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Authors: Amanda McCabe

A Loving Spirit

 

 

 

 

 

A Loving Spirit

Lessons in Temptation

Book One

 

by

 

Amanda McCabe

Award-winning Author

 

 

 

 

 

A LOVING SPIRIT

Reviews & Accolades

 

"An intriguing and clever mix of the living and the dead, this lively tale is sure to please."

~Romantic Times

"An engaging romp with a romance that’s sure to please."

~Romance Reviews Today

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ISBN: 978-1-61417-683-1

 

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Please Note

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

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Copyright ©2003, 2014 by Amanda McCabe. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.

 

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Chapter 1

 

England, 1811

"Why is it always so
cold
in England?" Cassandra Richards murmured, burrowing deeper into her fur-lined cloak as she watched the Cornwall landscape roll by outside the carriage window.

"I think my toes are frozen." said her friend Antoinette Duvall. "They will never be warm again." Her usually merry coffee-colored face was glum, at odds with her bright red-and-black printed turban.

The two of them sighed, and leaned against each other disconsolately.

Cassie's aunt, Charis, Lady Willowby, called Chat by all her many friends, looked across the carriage at them and shook her head. "You girls! It is only October. There is barely a nip in the air. What are you going to do when it is December and snow is thick on the ground?"

"Snow!" Cassie cried. She had lived for the last fourteen years in hot, sunny Jamaica; she had not seen snow since she was five. All she remembered was that it was very cold and very wet.

And that her father used to make little balls of it, and throw them at her laughing mother.

That memory of her parents, who were now gone and left behind in the small cemetery of their plantation near Negril, gave her a sharp pang. How she missed them! How she missed their life together, a life of sunshine and warm sea.

Even four months in England had not erased her homesickness.

But at least Antoinette had agreed to come with her, she thought, reaching out with the toe of her half boot to nudge the flannel-wrapped brick closer to her friend's feet. Home never seemed quite so far away when she could hear the lilting, musical cadence of Antoinette's voice. And Aunt Chat really
was
trying to make her feel welcome. She had given parties at her house in Bath to introduce Cassie to all her friends, and now she had organized this trip to Cornwall to visit yet another of her friends, the Dowager Lady Royce.

Cassie knew that Aunt Chat hoped that being near the sea would help cheer her up. The least she could do was enjoy it.

She smiled at her aunt. "I cannot wait to see Royce Castle, Aunt Chat! It sounds most intriguing. We don't have buildings that are over five hundred years old in Jamaica."

Chat smiled back. Her pretty, round face was relieved beneath her plumed bonnet. "I am sure you will enjoy it, my dear. My friend Lady Royce is wonderful, and the castle itself most intriguing. There are underground tunnels, secret rooms, and supposedly many ghosts in residence."

Antoinette brightened a bit. "Ghosts, Lady Willowby?"

"Oh, yes. Several, I believe, though I do not know the details. Melinda or her son should be able to tell you all about it." She shivered a bit. "Though I certainly hope we do not actually
meet
any!"

"Oh, I do!" Cassie said, clapping her gloved hands in delight. "A ghost would be ever so exciting. Did you bring your mother's book of incantations, Antoinette?"

Antoinette was already digging about in her valise. She came up with a thick, worn, brown leather-covered volume. "Of course! I never travel without it. One never knows when one might need an incantation. I also brought some herbs and potions." She pulled a bottle out of the valise, and held it up to the pale sunlight. Small flowers and stems floated about in a clear liquid.

"Wonderful!" Cassie said. "Antoinette's mother was a Yaumumi priestess, Aunt Chat. She taught Antoinette to find all sorts of things that we cannot see. If there
are
any ghosts, she is sure to find them."

Antoinette nodded firmly. "Yes. And if there are unfriendly entities, we shall banish them."

Chat eyed the bottle a bit nervously. "My dears, are you
sure
this is a good idea? Perhaps we should leave the, er, entities alone. We wouldn't like to get them upset, now would we?"

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