There was little of joy and beauty for Tessa LaPrelle, a scullery maid in 1903 London, but a painting called The Bride of Time. The nude raised eyebrows and speculation that Tessa had posed. Impossible! Even if some man could make her so wanton, even if the subject had Tessa's thick chestnut hair, the work had been commissioned a hundred years previous, at the start of the Regency!
...KNOW THE BRUSH OF ETERNITY
Regardless, it wasn't the subject or its uncanny resemblance to her that drew Tessa to The Bride. Nor was it fascination with the artist: one Giles Longworth, whose portrait showed eyes black as sin, wind-combed mahogany hair and broad, muscular shoulders. If any could make her wanton it was he; but he was also accused of sorcery, of dark evil things. Some even said Longworth had been a werewolf, the throats of his alleged victims torn from their bodies. No, what drew Tessa was a small window in the painting's corner, a seeming portal to that wild Cornish wilderness, to misty moors in a time gone by. Sometimes she dreamt she had been running all her life--from what and to whom, she was about to discover.