The Duchess' Diary
Melissa Holt is finding her dream job a tad unusual. Alongside ghosts and strange events and a handsome enigmatic boss whose very presence gives her heart palpitations, she finds herself enmeshed in a mystery that only the ghost of a woman, dead more than 100 years, can resolve. Should she reveal the truth and risk ruining the man she loves? Or will the hand of fate take a most unexpected turn? More
Melissa Holt is 28,widowed,and over the moon about her new clerical job on a glorious country estate.
She has not been there long when she stumbles upon an old room, once a gentleman's study, now neglected and thick with dust. Fascinated by its obvious luxury, evident still beneath the neglect, she offers to clean it up in her spare time, hoping that her employer might allow it to replace the poky box-room that currently serves as the estate office.
In this old study Melissa finds hidden treasures, including old records dating back to the marriage between Lady Grace Fairley and the much older, Duke of Gowerhey.
Her employer, Max Tremain, while devastatingly handsome, successful, and totally sure of himself, is not the easiest of men and when his brother Charles, the current Duke of Gowerhey, arrives from England she finds an unexpected ally.
One night she sees what she thinks is a ghost. Later, when viewing a portrait on the landing near her apartment, she recognizes the likeness and believes the apparition she had seen to be that of the young Duchess of Gowerhey, dead more than 100 years. At first shocked and frightened, she comes to realise that the Duchess must have been trying to tell her something. Her subsequent discovery of an exquisitely beautiful desk, tucked away in a recessed corner of the old study,seems to somehow place it at the heart of the mystery.
Convinced it holds the key to the Duchess' death, Melissa is desperate to see inside it but, without a key, she can do nothing. This is resolved when a tiny key she has never seen before mysteriously turns up on her bedside table. But before she has time to use it she witnesses another ghostly scene and, finally, the secret of the desk is revealed.
With the true horror of the Duchess' fate now revealed, Charles confides to Melissa the reasons for Max's distant attitude. Although she loves Gowerhey and her new life she realises that to stay, feeling as she does about Max, is pointless and the consequences of her discovery can surely only lead to greater heartache.
Does she tell Max what she knows and risk his ruin? Or does she go, leaving her own cherished hope of happiness behind, and allow him to retain what is rightfully his?