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Beverley's Books



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A woman with the gift of illusion. A man with the duty of truth.

Can they strip away each other's deceptions in time to stop a murderer - or will dark secrets bury them first?

Escaping a shattering past, Lily reinvented herself with a charm no man could resist. But when enigmatic editor Hamish McTavish sees through her ruse, her carefully hidden heart begins to stir.

Hamish is driven by duty to his family and ambition for his career. The last thing he needs is scandal from the mysterious beauty whose secrets could destroy them both.

Yet as Lily uses her talents as a "medium" to solve a murder, not even Hamish's rigid principles can shield him from the growing passion between them.

When her investigation reawakens ghosts from Lily's past that endanger her fragile freedom, Hamish must decide how far his duty goes—and how much he's willing to risk for the woman who has come to mean everything.

With their goals in conflict and dark forces threatening to expose Lily's life of deception, can two scarred souls surrender to the love threatening to consume them? Or will past and present unite to destroy their chance at the future they both crave?


Loving Lily is Book 6 in the Fair Cyprians of London series but can be read as a standalone.

Also available in audiobook and paperback. 

What the readers say:

"This book was a journey into the strange and I loved it." ~ Goodreads.

"Excellent villains and, yes, there is more than one plus super hero ... This is a great addition to the series." ~ Goodreads.

What other mysteries surround the ruined governesses and disgraced aristocratic daughters who find themselves at Madame Chambon’s? Read the complete series to find out.


Reading Order:

Book 1 - Saving Grace

Books 2 - Forsaking Hope

Book 3 - Keeping Faith

Book 4 - Wedding Violet

Book 5 - Christmas Charity

Book 6 - Loving Lily

Associated Victorian Murder Mystery with Romance Series - London Ladies in Peril

Book 1 - Murder at Madame Chambon's 


Loving Lily is also available as a paperback.


Ebooks are delivered instantly by link in your confirmation email (and as a backup, also by email from our delivery partner, Bookfunnel).


You can read the ebooks on any ereader (Amazon, Kobo, Nook), your tablet, phone, computer, and/or in the free Bookfunnel app.



