Gerrard Debbington is one of the chosen few - the gentlemen who've
learned their social and amorous skills at the feet of the masters. Handsome
and wealthy, protégé and brother-in-law of Vane Cynster, Gerrard is part of the
charmed Cynster family circle. One of the most eligible gentlemen in the ton,
Gerrard is besieged by offers from London's most sought-after beauties, but as
the ton's foremost artistic lion, there's only one offer he wants to accept -
the chance to paint the fantastical but seldom-seen gardens of reclusive Lord
Tregonning's Hellebore Hall.
That chance is dangled before Gerrard, but to grasp it he must fulfill
Lord Tregonning's demand that he also create an open and honest portrait of the
man's daughter. Gerrard loathes the idea of wasting his time and talents on
some simpering miss, but with no alternative, he agrees…
Only to discover that Jacqueline Tregonning inspires him as no other lady
has. Certainly Jacqueline is beautiful, but Gerrard is stunned by the deep
emotions she stirs and captivated by her passionate nature and innate goodness.
She understands him as no other woman ever has, and Gerrard is soon convinced
that Jacqueline is the soulmate he needs as his wife.
But something is horribly wrong at Hellebore Hall. Evil lurks in the
beautiful gardens and along the rambling pathways. And that evil reaches out to
ensnare Jacqueline, trapping her in a web of insidious whispers - whispers that
paint her as a double murderess.
The rumors are false, but someone is actively spreading them. Convinced that Jacqueline is innocent of all wrongdoing, Gerrard is confident his portrait will open others' eyes to the truth he sees, but then a long-dead body is discovered in the gardens, the campaign to blame Jacqueline escalates - Gerrard and she are running out of time. The days they spend together lead to nights of sweeping passion - and Gerrard vows to move heaven and earth to protect the woman who, for him, personifies the truth about love.