The Granville Legacy Series
The story started in the late 18th century with one exceptional man, Francis Granville. To the world he was an English aristocrat with an illustrious title and lineage that could be traced back for centuries, but he inadvertently created a new dynasty of descendants nothing like their forebears…
Behind THE SHADOW
Shadows aren’t always what they seem.
The dramatic and gripping story of one man with two lives and the woman he craves, but cannot have, nor control. They loved passionately, but fought each other continuously, neither willing to give in or admit their feelings, until both their lives teetered on a knife edge…
Part 3: The Determined Duchess
The Pride of LIONS
Action, drama, revenge and a turbulent romance. A tale of how your past can colour your life and actions.
Soldier and spy during the latter part of the Napoleonic wars; a lover of many women but saddled with a wife he neither loved nor wanted. Nicholas de Bresancourt, Duc de Valenciennes, was a complex man of many talents, but also a tormented one. Memories of his horrific experiences as a small boy in France before he escaped from the Revolution continued to haunt him and have coloured his entire life.
Gambling Lion has been awarded a Literary Titan Gold Award. The citation commended its writing style, vivid descriptions, complex characters, and original idea. It garnered extraordinary praise and acknowledged Antoinette’s hard work, dedication, and imagination.
Book Three: Publish and be Damned
He was Francis Granville’s oldest friend from their schooldays. However, Richard Ambrose wasn’t quite the wealthy, brainless fop everyone took him to be. In fact he was far from brainless.
Well-travelled at home and abroad and well connected throughout all levels of the Ton, Lord Richard Ambrose, Viscount Penrith, heir to the Earldom of Keswick, was handsome, louche and bored. He led a depraved and debauched existence which scandalised Polite Society, and was always on the lookout for something to top his last excess, but having difficulty now to find something, anything, he hadn’t already sampled. Although he was the only son and would one day inherit the Earldom, Ricky hated going home to the Lake District. He hated the dark, cold stone mansion where he’d grown up; hated his narrow-minded, martinet of a father and mouse of a mother; hated the interminable rain and damp, chilly weather. He had no time for the simple, gossiping, unsophisticated people who were his family’s neighbours, no matter how kindly they seemed. Of course they were completely shocked by rumours of his rackety existence in London; not that they knew the half of it, and invariably gave him a wide berth, especially those with daughters; not that they saw him from one year to the next since his visits were few and far between and he stayed for as short a time as possible.
His friend Francis, who knew Ricky better than anyone, was well aware that behind the front he put on for his peers, there hid a clever brain and boundless energy that needed an outlet and a challenge, and he’d been nagging the man for years to find a hobby or serious interest, even something commercial, to occupy his mind and time more productively, and also to find a wife and settle down, even if running a business went against the mores of Society who disdained ‘dabbling in trade’. The Granvilles did, and Francis didn’t give a hoot what anyone thought, although very few people understood exactly what Francis did that provided the huge wealth that the Dukedom of Firle was reputed to have.
And then one day, while Ricky was on one of his rare visits to his ancestral home, everything in his life started to change…
Book Four: To Catch a Thief
What became of ex-thief, Jack Vallance, once Government spymaster Lord Miles Ashcroft got his hands on him?
No one was completely sure who the original Shadow was; it had all been so very long ago, before the terrible Revolution in France and Bonaparte had subsequently risen to power, created turmoil across Europe and then came to grief at Waterloo. That had been nearly thirty years previously and his notoriety along the south coast of England and northern France had faded from most memories.
Jack Vallance knew about The Shadow though, and he wanted to not only emulate his hero and mentor, he wanted to do it his way. So, The New Shadow always left his calling card after he’d burgled a house, usually for the jewellery of its mistress, or bags of gold pieces, or anything else small and valuable that was easy to make off with. That was all he was after. Items easy to conceal and carry away, thence to be broken down and sold, all the money carefully squirreled away and invested in Rothschilds’ Bank. He only stole from people who could well afford to lose it, or people he actively disliked for various reasons, like ill-treating their staff or paying beggarly wages to the workers on their estates. That was what came from having a background in the gutters. But Jack was no reincarnated Robin Hood.
