New York Times-bestselling author Amanda Quick, called "an exceptional storyteller" by the Los Angeles Daily News, and "one of the best and brightest voices in the romance genre" by Booklist, presents a novel of thrilling historical romantic suspense, set in late Victorian England.
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June 09, 2005
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Excerpt from Lie By Moonlight by Amanda Quick
Midnight in a fog-shrouded graveyard. There could be no darker place on the face of the earth, Annie Petrie thought.
She shivered and clutched her cloak more tightly at her throat. She had never been more frightened in her life. But the rumors regarding the man she was here to meet were very plain. An appointment with him was conducted at the time and place of his choosing or not at all.
She had changed her mind a thousand times that day about whether to come here tonight. Her nerves had nearly failed her altogether that morning when she had awakened to discover the note on her bedside table.
She had picked up the piece of paper with shaking fingers, stunned by the realization that he had entered her lodgings in the middle of the night. Somehow he had gotten past her locked doors and shuttered windows. She had never heard so much as a whisper of sound, never sensed his presence. It was as if she had been visited by a ghost.
When she finally calmed down enough to read the brief message, she discovered that it contained a simple list of instructions. In the end, knowing that she would never be able to rest soundly again until she had some answers, she obeyed each item on the list with great care.
The directions had included turning down the lantern when she came through the gates of the cemetery. Now the lamp cast only a weak glare that reflected off the eerie fog. The dark shapes of the stones, crypts and monuments loomed in the vapor-laced shadows.
It took every ounce of will that she possessed to keep moving forward. She had come this far, she told herself. She would not give up now. It was the least she could do for poor Nellie.
"Good evening, Mrs. Petrie."
The voice was as dark and ominous as the graveyard. It emanated from the doorway of a nearby crypt. She froze, too terrified to scream, let alone flee.
A gentleman's voice, she thought. Somehow that knowledge only made her all the more anxious. She managed to turn slowly, straining to make him out in the shadows. But the limited light of the lantern did not spill into the cold darkness that marked the doorway of the old stone crypt.
"I did everything on the list," she said, aware that her own voice was quivering uncontrollably.
"Excellent. Would it surprise you to know that some who make an appointment with me never keep it?"
"No, sir, it wouldn't astonish me in the least to learn that." She was startled to discover that she had a bit of nerve left, after all. "There's not many who would fancy meeting a stranger with your reputation at this hour in a place like this and that's a fact."
"True." He sounded amused. "But I find that such odd times and locations help to eliminate those who are not entirely determined upon their course of action." He paused. "I only work for clients who are resolved to obtain answers, no matter what the cost, you see."