you. I know that she probably did not mean for me to hear it, but—”
“She did not intend for you to hear it indeed,” Miss Yates interrupted Madalene. The woman then smiled and put her hand on Madalene’s shoulder. “She wanted me to look after you and your father. I promise her that I would. That was all that was said.”
Madalene nodded. She wiped away a tear from her eye. “She will never call me her lovely girl again.”
“But you will always be her lovely girl,” Miss Yates reminded Madalene. “We must be strong and live for her. She would want you to live your life.”
Madalene thought of her life bereft of her mother. “Seems a bleak life without her.”
“Perhaps, but the pain will ease. Then you will remember the fond memories of her with a smile.” Miss Yates breathed out a sigh. “I have lost people. The pain does get better.”
The sunshine outside certainly seemed to indicate that the world was continuing without her mother, yet Madalene felt
as if the night had not left. She was still in that room with her mother’s body. “I hope it does.”
After Madalene left breakfast, she wandered aimlessly through the hallways, but her mother’s memory followed her. Her bedroom was no safer from the phantoms of her mother. She finally sought out her father.
Baron Vaughan looked up as Madalene entered his study. The room was encased in dark wood that made the rather large room seem smaller, stuffier to Madalene. The lingering, acrid smell of cigar smoke did nothing to make the space seem larger.
She gave her father a small smile. “I had expected you to be gone to the church.”
“I am leaving directly. Was there something you require?” Baron Vaughan gathered up his papers and tapped them on the table to straighten them.
Madalene started to speak then closed her mouth. What had she come to say? “Will I be allowed to attend Mother’s funeral?”
Baron Vaughan eyed her steadily for a long moment. “I do not think that wise. Funerals are no place for a gentlewoman, Madalene.”
Madalene had not expected to be allowed to attend, but she pushed anyway. “Mother would allow me.”
“Your mother would skin me alive for even thinking of allowing you to go. Aside from the strain of the funeral services, there are dangers to attending the procession and services, Madalene. You heard of the Tanners getting robbed. Imagine if the womenfolk had been there.” Baron Vaughan laid down his papers and took off his glasses. “There is no debate here, Madalene.”
She looked down at her feet. “I understand.”
“I truly hope that you do. Now, I suspect that Lord Grant will want to come and check on you, but I must remind you that he should be turned away. Childhood friend or no, you are in mourning and should not have any gentlemen callers,” Baron Vaughan said as if Madalene did not know better.
She fought the urge to roll her eyes. She gave her father a nod of her head. “I know, Father. Do you honestly think he will be so daft as to try that?”
Baron Vaughan chuckled. “Well, having known the boy most of his life, it is possible.”
Madalene stifled a laugh behind her hand. “You are horrible, Father.”
“It pleases me to see you laugh.” Baron Vaughan leaned back in his chair.
She frowned and looked down at the floor. “It feels wrong to laugh. Yet, I feel as if I should make sure everyone else smiles.”
“I think that is just the nature of mourning. We deny ourselves joys because we feel as if we should not feel anything but despair,” Baron Vaughan commented. “Nothing is all sorrow, Maddy. Your mother knew that.”
Madalene nodded. “We should rejoice that she is in a better place.”
“We should.” Baron Vaughan rubbed his beard as if he were mulling it over. “We feel sorrow for our loss, not hers. She has gained much, but we have lost much.”
Madalene’s eyes fell on his armband. “I see you got your armband fixed. I was afraid you might leave the house without it.”
“I would never be so disrespectful of your mother,” Baron Vaughan assured her.
“I know that you would not if you had a choice, but you are very dutiful, and if you felt you had to go out, then I did not think you would allow it to stop you.” Madalene sighed. “I feel quite useless today.”
Baron Vaughan rose from his desk and came to put his hands on her shoulders. “You are far from it. Why you have kept me from falling to pieces, and you have given the household staff a good example to follow in their mourning. Lord knows, Miss Yates would be lost without you to care for today. Besides, I could not have attended to your mother last night.”
“It is the ladies’ duties to do such things,” Madalene said dismissively.
Baron Vaughan gave her a look of consideration. “I could not have done it. You were tested and proven to be sturdier than I. You have done your part, and it is time I do mine. Try to rest.”
Madalene could only nod. Her voice was choked up with tears that she forced down. If she spoke, they might escape, and that would not do her father any good as he had to keep his composure for the sake of going out in public.
He pulled her into an embrace, and Madalene smelled the scent of cigars and the smell of the ink he used on his papers. It was a smell that always made her think of her father. She closed her eyes and leaned her head against his shoulder.
When he finally broke the hug, he gave Madalene a gentle pat on the cheek. “My little Maddy, you are not so little anymore, are you?”
Madalene gave him a smile. Her father gathered up his papers and drew in a deep breath that he released as if steeling himself for something he did not care for. “I am off then,” he said at length. “I shall be back for afternoon tea, hopefully. You do promise to rest?”
“Yes,” Madalene whispered. She cleared her throat. “I shall try, Father.”