However, conversely, when The New Shadow pilfered items on behalf of Lord Miles Ashcroft and his unobtrusive offices in the depths of Whitehall, the so-called Department of Information, he left no trace of his presence, how he’d either got in or departed, and the British Government were in his debt.
And then, one day, cocky with his success and secret notoriety, The New Shadow forgot his mentor’s words of warning, learned the hard way thirty years before. Jack thought himself invincible and consequently, he broke into the wrong house, in the wrong place and at the wrong time… and he stole the wrong thing from a property very definitely occupied by the wrong people…
COMING NEXT, AFTER THE PRIDE OF LIONS, IN SPRING 2023:
The adventures of Marcus Forsyth, Francis Granville’s direct descendant, and his close friends and family
Book Five: Soldier Banker
Military action man and hero, and then capable banker and businessman – a ruthless and dangerous operator in both these very different worlds. A determined man who never gives in, and never gives up on either his friends, loved ones or his objective. And you cross him at your peril.
Marcus Forsyth is so much like his ancestor, Francis Granville, if only he knew it.
After a harrowing time as a prisoner of the Taliban in war-torn Afghanistan and on extended sick leave, Marcus unexpectedly gets involved with a woman who needs a temporary bodyguard. She isn’t impressed by his wealth and won’t do as he tells her, and he relishes the challenge she presents.
He originally thought she was an uptight, anti-social spinster who lived a quiet life with her cat in a south London suburb. But then he discovered the real Alex Carmichael was a very different individual under the conservative and restrained public persona most people saw… and she knocked him for six. But then it all went wrong.
He tries to make amends as it’s not just her he wants… but he has a real fight on his hands to win various battles where his future happiness is at stake.
Against this background, the unsung British Special Forces hero is also still coming to terms with the guilt he carries over the deaths of two close colleagues during the fatal mission in Afghanistan which almost cost the lives of many others, as well as himself, and his experiences continue to haunt him.
Book Six: Lions and Feathers
Alasdair Kinross, Laird and Earl of Invermory, had an unusual little sideline. It was nothing to do with the whisky distillery on his remote, rundown Highland estate, which gave employment to the small community who lived there, but this unofficial, secret sideline just about kept everything there afloat, even if his medieval castle was almost falling down into the neighbouring loch.
He also had little knowledge of his family or ancestors. He thought they were all heathen, warmongering Scots; very tall, brawny and black-haired, who’d lost virtually everything when they supported the Jacobite uprisings against the English throne back in the 18th century. They’d then gradually and irresponsibly frittered away what little family wealth was left.
Ross certainly had no idea there was a French duke amongst them, a man who’d been a spy for the Duke of Wellington in his war against Napoleon, a man with unusual tawny colouring, absolutely nothing like the warriors of Clan Kinross. But genetics is a strange thing, as a certain Francis Granville discovered for himself back in his day when he found out who his real grandfather was.
And then, one day, an unusually tall, dark-haired young woman turned up at the mouldering castle in Invermory. She was a strange-looking individual who dressed like a Goth in shapeless black layers and had a fetish for feathered earrings and weird hairstyles. She said she came from London and was researching her family history; she believed there was a distant connection to Clan Kinross through an illegitimate ancestor, and she wanted to investigate further. She had very strong opinions on women’s rights, was outspoken, short-tempered and obviously extremely intelligent, and seemed knowledgeable on almost everything, except Scotch whisky.
This visitor drove the usually laid-back Laird completely demented as she argued with him over absolutely everything that went on in Invermory… but that was only the start of the impact this mysterious lodger at the castle had on the run-down Scottish estate, and its Laird with his secret and dangerous sideline.
