The arrival of Jeremy Carfax at gloomy Radley Grange brings excitement and change into the lives of Julia Mariot and her niece, Vanessa Grey. Julia is on the verge of becoming a confirmed spinster after devoting a decade to her late sister's family and Vanessa suffers from a nervous condition made worst by her father's control of them both. Jeremy is attractive and dangerous to know. He wreaks emotional havoc in the area until a rare holiday in London gives Julia the chance to experience love, while Vanessa becomes more independent, but should she be allowed to follow her heart and marry him.


           The Interloper

At eighteen, Rosaria Heston reluctantly marries Rolf Markham and at twenty, moves to another part of the house in a legal separation. Seventeen years pass and the disjointed household finds a way of functioning. Rosaria is now nearly thirty-seven and entrenched in her resentment of her marriage. She is fiercely loyal to her first love, Simon Lewis, who was forced to leave Hettering when her father desperately needed money  and in the face of all modern thinking, 'sold her' to Rolf Markham, the interloper of the title.

Rolf appears a good match, but Rosaria cannot bear the thought of being recorded in the contract for the loan and causing Simon so much distress. It appears husband and wife will never forgive each other until one of them dies, but fate intervenes and history repeats itself when Ria, the daughter of the unhappy union, also falls in love with an unsuitable young man. The situation is the catalyst for a series of significant events. We follow the developing relationship between Rosaria and Rolf, the passionate love story betwenn Ria and Ross Westwood and the interplay of all the young people.


            Farina House 

To the disappointment of the aristocratic Vaughan family, their daughter Alice is an invalid and they assume she will never marry. Her entertainment is limited to walking in the grounds of her home and her friendship to her cousin John Crewe.

Then the handsome Ellison family move into a vacant house near the estate. Rupert, Celia and Antonia Ellison bring an amazing taste of the outside world into Alice's circle. They have suffered the indignity of losing their money, but Alice befriends the family and develops an infatuation for Rupert. As their friendship blooms, her physical disability begins to improve.

Rupert and Antonia manipulate Alice and matters deteriorate when Rupert is given a horse secretly and allows it to be passed off as a present from Alice. Mr Vaughan is furious. Will anyone come to Alices aid.


                               Cruel Inheritance

When Nancy Cross dies a spinster, she leaves her fortune to her nieces, Silvia Gough and Vivienne  Malmais, so tightly tied up there is no room for manoeuvre.They must marry according to age, forfeiting the money if they cannot do this before thirty. Silvia is minded not to marry at all and Vivienne has been kept so young she has never thought of it.

Into this placid world, come Stephen Faraday and Ursula Mason. They both have positive natures, but are not in the least attracted to each other. Ursula has a history in the area of Ridden. She used to live there and became close to Vivienne's cousin, George Gough, until she offended him. While Stephen only wants to be entertained on his holiday. This changes when he meets the lovely Vivienne. But how will he compete with the rich, bride-seeking Mr Carlton? In fact, how will the young ladies respond to the chance of a wealthy future? Will Silvia marry or take the veil? Will Vivienne grow up and fall in love.


           The Long Engagement

Brother and sister, David and Caroline Mountjoy, look alike, but their childhoods have been completely different. David is the wealthy Rector of the large parish of Hexton, in early nineteenth century Oxfordshire. He is a very responsible man, while Caroline's upbringing has been unusual.

When Caroline comes to live with David, he is horrified to learn she is secretly engaged. Then to his surprise, she also becomes fond of Roland Pearson, a visitor to Hexton. David acts to prevent his sister bringing disgrace to the family and yet is himself involved in an unsuitable relationship with the Squire's daughter, Ophelia. Before long, Roland's widowed sister, Edwina, comes to Hexton. David falls passionately in love with her, but will not acknowledge her unsatisfactory past.

The siblings disagree at regular intervals and struggle to stay friends. When David declines to marry Ophelia, the ladies of ther Mansion House punish him and seize the opportunity to drive Edwina from the area. It seems that without a significant intervention, neither of the Mountjoys will have a happy love life.



Anne Graham is strikingly beautiful and very determined. She lives with her selfish father and secretly distrusts his looks as much as she does her own. Soon after she refuses the proposal of her cousin, she meets two men. James Vincent is very attractive and has a witty, impulsive nature. Robert Butler is also a fine looking man, but is serious and moralistic. Anne is immediately drawn to James, but fears he may corrupt her.

She allows Robert Butler to be her mentor and while she struggles over the two men, she ignores her dear friend Arthur Morris. All three of Anne's suitors propose and she nearly loses the one she loves, until in her usual determined way, she places herself at great risk.




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