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The Goddess and the Gaiety Girl by Barbara…

The Goddess and the Gaiety Girl

by Barbara Cartland

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Larentia felt the Duke of Tregaron's eyes upon her, as though her were speaking to her without words.

"Look at me, Larentia!"

She could not take her eyes from the Duke's and knew that she was his prisoner whether she wished it or not. Very slowly, the Duke put his arms around her and pulled her against him. Closer still, then his lips were on hers. She was kissed for the first time in her life.

It was not only the Duke who held her captive. It was also the mystery of the Castle and the Knights who lived in it, the legendary magic... all her secret dreams rolled into one....
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Katie King is a girl with big dreams for the future! A dancer in the heart of London's theatre land, Katie is awaiting her big break, when her name will finally be in lights above the Gaiety Theatre. Fun-loving, cute and adoring of her charming boyfriend, the enigmatic Harry Carrington, Katie is sure that her unusual crowning glory of wild auburn curls will help catapult her out of the chorus line and into the leading roles she deserves. But Katie's dazzling smile masks a tragedy: she is desperately ill and her enforced absence from the stage means that she does not have the money for the private healthcare she so badly needs. A few streets away, illness has touched the life of another young woman with distinctive Titian hair, Larentia. She is nursing her sick father, the eminent historian Professor Braintree, and suffers similar horrors when he is diagnosed as incurable. Whilst brilliant and an expert in his field, the Professor's books gain him respect, not money and they too cannot afford the surgery needed. At first it seems that the only two things that the girls have in common are their astoundingly beautiful hair and a desperate need for money to employ the services of the pioneering surgeon Mr. Curtis Sheldon. However, the sudden death of the 4th Duke of Tregaron, a cad of the first order, whose unwanted attentions and lewd behavior caused a naive Katie such pain in her first year in London, results in Harry coming up with a daring plan to capitalize on their short lived relationship. If Larentia agrees to play her part, and the new Duke, Justin Garon, believes their story there is just a chance that they can raise enough money to save both Katie and the Professor. But can an innocent young woman, with no experience of the darker side of life, be able to trick everyone? And what will be the ultimate cost of the deception if she fails? For this final curtain call, Katie must sit back stage as Larentia prepares to give the performance of a lifetime.… (more)

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