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After losing her parents in a tragic accident, young Charlotte was taken in by her grandfather, Sir Reginald Mansfield. Despite his tyrannical tendencies, he cherished her above all—a fact made clear by his surprising bequest. In her early twenties, she intends to follow in his illustrious footsteps in the field of law. And now she is the beneficiary not only of his vast financial assets, but of Clouds—the stunning sandstone house in New South Wales with a breathtaking view of the Blue Mountains and a bountiful garden of fragrant flowers. Unfortunately, not everyone is pleased for her.
Charlotte’s grasping aunt and uncle, as well as her controlling, entitled cousin cannot hide their fury. As rivalries simmer and naked greed roils the socially prominent clan, only Brendon Macmillan, Charlotte’s longtime friend, seems genuinely happy for her—despite the bitter, scandalous history between their families. Charlotte’s dream is to use the funds to open a shelter for abused women, and Brendon intends to support and protect her. But often, more money means more betrayals, secrets, and lies—and as Charlotte tries to determine who she can trust, she may be a woman in danger herself…
Enjoy an Excerpt:
The distinguished principal of Asherton School for Girls, Dr. Vivienne Granger herself, came to the door of the Great Hall to deliver an urgent message to one of her students. For the Head to do such a thing was unheard of. There were lesser mortals to whom she could delegate such tasks, but this was a very serious matter. It needed discretion from the very top, and no one topped the benevolent, on occasion fearsome, Dr. Vivienne Granger.
A rehearsal of The Merchant of Venice was in progress. Charlotte Mansfield, Head Girl, handpicked by Dr. Granger on merit, not on her illustrious name, was halfway into Portia’s famous speech, “The quality of mercy is not strained.” Charlotte had reached, “Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings . . . ,” making a brilliant job of it according to the college’s speech and drama teacher, Dr. Phillipa Redding, when Dr. Granger lifted a long, black-clad arm and began waggling imperious fingers in Charlotte’s direction. It was a clear indication Charlotte was to break off and join her.
Just wait for what’s coming.
The message popped instantly into Charlotte’s head. It came from someone, maybe God, but she had no clear belief that was so. She had given up wondering where her sixth sense came from. Perhaps everyone was born with such a sense but made the decision not to cultivate it because it made them nervous. And rightly so. It was scary. The message she received was crystal clear and unequivocal.
Your grandfather is dead.
She felt the flow of blood in her veins turn to ice.
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