EULOGY'S SECRET - synopsis
In the four weeks since her guardians’ death, Eulogy Foster has lost everything.
Penniless and alone she seeks the help of her estranged brother, Lord Lucien Devlin. But Devlin turns Eulogy onto the streets, where she is attacked and thrown onto the mercy of a passing stranger, Jack Huntley. As Eulogy seeks the truth behind her birth, she is drawn into the world of art and artists, where her morals are challenged and nothing is as it seems.
Jack Huntley: bitter, cynical and betrayed in love. He believes women are devious, scheming, untrustworthy creatures - and when he rescues a naïve Miss from being raped, his life is about to change forever. There is something about Miss Foster that haunts him and challenges his emotions. But despite their growing attraction, Eulogy will not share her secret, which means he cannot trust her. Caught in a deadlock, both denying their true feelings, events take a sinister turn as someone seeks to silence Eulogy….forever.
EXCERPT : In his bedchamber Jack Huntley faces his guilty secret.
But before he left, there was one last thing he must do and the ache in his chest intensified. After taking a deep breath Huntley turned to face the portrait, leaning against the tallboy. Even though he had prepared himself, it still robbed him of breath, his dark eyes grew darker and a small vein pulsed at his temple. He could stare at the painting for hours, trying to armor his emotions, but each time it was the same eyes that pierced his soul, and with no more weapon than a stare, made him her prisoner.
He, or rather Chaucer, had come across the picture by chance. A few weeks earlier, to his amazement, rumors circulated in artistic circles that Tristan Farrell was painting again. Out of idle curiosity Huntley had dispatched his man to Red Lyon Square to investigate, only to have Chaucer return bright eyed and burbling on about a stunning portrait of a brown-eyed woman. It amused Huntley to instruct Chaucer to buy the painting, for an anonymous client of course, as an investment in the resurgence of a once great talent. But the moment Huntley saw the piece he knew he could not bear to part with it.
So here he stood, like a priest before an altar. Goosebumps raised on his arms as he gazed at the pale-skinned beauty with softly parted lips and enormous brown eyes, warm and alluring, staring out of the canvas as if taken by surprise. The swirling background of chocolate browns served to heighten the woman’s natural beauty. The piece was unfinished and yet utter perfection. Only an artist of great foresight would stop when he had, capturing the moment when a great artist discovers his muse. Huntley’s instincts had been correct. The model was Eulogy Foster, and the painting as divine as the woman it depicted.
Of course Chaucer was right; it made sound business sense to sign Farrell up to The Gallery before news of his work reached the ton. If the gallery manager was perplexed by the owner’s sudden indecision, he knew better than to mention it. As if it was fate intervening, there soon appeared a hastily scribbled note from Farrell, offering The Gallery first refusal of his future work. Huntley laughed aloud as he read. Even when fighting infatuation, he wasn’t such a fool as to decline an opportunity to make money.