“There he is,” Mrs. Hensley said with whispery reverence as she gestured at the full-length portrait on the wall across from the bed. “Painted shortly before his death. His father, Charles Wentworth, was married to Lady Pembrook, the daughter of a British Earl. And Mr. Cole looks a true nobleman, doesn’t he?”
Julia halted. His presence was a soft breath on her neck that warmed and chilled her at the same time. The current running through her strengthened tenfold as she looked up at the young man and his gaze projected eerily back as if he knew she were there.
The artist had captured the intensity in Cole’s dark brown eyes allowing the force of his personality to shine through. His smooth forehead, slightly long nose, and clean-shaven chin balanced the three elements perfectly. He even had a small cleft in his chin as she’d imagined a nobleman would and his mouth was captivating, full, yet not too full.
Wavy chestnut hair met the white cravat circling his neck and made her want to reach out and touch it. She felt like a schoolgirl sighing at the poster of a film star, only this was so much more than that. Her awe at the house paled in comparison to the wonder rising in her as she ran her eyes down the length of the masterful portrait. She couldn’t be certain of Cole’s height, but he appeared tall, standing beside a splendid thoroughbred, his stunning figure clothed in an elegant scarlet coat fitted across his broad shoulders and cut away in front to reveal creamy white breeches molded to his thighs and long legs. He held a plaited leather whip with a crooked handle of carved ivory or bone like a stag’s horn and the thong looped in his left hand. The reins were casually circled around the tapered fingers of his right.
Maybe it was the sheltered life Julia had led, but it seemed to her that Cole embodied everything a man should.
She’d nearly forgotten the woman was there.
“No. Cole Wentworth is—was—remarkable. What do you know of him?”
“He was passionate about horses and unbeatable in a race.” Mrs. Hensley nodded her capped head at several smaller gilt frames displaying portraits of hunting dogs and horses so beautifully done they appeared lifelike. “He was a gifted artist, as well. We have other paintings by him in the house, but most are here, where he was killed. Tragic.”
A cold finger laid its icy touch on Julia and ran down the length of her spine. “How did it happen?”
“He’s said to have been run through by the very man who made that mark on the door. Mr. Cameron. Scottish fellow he was, back in…” Mrs. Hensley pursed her thin lips, blue eyes distant. “Ah, yes, 1806. Some fuss over a woman.”
“How dreadful. What about Mr. Cameron?”
“The friend of a neighbor, I believe. He escaped and was never found. No justice was ever done in the matter.”
Julia hesitated, then asked, “And the woman?”
“Heartbroken, poor thing. She returned to England. She was a guest of the Wentworth family and greatly enamored of Cole. All the young ladies were, but he had a particular fascination with this girl.”
“Why was she so special?”
“Apart from her legendary beauty? She had an angelic quality about her. Or so the story goes.”
An irrational jealousy twanged a jarring note in Julia. In the space of a few short minutes she’d fallen in love with the man in the portrait—typical of her impractical nature and unlikely to advance her nonexistent love life. And yet, she couldn’t help plunging into the sweet madness.~
“As I read Somewhere My Love, I recalled the feelings I experienced the first time I read Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca long ago. Using deliciously eerie elements similar to that gothic romance, Beth Trissel has captured the haunting dangers, thrilling suspense and innocent passions that evoke the same tingly anticipation and heartfelt romance I so enjoyed then, and still do now.”
~ Joysann, Publishers Weekly
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