He gave her an approving look. “Good. That is one less thing for me to worry over. Now, I had better go before the carriage driver gives up on me. I had them ready the thing ages ago.”
Madalene bit her lip and shook her head at her father. “I think they will understand.”
“Perhaps,” Baron Vaughan replied. He walked over, and Madalene let the man place a kiss on her forehead as he had when she was a child. He gave her nose a tap with his finger. “Off I go a conquering.”
Madalene shook her head at her father. “Godspeed.”
The next moment her father was out of the room and Madalene made her way toward her bedroom. She might have agreed to rest, but she did not know if she could sleep. She feared the dreams that might await her.
Despite her misgivings, she made her way to her bed and crawled under the covers. Her fatigue was greater than her hesitancy, and she soon slipped off into a deep sleep. There was nothing in that deep, dark place.
Madalene sat in the darkness of her dream. Was this a dream? Or had she succumbed with her mother? Surely this was not Heaven, nor Hell. This was just nothing.
She blinked into the dark and felt the hairs rise up on her arms. “Is someone there?” She thought she saw a shape, but the darkness was so complete that she could not be certain of anything.
“Madalene,” her mother’s voice whispered.
“Mama?” Madalene clutched her knees to her chest as she sat in the dark. “Is that you?”
There was no answer to her question, and Madalene’s fear fell into sorrow. Her mother would not even answer her in a dream. Her mother was gone. She was all alone.
“I need you to come back!” Madalene yelled into the dark. “I do not know what to do,” she whispered.
Could her father survive without her mother’s steady hand of guidance? Surely Madalene was no substitute, and she had no way to ensure that her father would be well. She thought of Ben then. She longed to see him as she sat in that darkness, but neither he nor her mother came to her.
He had kissed her, and Madalene clung to that memory to keep her company in the darkness. The remembered feeling of his lips on hers, his arms around her brought Madalene a sense of comfort. Oh, that she could see him. Yet, she was mourning, and it would not do.
Would Ben understand that? Surely he would. Ben was a kind person. Madalene gave up calling for her mother. She merely sat in the darkness.
Tears came, and Madalene cried them. It was better to cry them in this dream than to burden her father with having to attend to her or worry over her. She would get through this, but it hurt, and Madalene could not pretend it did not.
“I wish you were here, Ben,” Madalene whispered into the darkness of the dream.
Madalene awoke to a sound in her room. She blinked her eyes open and saw Charlotte, her chambermaid and lady’s maid, placing some clothing in her wardrobe. “I did not mean to wake you,” Charlotte said with regret.
“I am just as glad to be awake. The dreams of a heart sad person are not comforting,” Madalene assured her. She sat up and rubbed her eyes. “Are those my mourning gowns?”
Charlotte nodded. “Yes, Ma’am. I made sure they were tidy and ready to wear. Nothing too major, but there was a slight tear that needed mending.”
“Thank you,” Madalene told her. “Have you slept?”
Charlotte gave her a smile. “It is kind that you think of me, Miss. However, it is you I am worried about. I lost my father, and it was very difficult. I cannot imagine losing a mother is any less so.”
“I do not know quite what to do with myself,” Madalene admitted as she sat on the side of the bed and stretched her legs down to the floor.
Charlotte came over and sat down next to Madalene. “I think that is to be expected. Mothers do often tell us what is proper and how to behave.”
“I want to ask her what I should do, but she is not here.” Madalene looked at Charlotte. “We are friends, are we not?”
Charlotte agreed with a nod. “Of course we are, Miss.”
“I know that it is not normal for people in our positions to be so close, but we are just a few years apart in age. You’ve been with me for a few years now, and I just needed to know that I had a friend, I guess.” Madalene shrugged helplessly.
With a smile, Charlotte assured her, “You have a friend in me, Miss.”
“The Secret Love of a Scandalous Lady” is an Amazon Best-Selling novel, check it out here!
After her mother’s death, Madalene Reid is sent away to London to endure a tutelage under her great aunt, Lady Stenton. She is forced to leave behind all she has ever known, including the man who forms the most powerful temptation for her. While making the hardest decision in her whole life, will she really be able to suffer this exile, away from everything and everyone? She promised that she will return, but will he still be there waiting?
Since he was just a child, Benjamin Grant has only loved one person in this world, a girl who is innocently unaware of her own charms. His mind and body were always acting at odds when he was around her. Before he knew it, their unconditional friendship turned to passionate love. When they will have to go their separate ways, they will promise each other not to let love fade away. But can Benjamin keep his promise, while worry and doubt creep in as time goes by?
Madalene is determined not to give up, but is Benjamin’s love strong enough to last forever? Rumors and scandal may divide them, but can Benjamin and Madalene truly ever find their way back together or is their sizzling passion lost to the ages?
“The Secret Love of a Scandalous Lady” is a Regency romance full of passion, love and secrets. If you like passionate heroines and scandalous lovers, then you’ll adore Henrietta Harding’s Regency tale.
“The Secret Love of a Scandalous Lady” is a historical romance novel of approximately 80,000 words. No cheating, no cliffhangers, and a guaranteed happily ever after.