Book Seven: Matilda’s Diamonds
Geoffrey Hunter was an ambitious and successful City banker who originally hailed from the Australian Outback. An orphan, he’d grown up with distant relations on their remote sheep station, earning a living as a youthful sheep-shearer and drover, while he studied to educate and better himself. He’d been determined to forge a new life and career in London and seemed to have finally achieved all his objectives. He had a job he loved, plenty of money, a wealthy wife and a young family. But overnight, his perfect life suddenly started to unravel and fall apart and it was down to his friends to save him, along with the woman who worked in his office and who was so very different to his wife.
From London to South America, then Paris, and finally the remote Scottish Highlands and back to London, Geoff’s ordered existence experiences turmoil and upheaval like he’s never imagined, as he tries to come to terms with having faced near death on more than one occasion, and what is now important to his future life and happiness.
Book Eight: Never Left Behind
A small but ruthless Russian Mafia family operating out of London had no idea who or what they were taking on when they inadvertently upset Nick Travers, Marcus Forsyth’s old friend and close colleague from their time in the British SAS.
And then it turned out Nick and his friends weren’t the only people concerned when they found out what the Baronowski men and their combined krysha/sovietnik were really up to. And then there was Baronowski’s daughter… and just who is the butler?
Book Nine: The Chameleon and The Swan:
Guy Brotherton was a man of mystery with so many aliases even he wasn’t sure who he really was anymore. He had a dual nationality, British and Israeli, and two different real names, but that was the only true part of his covert and very dangerous lifestyle and career.
But he was trying to put that life behind him now, and run an upmarket hotel in the English countryside. And then the traumatic past he thought he’d escaped from caught up with him, just as he’d always feared it might.
The repercussions of that had consequences of epic proportions on every single one of his new little group of friends, especially Marcus, Nick, Mark, Paul and Lennie; but even more so for the woman he’d finally fallen in love with, a woman with a small daughter, and who was married to someone else.
This is a blockbuster saga of malign hatred, obsessive revenge, and fate. How one or two wrong decisions can change the path of a life and have far-reaching consequences. It’s about really true friendship, self-sacrifice, and an all-encompassing love. Simply unmissable and an unputdownable rollercoaster read.
Book Ten: The Cat’s Whiskers
The quiet man with the cat fetish isn’t quite the weirdo everyone has him down as… and no one really knew what he got up to before, in and after he left the renowned British Special Forces.
Just why was Paul Masterson such a private, thoughtful, reclusive individual? And did he really have OCD? Why didn’t he ever talk about his family or his youth? Why didn’t he lose his temper, ever… and just why had such an outstanding classical pianist joined the army and then the SAS? And what did he do in those few missing years when he left the military and went to work at Nick and Mark’s security company at their south London HQ?
So many questions and never any proper answers, not even to his close circle of friends. They knew a bit, but nothing like the reality.
Reluctantly resigned to a life of bachelorhood because he’d searched in vain for the right woman, never mind one he could actually fall in love with, Paul was focussed on his work. And then one day Paul’s beloved and indulged cat went missing. And then his house/catsitter went missing as well…
As the old saying goes… “Beware the quiet man. For while others speak, he watches. And while others act, he plans. And when they finally rest… he strikes.”
Book Eleven: Pins and Noodles
He’d been smitten with his oriental girlfriend from the day he met her in her job at a private City investment bank, but she never took his declarations of love seriously. She thought he was just an amusing, good looking and intelligent ex-soldier with a gammy leg, who’d been injured out of the British army and was now rehabilitated in a nice but boring job for a security company. She assumed he sorted out the alarm and CCTV equipment for their clients’ properties, being a qualified engineer.
Lennie Williamson was indeed all that, and did all that… and a whole lot more Lucy Chang had no idea about. But when she got into trouble, the man his friends jokingly called ‘Q’, or Brains, was the first man she called.