Read A Bouquet of Thorns Online

Authors: Tania Crosse

Tags: #Romance

A Bouquet of Thorns (35 page)

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But the worst part of being prison surgeon was having to pronounce a man fit for punishment, to be subjected to the inhuman procedure of being birched or flogged. He had reached the stage where he could stand it no longer, but the turning point had been the begging, passionate letter from the young woman he had admired so deeply and who had implored him to help the recaptured escapee. Poor beggar had turned out to be totally innocent and now, it seemed, he was to marry his saviour. Well, good luck to them both. They deserved some happiness after what they'd both been through.

Raymond had never liked that husband of hers. He didn't like him being wed to the vivacious young girl who had captured his own heart so many years previously. He had reared away from his feelings, shot through with guilt, but it was a secret he had thankfully managed to keep safely locked away. He was already married with a family that he loved dearly; was old enough to be her father, and yet . . . he couldn't help dreaming. She wasn't just beautiful. She was captivating. With a generosity of heart, a fervent compassion, a wild, free spirit. He would miss her terribly, a slender, ethereal figure charging over the moor on that enormous, elegant horse of hers that seemed to have reappeared, as reckless and headstrong as she was. But it was better that way, though he would never forget her. Rose Maddiford from the Cherrybrook Gunpowder Mills. Rose from Cherrybrook.

Cherrybrook Rose.

Author's Note

All details regarding conditions at Dartmoor Prison at the time of this novel are believed to be correct, but this is a fictional story and should not be considered a statement of fact. George Frean was the real-life proprietor of the gunpowder mills and he is portrayed as the kindly gentleman he is believed to have been.

The ruins of the gunpowder mills stand on private land and can only be viewed from the public footpath. Anyone who trespasses does so entirely at their own risk.

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