Christmas Awards 2011

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Hide And Seek

ISBN 978-0-7090-8379-5./HB

Miss Annabel Gresham, well used to her father taking to his sick bed and assuring his family that it was this time, his death bed, smiled at her sixty five year old father who was surprisingly attractive for someone so near death’s door.

But her father was not to be shaken in his conviction that he was indeed living on borrowed time. He had sent for a young local lawyer to write a new clause into his will, in order to safe guard his young daughter’s future inheritance, against her half-brother Roderick. Roderick now Lord Mavor, had been left a large inheritance, which he had systematically worked his way through with gambolling and womanising. He was a man not to be trusted and was believed to have stolen a codicil made by his Grandfather to his will, which safeguard Annabel’s future.

The poor young lawyer was trying to discourage Mr Gresham from altering his will because he said without the codicil it would not be legal, but Mr Gresham ordered him to take down what he dictated. Despite his misgivings the young man, Mr Pilkington, obeyed Mr Gresham who triumphantly, when the altered will was written out, produced the codicil, which he had lately found in one of his favourite books.

Annabel was amazed the codicil to her Grandfather’s will, had not been stolen after all, it seemed her inheritance would be safe from her greedy half-brother Roderick after all.

Two other interested parties witnessing the drama in the bedroom were surprised when the codicil was produced, one being Toby, Annabel’s stepbrother of whom she was extremely fond. The other Molly her new maid who had so nearly dropped the tray of cordial she was holding. Annabel was annoyed at Molly’s reaction, it was nothing to do with the maid and she wondered not for the first time why Molly had applied for the position as her maid as she was so obviously not the usual type of girl who became a ladies maid. Annabel had never really taken to her but had kept her on solely because Molly was very clever at dressing her hair in the modern vogue.

Toby was sent to London post haste to lodge the new will with Mr Gresham’s London firm of solicitors, having been warned to guard it safely and make it his top priority and to behave himself and return home without delay.

Mr Gresham having satisfied himself that he had safeguarded Annabel’s future from her greedy half brother, his first born, decided to visit Weymouth for his health’s sake, was well pleased with himself.

Unfortunately Toby has problems in London, he meets an old acquaintance from his college days, who is rather a disreputable person and becomes involved in some trouble at a bawdy house. Later he is found, badly beaten, by Richard Tregerran a friend, who takes him to an Inn The Dog and Duck, where a doctor is summoned and Toby is taken care of. Unfortunately Toby realises that his pockets have been picked and he has lost the package containing the all-important will and codicil.

When Annabel receives a missive from Toby explaining what has happened to him she leaves for London as soon as she can. Hearing the whole story from Toby she is at first very angry that he did not make the solicitors his first call in London but seeing how sorry he is and how badly he has been beaten she relents and they try to decide how best they can seek to discover the whereabouts’ of her most important property.

Annabel is to become involved in the seedy side of London and it’s houses of ill- repute, she will be in great danger but somehow she must win through. Robert Tregerran, whom she finds wildly attractive, but does not trust him or his morals could be her hero or perhaps her enemy, she must learn who to trust. Unfortunately her very sheltered upbringing does not equip her for such outrageous situations in which she finds herself, who can she trust? Kidnapping, dog knapping and auctions for innocent young girls who are in desperate straits, are some of the adventures she finds herself embroiled in. Will Annabel retrieve the all- important will and will she find security and love in the twilight world she has been pitched into?

An exciting and unusual Historic Romance, which you will not want to put down, I award this story 5 Red Roses, enjoy!!

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