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Fauna (Gold for the Gay Masters / Bride of…
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Fauna (Gold for the Gay Masters / Bride of Doom / The Flame and the Frost)

by Denise Robins

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Captain Humbleby of The Nauticas was drunk, very drunk.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Three generation of women in one volume:

"Gold for the Gay Masters": Fauna is an exquisitely beautiful quadroon, in her veins mingled the blood of noble African chiefs and fiery Irish poets. Sold into cruel slavery in the West Indies, she is rescued by Lord Pumphret, a noted English dandy of the Georgian period. But Fauna is taken to England only to become the plaything and victim of those who make up Pumphret's circle - until she meets, and in the end marries, the noble French Marquis de Chartellet. As Madame la Marquise, all London would praise her intelligence and unmatched beauty... all men would crave to possess her. Once beaten by a harsh mistress, she escaped and rises from the slave block to make men her slaves into a dazzling world of elegance, wealth and power. But nothing could ease the searing pain in her heart--nothing but vengeance on the only man she had ever loved, who mistreated her! Which is sweeter--tender, yearned-for love, or revenge that has waited a lifetime?

"Bride of Doom": Fauna, the beautiful quarter-caste slave-girl, had a daughter Fleur Roddney comes to the fore. As alluring and fatally captivating as her mother, Fleur 's life would never be a life of ease... This is Fleur's story. The story of an arranged marriage to the forbidding Baron of Cadlington, of her love for the young artist Peveril, of the darkly-predicted black heir who is born to her, of her fiery attempts to find escape, revenge - and fulfilment, of the restless urges that burn in her fated blood... Here at last -- from the hidden annals of history's most corrupt and scandalous era -- is the undiluted story of the tomrented loves and hates of the beautiful, long-limbed Fleur ... And the Baron St. Cheviot...

"The Flame and the Frost": follows the fortunes of the third-generation, the orphan Charlotte Goff. After narrowly avoiding being run down by her coach, Charlotte is adopted by the noble widow Lady Chase. Taken into her home, Charlotte grows to become an educated and beautiful young woman who catches the eye of Lady Chase's handsome, but heartless son, Vivian. Seduced by him, Charlotte finds herself pregnant, and is forced into marriage with the rake by her benefactor. In the enforced marriage that follows, in Charlotte's desperate attempts to give her husband a son and heir. After years of misery and heartache, Charlotte meets MP Dominic Unwin, a man who's friendship makes her yearn for more... an intense passion, and the dark strain in the ill-fated family blood once again shows itself. But is there more to him than she knows? That transpires when Vivan manufactures evidence against his wife and cites Dominic in a divorce case is told with unforgettable emotion in this superb drama of Victorian society life, that tells an unforgettable tale of passion and deceit, love and misery, and the perils of finding a life of happiness....
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