The Second Wife
Charlotte Wallis is the daughter of a wealthy merchant. Her father had been thwarted in his efforts to buy land and build an estate to match those of the nobility. Those local noblemen didn't want an upstart tradesman having the same as them.
But one of those noblemen, Lord Sutton, had fallen on hard times and sold one of his smaller estates, Willowside, to Master Wallis. Lord Robin Eversley has been elected to persuade Master Wallis to sell, but he was more interested in Charlotte. He sees her playing with her siblings and thinks she will make an excellent stepmother for his damaged daughter.
It is not long before he sees Charlotte in an altogether different light but their happiness is threatened when people begin to die.
Lady Felice Sutton agrees to marry Lord Christopher to save her beloved father from debtors' prison. She knows his reputation, that he is merciless and ruthless, but she is determined to make him a good wife and find the goodness in him she is sure must be there.
He buried his first wife and child in a paupers' grave, but she knows he had his reasons. She is even prepared to accept his peasant mistress who has his children.
But when he finds that mistress dead and is convinced Felice has poisoned her, she discovers just how ruthless he can be.
He sends her away to another village to await trial for murder, but when the villagers start to perish, she wonders if he has deliberately sent her into an outbreak of plague.
The Scent of Roses
This novel is the winner of the e-festival of words 2017 award for best historical.
Rebecca was abandoned by her lover, who took her young baby and never returned, leaving her with child. Having no skill with which to keep herself and her son, she has nothing to sell but herself and survives for years as the town prostitute.
But when the black death swept through the country, the townsfolk look for someone to blame for the punishment from God. Having hanged the old herbalist woman as a witch and driven the Jewish goldsmith from the town, they turn their attentions to Rebecca and her son.
They manage to escape, leaving their burning home behind them and find a deserted manor house until they run out of food and are forced out of hiding. They are greeted with a deserted countryside but they keep going until they find Eversley Village and a man who looks so much like Rebecca's son, Simon, she is sure he is her stolen firstborn.
She must now face the hardest decision of her life. Does she love him enough to keep her identity to herself or should she tell him the truth and possibly destroy everything that makes him the man he is?