Date Published: Jan 20, 2015
(Time Frame Series Book Two)
In Book Two, Adventure-Romance author Lesley Meryn has her 'second date', a little bit of Time Travel, with the volatile yet seductive scientist Miles Sherwood. She wakes up to a spring day in 1765 Yorkshire. Miles should be there, waiting for her, but he's nowhere to be found.
Circumstances spin rapidly out of control. Someone keeps trying to kill her new Eighteenth Century companion and self-appointed protector, Mick Kenning, a handsome and hunky stableman at the New Inn. Lesley helps him to foil these clumsy, but persistent and mysterious attempts on his life.
As the days pass, Miles remains missing. The clock is literally ticking down the days. She has less than two weeks to find him or she may be trapped in the past. Has Miles fallen victim to the very real dangers of an earlier time?
Complications multiply with the appearance of an elusive, badass, Highwayman. With a hefty price on his head, agents of the Crown have arrived at the New Inn to track him down. For Mick it's personal, he despises the Highwayman. The Highwayman, not satisfied with jewelry, and coins, stole away the woman Mick once loved.
Will Lesley find Miles in time? What has happened to him? Will Mick ever find out who wants him dead? Will he ever find outwhy?
Balancing between high adventure, sword fighting, fisticuffs, pistols, and daggers, Lesley must use her wits, imagination, and every trick from her own books to find Miles, survive the Eighteenth Century, and return to her own time.
Read an excerpt:
After waiting until the coach was out of sight as well as hearing, Mick stepped out from the bushes by the side of the road. He took a long look up and then down the road and then bent down to pick up the brace of hares that had tumbled to the ground with him in the fall from the rise. Then without comment, he slung the limp animals over his shoulder and started walking in the direction of the inn.
Lesley fell in beside him, her heart still racing from what had just happened. "So? Don't you have anything to say?"
"What can Ah say? By all that is just, t'man should be dead! Tha as much as saved his life! And why ever did tha leap upon me like that, so sudden like? Tha be daft and trouble," Mick gritted out with frustration.
Lesley glanced up at him. "Why should you despise the man so much? You've as much as said that he's a stranger to you."
"Ah do and there's an end to it." He stated firmly, showing his own stubborn streak, brooking no contradiction. Scowling, he glanced briefly in the direction the highwayman had ridden.
"Perhaps...but I don't think that I should be faulted for saving a man's life. After all I just saved yours as well."
"That first shot, it came from behind us on the rise, and it was you, not me who was the target."
Mick's step faltered. He ran a hand over his face. "No...""Yes. Those two, whoever they are, as idiotic as they are, are very much in earnest, and twice as persistent. You should consider yourself fortunate that they have terrible aim." Lesley paused. "You're quite certain you have no idea who would want to do you harm?"
"No, s'truth, lass." He frowned. "Dost tha think they'll try again?"
Lesley sighed, rubbing at her abused shoulder. She found herself wishing for whiskey. "Without a doubt."
What was left of the sun dropped behind a gunmetal grey cloud, and the sky darkened with breathtaking swiftness. A great curtain of rain moved over the distant moors drawing slowly but inexorably closer.
"Oh, great," Lesley muttered. "Not again. D'you think we'll get back before it reaches us?"
"P'raps," Mick replied, shrugging at the inevitable.
"Tell me Mick, do you actually enjoy being cold and wet?"
"Nay, but sometimes there's nowt t'be done, so why be grousing 'bout it?" But his pace quickened all the same. Lesley loped alongside him to keep up. She kept her eyes on the road, hoping to avoid the mud and puddles from previous rains. When she looked up he was regarding her with a frown.
"Now what? If we get wet, we get wet, okay?" She spread her hands, thinking it was about her complaining. "I just don't understand why I have to enjoy it f'god's sake."
"It doesna seem fitting that a lass should keep saving me from harm," he remarked slowly.
"But it was you who saved me to begin with. Maybe there's a reason for this, maybe we're meant to look out for each other." She stopped and tugged at his sleeve to get him to stop and look at her. "Do you believe in fate...?"
Mick halted, looking down at her, with a half smile on his lips. He glanced up, then down the road and bent down to whisper confidentially in her ear, "Ah s'pose Ah could do much worse, lass. F'all the trouble y'are."
