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Web of Deceit
by Catherine Lanigan
Adult Historical Romance
ebook, 462 pages
June 4th 2016 by Cat Nolan Publishing
A Passion she could not deny—A lie she could never escape—
From the depths of a London slum, Amanda Granger created an illusion of wealth and breeding that became her passport into New York society. With her dazzling beauty and the ease with which she lived her lie, Amanda captivated an adoring public and drove men to bold and dangerous passions.
But for all her fierce ambition, all her daring dreams, Amanda Granger knew that her heart’s desires were held together by the fragile threads of deception and secrets. Triumph would always be elusive until she escaped from her web of deceit.
Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of forty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, and more. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into dozens of languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available in E-books on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, Apple Store, Mobi and Kobo. Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her Vietnam war-based novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference.
Lanigan is the author of a trilogy of non- fiction books regarding angelic intervention in human life: Angel Watch, Divine Nudges and Angel Tales published by HCI and Cedar Fort.
Skyhorse published Lanigan’s “how-to” book on writing: Writing the Great American Romance Novel.
Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid Foundation to write a non-fiction book addressing teen addictions. Ms. Lanigan’s first Young Adult adventure novel, The Adventures of Lillie and Zane: The Golden Flute, was published by Cedar Fort.
Currently, she has published six novels in the Shores of Indian Lake series for Harlequin Heartwarming: Love Shadows, Heart’s Desire, A Fine Year for Love, Katia’s Promise and Fear of Falling. Sophie’s Path pubs July, 2016. She has recently contracted for three more in the series: Danger Zone, Wedding for Isabelle and A Bride for Mica.
As a cancer survivor, Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. (THE EVOLVING WOMAN). She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs.
CHAPTER ONE, PART VIII
In a rush of fondness for a lifetime of shared moments, Eloise embraced Amanda in the way she had last year—before things, and she, began to change.
Eloise ceremoniously walked down the stairs with Amanda trailing her. At the foot of the stairs waited, a bit nervously, breathlessly, the entire Kent family.
Lady Barbara, her imperious nose set high, scrutinized her oldest daughter. Finally, she gave her a snort of approval. Though she had spent a minor fortune on Eloise’s gown, there was no mistaking that the bell of this ball was Barbara. She wore an emerald green silk Balmain gown, cut perilously low to reveal an abundance of cleavage. By focusing attention on the bosom, the designer was able to draw attention away from Lady Barbara’s thick waist. Four rows of perfectly matched diamonds sparkled in a waterfall effect against her skin. She looked every inch the direct descendent of royalty that she was.
Emily Kent, thirteen years old, was obviously dreaming of the day she would wear her first Paris ball gown, thinking she would look ten, no, a hundred times better than either her mother or her sister. Emily had blonde hair, like her sister’s, and Lord Kent’s slim build and his huge blue eyes. Like Eloise, she had the right ingredients for beauty, and she eagerly awaited the day she would cross the border into womanhood and make her dream a reality.
Jonathon Kent, home this first week of May from Cambridge, watched Eloise descend the stairs. He was as anxious about the ball as was his sister. He was one of the top ten most eligible bachelors going to the ball. At eighteen, he was a choice target for one-tenth of the debutantes. To his calculations, that meant twenty-five marriage-thirsty girls and their parched mothers would be gunning for him.
Amanda looked over at Lord Alvin Kent. Of the entire group, he was the only one whose love for Eloise shone in his eyes. Amanda could almost hear the mental images of Eloise growing up click off in his brain. He walked over to Eloise and took her arm and gently placed it through his. He kissed her cheek.
“You’ll be the prettiest girl at the ball.”
“Father, I . . . thank you.”
Amanda could feel the tears welling in her eyes as she came down the stairs. Of all the things he could have said, he chose the perfect lie. Eloise’s smile had never been so lovely. Amanda loved Lord Kent. He always knew the right thing to say. He had always made her feel as if she belonged. He’d given her privileges he hadn’t accorded other servants. When Lady Barbara’s tongue became too sharp, he planed the edges. He was truly lord of the manor and he ruled with a quiet, gentle, and effective hand. Amanda wanted to rush over and hug him; instead, she placed her hand on his arm.
He turned and smiled down at her. The affection in his penetrating blue eyes could not be hidden.
Emily, always jealous of her father’s obvious feelings for Amanda, bristled.
“Amanda!” Lady Barbara’s voice snapped. “Go downstairs so the family can have a private moment.”
Still caught in that split second of unspoken feeling with Lord Kent, Amanda said nothing as she slowly backed away and Lady Barbara continued.
“Your manners lately have deteriorated. I take full responsibility for it, however. I’ve allowed you too much freedom with Eloise and Emily. You’re going to have to learn your place.”
Amanda crept along the wall to the kitchen. She could hear Lord Kent’s voice.
“Don’t be so hard on her. She’s just a child.”
“She’s nearly as old as Eloise.”
“As I said, just a child.”
September 7th: Falling Leaves
September 8th: Bloomfield of thoughts
September 9th: underneath the covers
September 11th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
September 12th: Nicole’s Book Musings
September 13th: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
September 14th: Mel’s Shelves
September 15th: Wishful Endings
September 16th: Becky on Books
September 18th: Colorimetry
September 20th: Thoughts of a Blonde
September 19th: My Devotional Thoughts
September 21th: EskieMama Reads
September 22nd: Book Lover in Florida
September 23rd: Sylv all about books and films
September 25th: Harlie’s Books
September 26th: Grand Finale
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Ends October 1st