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Axel Belmont, though a wealthy and much-respected botanist, occasionally takes a turn serving as magistrate in his rural corner of Oxfordshire. When the owner of a neighboring estate is the victim of a homicide, Axel initially suspects the man's much younger wife, Abigail Stoneleigh, of committing the crime. But then Abby appears to be in harm's way, and Axel's investigation uncovers longstanding deceptions aimed at cheating her out of wealth and happiness. The solution to this deadly puzzle remains elusive, even as Axel captures Abby's heart and surrenders his own. Axel is a fine investigator, a devoted father, a brilliant scientist, (and an excellent kisser) , but will he solve the mystery before the villain strikes again?



About the Author

Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes started writing as an antidote to empty nest and soon found it an antidote to life in general. She is the sixth out of seven children, raised in the rural surrounds of central Pennsylvania. Early in life she spent a lot of time reading romance novels and practicing the piano. Her first career was as a technical writer and editor in the Washington, DC, area, a busy job that nonetheless left enough time to read a lot of romance novels.

It also left enough time to grab a law degree through an evening program, produce Beloved Offspring (only one, but she is a lion) , and eventually move to the lovely Maryland countryside.

While reading yet still more romance novels, Grace opened her own law practice, acquired a master's degree in Conflict Transformation (she had a teenage daughter by then) and started thinking about writing ... . romance novels. This aim was realized when Beloved Offspring struck out into the Big World a few years ago. ("Mom, why doesn't anybody tell you being a grown-up is hard? ")

Grace eventually got up the courage to start pitching her manuscripts to agents and editors. The query letter that resulted in "the call" started out: "I am the buffoon in the bar at the RWA retreat who could not keep her heroines straight, could not look you in the eye, and could not stop blushing - and if that doesn't narrow down the possibilities, your job is even harder than I thought." (The dear lady bought the book anyway.)

To contact Grace, email her at graceburrowes@yahoo.com.



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