Lily had become deaf to the screeching.
The din of the madhouse and the stench of unwashed bodies no longer brought her hands to her ears or the bile to the back of her throat.
Every day was more of the same.
Except today.
She blinked, shock making her slow to pick up her spoon and wolf down whatever sustenance she could before someone else did.
For today, a faint tendril of steam rose up from the tin bowl that had been thrust in front of her.
The food was hot.
Or, at least, it was not as cold as the stone floor she was sometimes made to sleep on as punishment.
“Eat up, girl, if yer know wot’s good fer yer!”
A passing warden slapped the back of her head, and quickly, Lily dug her spoon into the thin gruel, shovelling it into her mouth as quickly as she could.
But the warder was not yet done. “Yer reckon our food ain’t good enough for Lady High-’n-Mighty?”
Lily shook her head; though as mistress of Bradden Hall, she’d have declared the weevil-ridden victuals unfit for the servants. And the dogs.
But it had been two years since Lily had been mistress of anything, much less her own destiny.
“The Lord will have thee for thine…gooseberry pie!”
Shouting her latest favourite lines as she tried to evade one of the servants, Mad Maria passed by in a waft of stale body odour, some vestige of golden hair still bright beneath the filth. “Is thy a gooseberry that will grace the Lord’s gooseberry pie?” The young woman doubled back to stand in front of Lily and cocked her head, her expression trusting and curious.
“Yes, Maria, now sit down and eat your gruel before you starve to death.” Lily waved the girl away before snatching back her plate as her neighbour tried to take advantage of the unguarded moment. The nuns would as likely let Lily starve as they would Maria, whose family would doubtless rejoice at being relieved of the burden and stain of insanity.
When a cockroach staggered out of the mess in front of her, Lily didn’t even recoil. She’d lost too much flesh off her bones to concern herself with such niceties as vermin-free victuals.
Scraping up the last of the porridge, she pushed her plate aside, whereupon it was greedily snatched up by her neighbour who began to lick it clean.
“Madame Bradden, you have a visitor.”
Instantly, the twenty-five women in the noisy refectory stopped eating, spoons suspended in midair, some with mouths hanging open—in the case of the truly insane. A good half of the women merely turned polite enquiring gazes towards Lily.
In two years, no one had ever visited Madame Bradden.
Lily put her hand to her heart. It was beating so rapidly she couldn’t focus on the novice who’d delivered the information.
Someone had come to visit her? Pushing back a strand of lank, greasy hair that had escaped from beneath her grimy hessian cap, she looked down at her nail-bitten hands as her excitement drained away.
Her visitor was of no account. Unless Robert had sanctioned her release, a visitor was here either to gloat, or was someone she’d hoped would never have learned of her circumstances.
She rose.
“Mother Superior’s office.”
“Mother Superior’s office.” Lily whispered it in the reverential tones such a statement deserved. Punishment for only the gravest of misdemeanours were meted out in Mother Superior’s office.
But ‘someone’ suggested a stranger.
A stranger. Someone from the outside.
At this thought, her heart beat more furiously as she followed the novice down dark and damp twisting stone corridors until they reached an arched doorway. Lily stepped into the panelled, comfortable interior, and remembered the first time she’d stood in this room.
With Teddy.
Dear Teddy, who had declared his horror and torment at what Robert was demanding of them both.
He’d promised to lay down his life if that was what was required to rescue her from this place. Tears had streamed from his eyes as the nuns had torn Lily from his embrace.
No, Teddy would not let her down if he could help it.
Her husband, Robert, however—
“Lady Bradden?”
Lily inclined her head slightly and glanced between Sister Bernadette seated behind her large mahogany desk, and a tall, spare gentleman who was in the process of seating himself as Lily lowered herself onto a spindly chair opposite.
His brown hair and side-whiskers were fashionably coiffed, but his suit was cheap. His skin was sallow, and his nose was long and sharp. Like his eyes, which regarded her with obvious distaste. Lily didn’t recognise him.
“She goes by Madame Bradden, not Lady Bradden, Mr Montpelier,” said Sister Bernadette, shuffling some papers on her desk as if she were looking for something, “having lost the moral right to be his lordship’s wife.” Like Mr Montpelier, Sister Bernadette’s nostrils twitched.
Not that their collective distaste should come as a surprise. Lily couldn’t remember the last time she’d been given clean clothes.
“So, Madame Bradden, it appears you will be leaving us.” Having found the letter she’d obviously been looking for, Sister Bernadette sent Lily an impassive half-smile while Lily hid her surprise. It was rare that an inmate left the maison other than via the morgue.
“Apparently, a more conducive environment for your care awaits you back in England.” Sister Bernadette raised a sceptical eyebrow. “I will not scruple to say that it is my belief that the affliction which sent you to us is correlated with the dissipated ways you embraced in your mother country; however, your husband has written that you are to return.”
“My husband—?
“—has not forgiven you, and nor will he.” Sister Bernadette’s eyes narrowed and Lily turned towards Mr Montpelier who muttered, “I am to bear you back to England on tomorrow’s packet.”
Lily glanced about her, suddenly visited by the suspicion that Robert’s intention was simply to lodge her in a different facility, perhaps having been coerced by a more kindly member of his family.
Then, remembering there were none of those, she pressed her lips together and thought of Teddy once more. Yes, her own Teddy—or rather, Dr Theodore Swithins, Robert’s friend before he and Lily had become lovers—who might still have sufficient sway to persuade Robert that his cruelty towards his wife went beyond barbarous.
“Lord Bradden has employed warders to ensure you are properly supervised, he writes.” Sister Bernadette sent Lily a warning look. “As he must, for there is no telling when the taint of insanity will rear its ugly head with no mercy for those innocents who may be slumbering in their beds before they are consumed by the madwoman’s fire.”
Mr Montpelier looked alarmed. “How often has Madame Bradden displayed the…insanity which caused her to be incarcerated here?”
Lily noticed that though his fingers were long and elegant, he did not have the hands of a gentleman. The tips were stained and calloused. Whether he spoke like a gentleman was impossible to tell for his French was halting.
“She was a wild cat when she was first brought to us.” Sister Bernadette looked sorrowful. “Yes, a wild cat, believing the walls were breathing and the furniture savage creatures she must slay.”
“And, more recently? This last year? How… deep…is her insanity?” Mr Montpelier had barely looked at her. Lily hid her shame.
Until a few years ago, she’d considered herself the sanest of people, though she would concede that pride and vanity had once been among her vices. Two years ago, the last time she’d laid eyes on a man he’d looked at her with raw desire.
She’d been used to admiration—from both men and women.
But not Robert. He’d never desired her. She still wondered why he’d married her.
Her stomach clenched as she listened to the pair discuss the clinical details surrounding her incarceration—Madame Bradden’s sudden attacks of fear and frenzy. Lord, they’d terrified Lily too, but she’d never done anyone any harm. And each one had lasted only hours, leaving her wracked and depleted. But no less herself in the morning.
Now Robert was taking her back? He had relented?
Oh God, what other punishment did he have in store for her?
“She has displayed no insanity this past year, no.” Sister Bernadette sounded proud. “Not, in fact, since she came here. We work hard in this house to beat the devil out of our inmates, though it is well known that insanity cannot be cured. I hope Lord Bradden has a sturdy lock on the door of the suite in which madame will be incarcerated. And I hope he has thought long and hard about the merits of undertaking her care, himself. Dealing with the feeble-minded and criminally insane is our specialty.”
Mr Montpelier rose. “I believe he conveyed everything necessary in his letter,” he said, nodding at the missive that lay on the table in front of Sister Bernadette. “The carriage is waiting outside. We will leave once Madame Bradden has packed her things and, I hope, will make good progress so we can catch the dawn packet tomorrow.”
“Madame is ready to depart now,” Sister Bernadette said, flicking her a look that Lily would have described as gloating had she not known what a sainted being Mother Superior’s right-hand tormenter really was. “Our inmates are allowed no possessions.”

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