FAR FROM EDEN is the engrossing and dramatic story of the Traynor family's struggle to forge a life in Colonial America of the 1700s. The sweeping narrative takes place in the Massachusetts Colony, from the small village of Hopewell, to the seamy underbelly and elite streets of Boston, to the sophisticated salons of Europe. The lives of the Traynors are forever changed and shaped by the pivotal changes in history -- from the beautiful Tabitha Traynor who is scorned and accused of witchcraft to the volatile lives of her children -- Eve, a prominent grand dame of the brothels who meets and is undone by the evil Sir Christopher Montrose; Jonathan, a parish vicar by day, but a mysterious, rum-smuggling pirate by night; and Lina, the high-spirited artist who sets out to break the rules of morality. Love, romance, passions, mystery, deception, betrayal, and the major events of history impact the Traynor family saga until the dramatic and surprising ending. The story will stay in the reader's mind long after the last page is turned.
She shivered and pulled her shawl tightly around her. He was to meet her here, in this natural declivity of the cliffs, high above the shore and ocean waves. She could hear the steady rhythm of those waves as they lapped at the jagged rocks below, sending up a fine misty spray just visible from the overhang.
He called it their grotto of passion. She called it the Grotto of Despair, for that is what she felt the moment her feet hit the hard rock floor. That and dread and disgust. The disgust remained for her. She had allowed this to happen, allowed the madness to go on until he wanted more and more.
At first it had been money, and she had been quite willing to give him that. She took it bit by bit from the coffers of the church, this unholy extortion, but she did so with a promise to God to pay it all back. She promised her husband this as well; although, she could never repay all that she had stolen from him: his trust in her, his unerring faith, and undying love. She had broken all the vows they had promised each other the day of their marriage. Now, this madman wanted even more. He wanted to possess her until he broke her and destroyed everything she loved, all in the name of revenge.
Stiffening, she heard him approach up the sandy, stone-riddled path. By day, the path was easy to follow, up along the palisades and to this ancient cliff; but by night, the trek became perilous. She refused to see him in the light; but more importantly, she could not find an acceptable excuse to slip away from her family during the daytime.
"Ho, ho, so we meet again, my lovely, my beauty with the alabaster breasts."
She did not turn his way at first, for she knew those soft words were spoken with a condescending sneer. She felt his rough hands on her shoulders, his grip always too hard, enough to bruise. He told her he wanted to leave his mark every time they met to remind her of her infidelity. As he spun her around, she lowered her gaze so as not to meet his cruel, harsh eyes—the color of the blackest coals and the darkest shadows.
"Oh, come my dear, do not play modest with me!" With his fingers he tried to lift her chin, to raise her head; but when she did not cooperate, his tone altered abruptly. "You are such a weak, insipid little fool, Sister Churchmouse! Then again, I always knew you would never stand up to me. Now, did you bring it? The money?"
With trembling hands, she extracted the leather pouch from the folds of her skirt.
He growled, "How much this time?"
"I...I could not gather all that you wanted, not without arousing suspicion."
Grabbing the pouch, he weighed its heft in his burly hand, then stuffed it in his doublet. "Well, this will do for now."
Without preamble, he began to rip at the stays of her bodice. He had made a little bower for them, deep within the cave; a nest of straw and blankets, and easy to hide behind a pile of rocks. No need for them to remain uncomfortable when performing such intimate acts.
Each time, she vowed anew to retain control over her life even if it meant the most desperate of measures to rid herself of his evil. She kept repeating this mantra to herself as he thrust his hands at her breasts and pawed her like an animal. When he barked a command, she stripped naked, and then shivered as the cool sea air tried to whisk away her shame.
He began to tug at the leather strap that held up his breeches, his mouth open, his breath short and rasping as he eagerly unleashed his power to humiliate her...