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A Shaft of Sunlight
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The Viscount Frome is in love, and intends to marry Claribel Stamford, belle of the Social Set, as quickly as possible. She is young, beautiful, charming, and rich; in fact, he considers her the perfect match. The only drawback is that he needs the permission of his uncle, the Duke of Alverstrode before he can propose. The Duke, a more cautious man experienced in the wiles of aspirational young women, suggests a visit to Claribel's home to meet her doting father Sir Jarvis, the well known race-horse owner. That way, the Duke can get to know Claribel and her father and set his mind at rest before welcoming her into his illustrious family. Impressed by Stamford Towers, but eager to escape the heady charm offensive of Claribel and her father, the Duke cannot shake the instinct that something is not right and remains on his guard. Even so, he is shocked to discover a sad young woman, Giona, alone watching the sunset over the magnificent gardens. He is astonished to discover that she is the niece of Sir Jarvis, but lives hidden away like a 'skeleton in the closet'. Horrified by her story of mistreatment, and intrigued by the mystery that surrounds her, the Duke offers Giona his protection and vows to uncover the family secret and restore her fortunes. But Sir Jarvis is just as committed to keeping his family secrets buried forever and will stop at nothing to keep his reputation intact. Two determined men, both used to getting their own way, but this time only one of them can win.
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