A Furies Novel
...Not every lady plays by the rules.
Lady Lavinia Vaile knows what happens to a woman who puts her faith in society. For her, it was a disastrous marriage to a depraved man—one she threatened to shoot when she left him. Now Lavinia lives outside of society's strict conventions, hosting private gambling parties. It's only when her husband is shot dead that Lavinia finds herself in terrible danger...
A former judge in India's high court, Maximilian Harrison will do anything he can to help Lavinia. In the darkest of times, he held on to thoughts of her and the love they once shared. Now he risks his own position in society―along with his ambitions―in order to clear her name. Yet as desire reignites between them, Lavinia remains caught up in secrets and shame. Her only salvation is to do the unthinkable...and trust in both Maximilian and love.
“Go, Max,” she choked.
He glanced sideways. “Is that what you want? Truly?”
No. She wanted nothing more than to wind her arms around his neck and sink into the power and confidence he exuded. She studied the fine lines around his eyes and the creases in his forehead. She glimpsed the awkward, uncertain boy who had been her first and only love, beneath the man who existed in another world, a world that would never accept her again. They could never reclaim all they’d lost.
Vaile was dead. Dead. But his cousin Montechurch still lived. What had Monte told her? You can leave Vaile, but your sins will haunt you until death. I will haunt you until death.
Her mind conjured leering faces seen through a suffocating veil. The early morning breeze infused with the remembered stench of mating, sweating bodies.
She blinked at Max—so respectable, so sincere. God, how he would hate her when he learned the truth. She no longer had anything to give. Vaile had taken everything. There would be no second chance. She would preserve her youthful love untainted. Losing that one pure thing would be her final undoing.
A muscle twitched in Max’s jaw and an unfamiliar sensation of tenderness blossomed in her heart. He had risked much by coming here this evening. His patron, the duke of Wynchester, had broken alliances with men just for speaking to his estranged duchess, and the duchess numbered among Lavinia’s most intimate friends.
She drank in his essence, taking one last look before sending him away. She tried to preserve the image of the light against his features, the smooth angle of his cheek, and the earthy green of his eyes.
“Thank you—” she said, her voice cracking.
He raised his brow.
“—for being the one to tell me.”
His shoulders slumped almost imperceptibly, but she saw and understood.
He cleared his throat. “I had to come, Lavinia. If there is anything I can do—”
“No. What you’ve done already was…” she searched for words, “…a true kindness.”
Was that soft voice hers? She could not afford tenderness. She needed anger to give her the strength to make him go.
I would not have met Vaile had Max stayed in Thistleton, where he belonged.
“Mr. Harrison,” she made her voice low and resolute, “you must go now.”
“Allow me to stay until the magistrate arrives.”
Pity, enough to make her shudder, lit his eyes. Damnation. He held something back. “What is it?”
He took her hands in his. “I have spoken with the surgeon. The coroner’s court will convene a jury later today. I still hold hope they will return a verdict of
willful murder by person or persons unknown.”
“Oh dear Lord,” she said.
“He was shot through his manhood. The killer aimed well. Vaile died within minutes. Just after, a cloaked woman was seen rushing from the mews at the back of Vaile
House.” His eyes softened. “I am so terribly sorry. Vaile’s cousin is insisting that you fired the shot.”
She yanked back her hands. Panic and anger spiraled through her chest and coalesced into a tangible lump in her throat. She swallowed convulsively and squeezed her eyes closed.
The night she had finally summoned the strength to leave Vaile’s wretched home, she’d pointed her lady’s flintlock directly at his cock, and his cheeks had paled to
“I am leaving now,” she had said. “If you come after me, I will shoot you and, I promise, you will die in the worst possible way a man can die.”
The threat had risen from the darkest place in her heart, but her hands had been as steady as a Piccadilly pickpocket’s. Every two weeks since, she had faithfully changed the powder in that flintlock, reloaded the ball and sealed it with wax—always on guard. Never had she believed herself safe, but neither had she dreamed someone else would carry out her threat.
Her once steady hands shook like leaves in a squall. “The murder of a husband is petty treason. And the sentence is still burning at the stake.”
“LaCapra has crafted a high-stakes romance full of twists that will keep readers turning the page late into the night. A sensual story of lost love and redemption with a smoldering hero who will sacrifice anything to regain his first love, LADY VICE is a historical romance readers will treasure.” —Elizabeth Essex, Award-winning Historical Romance Author
"Elegant, shadowy, gorgeous." —Gaelen Foley, NYT Bestselling author of The Secrets of a Scoundrel
"A terrific read filled with intrigue, suspense, and true love." —Mary Behre, Award-winning Author of the Tidewater Series
"This debut novel by author Wendy LaCapra is a stunning presentation. Lady Vice entices and intrigues with an outstanding story and fascinating characters." —Kimberly Rocha, Romance at Random
"This is the first story out of the three in the Furies series and it’s one of the best second chance romance story’s I’ve read. It was equal parts sweet and sensual, witty and entertaining." —Melanie, Bookworm2Bookworm
"LADY VICE by Wendy La Capra is a regency romance overflowing with murder, mystery and the meaning of true friendship and love. ...The murder element of the plot added that extra spark of danger, and the tale flowed easily and naturally." —Linda Green, Fresh Fiction Review
"In addition to our gentleman of the highest caliber and an equally stubborn heroine blinded by the fear of her past, Lady Vice boasts a narrative that includes a murder-mystery, some bribery, strong and eccentric supporting cast of friends, a brothel, and a framing of the true murderer that will make you breathe a sigh of relief that Lavinia and Max will finally get their HEA." —Tanya, Heroes and Heartbreakers Review
“This appears to be LaCapra's first book and what a way to come flying out the door!! If this book is any indication of what is to come from this writer, she will be on my must buy list!”—Amy Alvis, A Goodreads Reviewer
“Lady Vice was a lovely historical romance and I enjoyed reading it. Romance lovers, you'll want to check this book out.” —Farrah, a Goodreads Reviewer