The Seduction of Morningstar Bridges(2011)
A novel by Paul Blades
On a fine, sunny day in 1817, Lord and Mistress Beverwick, whose carriage has thrown a wheel on the London-Bristol Road, take refuge in a plebian inn and tavern owned and operated by Rebecca Bridges, the stepmother of pretty, 18 year old Morningstar. Morningstar's life will never be the same. The lordly couple, brother and sister, appear to have taken a liking to the serving wench. Mistress Beverwick takes Morningstar under her wing and into her confidence. She tells Morningstar that Lord Beverwick is smitten with her and wants to make her his bride. She tells her that he has arraigned a marriage contract with her stepmother. Morningstar, awed by the prospect of wealth and privilege and the fulfillment of her romantic dream of being swept away by a handsome prince, agrees to accompany them to Lord Beverwick's estate, Briarwood, located in the wilds of Cardiff and overlooking the Celtic Sea. But what will the naïve Morningstar find when she gets there? There are not so subtle hints of Lord Beverwick's cruel and demanding character. Mistress Beverwick demonstrates a lustful nature which threatens to draw Morningstar into a depraved life of sin. What awaits Morningstar at the end of her journey, the life of a noble lady of means or something else entirely?