Barbara Cartland

Call of The Heart

Half-starved, sickly and pale, the beautiful Lalitha lives in the shadow of her stepsister, the glamorous Lady Sophie Studley, darling of London’s Beau Monde. Because only Lalitha knows the dark secrets upon which her stepmother, Lady Studley, has built a new life for herself and her daughter. Worked like a slave and frequently thrashed with her stepmother’s cane, she feels that should one of these beatings go too far her death would merely come as a relief.The conniving mother and daughter’s latest deceit involves Sophie’s latest two suitors. Betrothed to Julius Verton, Sophie is dismayed to find that he has no money of his own, at least until his uncle, the Duke of Yelverton, dies.With typical callousness she plans to abandon Julius and elope with the immensely wealthy Lord Rothwyn, a friend of the Prince Regent. But she does not love him, only his riches and his position in Society. “Oh, well,” she says, “perhaps his Lordship will not live long. Then I shall be a rich widow and will be able to marry Julius when he is the Duke of Yelverton after all!” But when news arrives that Julius’ uncle is on his deathbed everything changes. Sophie sends Lalitha to meet Lord Rothwyn at the Church to tell him that he is being jilted. And from the moment the dashing Lord mistakes her for Sophie and seizes her in a passionate kiss, her heart is lost and her life is changed forever –
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2016

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