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The Greatest of Sins

Cover of The Greatest of Sins

The Greatest of Sins

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Giving in to temptation would be the ruin of them all!

Having spent years believing a lie about his birth, Dr. Samuel Hastings has been condemned to a personal hell of his desire's making--his sinful thoughts of the one woman he can never touch would damn his soul for eternity.

Lady Evelyn Thorne is engaged to the very suitable Duke of St. Aldric when a shocking truth is revealed--and now Sam will play every bit of the devil to seduce the woman he thought would always be denied him!



Giving in to temptation would be the ruin of them all!

Having spent years believing a lie about his birth, Dr. Samuel Hastings has been condemned to a personal hell of his desire's making--his sinful thoughts of the one woman he can never touch would damn his soul for eternity.

Lady Evelyn Thorne is engaged to the very suitable Duke of St. Aldric when a shocking truth is revealed--and now Sam will play every bit of the devil to seduce the woman he thought would always be denied him!

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    Sam was coming home!

    They were such simple words to have such an effect upon her. Evelyn Thorne put a hand over her heart, feeling the frenzied beat of it at the thought of his name. How long had she been waiting for his return? Very nearly six years. He had gone off to Edinburgh when she was still in the schoolroom and she had been planning for this day ever since.

    She had been sure that, following his education, he would come back for her. Some day, she would hear his light, running step on the boards of the front hallway. He would shout a welcome to Jenks, the butler, and make a joyful enquiry about her father. There would be an answering welcome call from the office at the head of the stairs, for certainly Father would be as eager to hear what his ward had made of himself as she was.

    After the greetings were done with, things would return to the way they had been. They would sit in the parlor together and in the garden. She would force him to accompany her to balls and routs, which would all be less tedious with Sam there to talk to, to dance with and to protect from the marital ambitions of other girls.

    At the end of the Season, he would return with them to the country. There, they would walk in the orchard and run down the path to the little pond to watch the birds and animals, lying on the rugs that he would carry, eating a picnic from a basket that she would pack with her own hands, not trusting the cook to reserve the choicest morsels for a man who was not 'truly a Thorne'.

    As if to reinforce the thought, Mrs Abbott cleared her throat, from the doorway behind her. 'Lady Evelyn, would you not be more comfortable in the morning room? There is a chill in the hall. If there are guests...'

    'It would be more seemly to be found there?' Eve completed with a sigh.

    'If his Grace were to come...'

    'But he is not the one expected, Abbott, as you know full well.'

    The housekeeper gave a slight sniff of disapproval.

    Evelyn turned to her, putting aside her girlish excitement. Though only one and twenty, she was mistress of the house and would be obeyed. 'I will hear none of that, from you or any other member of the staff. Doctor Hastings is as much a member of the family as I am. Perhaps more so. Father took him from the foundling home a full three years before I was even born. He has been a part of this house since my first memory and is the only brother I shall ever have.'

    Of course, it had been quite some time since she had considered Sam her brother. Without thinking, she touched her lips.

    Abbott's eyes narrowed slightly as she noticed the gesture.

    For a moment, Eve considered making a diplomatic retreat to a receiving room. Her behaviour would be less obvious to the servants. But what message would it send to Sam if she made him come to her like an ordinary guest?

    She bowed her head, as though she had considered the wisdom of Abbott's suggestion and said, 'You are right. There is a draught. If you could but bring me a shawl, I will be fine. And I shall not pace about before the window, for it will be much more comfortable on the bench beneath the stairs.' From there, she could see the front door quite well, yet be invisible to the one who entered. Her appearance would be sudden and a pleasant surprise.

    As she passed it, she glanced in the hallway mirror, straightening her hair and gown, smoothing curls and fluffing ruffles. Would Sam find her pretty, now that she had grown? The Duke of St Aldric had proclaimed her the handsomest girl at Almack's and a diamond of the first water. But he was so easy in his compliments that she quite wondered if he was sincere. His...

About the Author-
  • Christine Merrill wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. During a stint as a stay-at-home-mother, she decided it was time to "write that book." She could set her own hours and would never have to wear pantyhose to work! It was a slow start but she slogged onward and seven years later, she got the thrill of seeing her first book hit the bookstores. Christine lives in Wisconsin with her family. Visit her website at: www.christine-merrill.com

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