He put out his hand in a gesture of friendship and she put hers out to take it. Their eyes met. Lesley felt her heart thudding as he took her hand and slowly pulled her closer to him. He drank her in deeply with his rich amber eyes; then they dropped to her lips as he moved in even closer to her. The pounding grew louder and louder, seemingly vibrating up her entire body.It was then that she realized the thudding was not from her heart at all, but was coming from the ground beneath them, and when she looked up, ahead of them, the highwayman was bearing down on them, greatcoat billowing out behind him, a dark, raging apparition, with single-minded intent.
Mick and Lesley sprang apart as he approached and within seconds the highwayman was upon them, Mick and Lesley running to get out of his way. In one smooth movement, the highwayman bent down and easily hauled Lesley up and over the saddle in front of him. With Lesley struggling to free herself, he continued riding off down the road and out of Mick's sight.
The highwayman pulled his horse up sharply to an abrupt stop. Lesley, precariously balanced, slid off, luckily feet first, her weak knees buckling. He slid off just as quickly behind her and caught her in his arms before she fell to the ground. Lesley struggled with him, screaming all matter of epithets. With Mick so far away, there was no hope of a timely intervention. And she had not a glimmer of an idea what this man's intentions were. This man was bigger and stronger, meaner, and more determined than she could ever have dreamed possible.
The man managed to grasp one wrist firmly but was not able to pin down her other hand. She struck out at him, lashing viciously at his scarf-muffled face. Spurred on by the satisfying feel of a solid blow beneath the black ostrich plumed tricorne, and a grunt of surprise, she redoubled her efforts. The smoked-glass spectacles were sent flying into the shrubbery, the tricorne swept in the opposite direction and even the scarf was loosened from his face.
Lesley doubled over, pulling against him, her fingers inching down to the top of her boot to pull out her dagger. She knew from experience now that she should not hesitate to use it. She only prayed that she would not have to.
His free hand came up, easily closing around her throat. He bent in closer. Lesley willed herself to keep her wits, as she waited for him to move in even closer. But her heart was racing madly and taking a breath was painful. She knew she couldn't hold back; she had to make sure that when she struck her blow there would be no way for him to come after her. She didn't have much time.
His big hand on her throat turned her head to face him. She found herself bound up into his deadly black gaze. Her eyes followed the line of the long white scar that ran diagonally across his left cheek as her hand shifted slightly adjusting the dagger to the best angle to be driven up under his ribs and into something important. She inched it closer to his chest.
The highwayman, feeling the sharpness of the tip of the blade, froze.
She closed her eyes, steeling herself, just about to give an upward thrust when from a distance down the road, Lesley heard Mick calling her name. Lesley's eyes opened with relief. Perhaps she would not need to use the knife. The highwayman stared at her in surprise and then looked at Mick who closed the distance between them at a dead run. The highwayman tried to pull her away from the open road and into the shrubbery alongside the road. Lesley pressed the dagger more closely into his chest, but hesitated, despite herself, to complete the action.The turning of the highwayman's head to watch Mick's approach made the already loosened scarf drop away from his face.
Overhead, a jagged bolt of lightning flashed, crashing into the top of a nearby tree on the crags above, illuminating both their faces with white hot light, the following thunder immediate and deafening. The air bristled with electricity and the tang of ozone.
Lesley felt the suffusion of a heat of equal parts of relief, anger and desire flash over her as she gazed into the eyes of the man. A second thunderbolt of realization surged through her."Miles..." she whispered in shock, as the dagger fell from her limp fingers.
Elle BrookesElle Brookes grew up in Los Angeles, California, but lived in Jamaica for three years when she was a Peace Corps Volunteer. She moved to San Francisco and studied at the California Culinary Academy, and went on to become a private chef to a well-known L.A. based television production company.
From an early age Elle was a voracious reader of adventure stories and from elementary school through high school, she started writing her own stories of places foreign and exotic. She studied Art History and continued writing in college, focusing on short stories.
A dedicated and passionate traveler, Elle has explored river caves in Jamaica and Costa Rica, hiked glaciers in New Zealand and Iceland, and done dogsledding in Greenland and Iceland. She's danced a fa'a Samoan haka and slept in a fale on the island of Savai'i in Samoa, hiked in the northern mountains of Thailand along the border with Myanmar in the Golden Triangle, and in Haiti, she witnessed a white goat ceremonially sacrificed to Erzuli Freda by a powerful Houngan. For a time she did Performance Driving in Southern California, and has years of study and experience dedicated to fencing, theatrical combat, archery, and horsemanship.
Elle currently lives in the central highlands of Costa Rica with her dog Pixie, and her hedgehog, Quiller.Website: www.tymslyder.com
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