Romance / Adventure / Suspense
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.
Amazon - http://amzn.to/1CDdzt2
Tha be alone, then?" he asked softly.
She could only stare back at him.
"Ah mean you no harm, lass, " he commented, his voice low as he gestured with the hand that held the dagger.
She licked her lips, thinking, and willing herself to speak. She tightened her grip on the dirk in her hands.
"Put down your knife," she managed to croak through teeth clenched against the pain, and her burning throat, making a slight move with the hand that held her own knife. "Then we'll talk about it."
The man tilted his head and raised an eyebrow. He regarded her again with that thoughtful gaze; then he glanced away, the corner of his mouth quirking up. He pinched the end of the blade and expertly tossed the dagger in the clearing where the knife neatly embedded itself into the ground less than a yard in front of her. Lesley swallowed and slowly lowered the dirk in her hand into the folds of her ruined gown. She looked up to him, waiting. She felt dizzy. She wondered if she could even stand.
He came forward and crouched down in front of her giving her a close look at his face. His nose would have been straight and aquiline had it not a white healed bump -- evidence it had been broken some time in the past. Full lips pressed into a line that curved slightly at the corners giving him an expression of faint amusement. Most of his long hair had pulled free of a slip of frayed black leather thong, and hung brushing his shoulders. Even in the rapidly darkening light she could see the shimmer of red and gold that highlighted his mostly chestnut hair. A three day's growth of beard stubbled his high angled cheeks. His eyes, dark amber brown, narrowed at her under arched brows. Partially hidden by a loosely tied neck cloth, a jagged, puckered scar marred the smooth line of his throat.
"Tha be a rather odd one, lass" he mused over her in a soft, hoarse voice, "Yer should not be here alone, with no escort... no one around... no coach about... Where are yer people?"
She shuddered, her body suddenly feeling cold, despite the heat of her injuries. He reached down to draw the backs of his fingers slowly, and surprisingly gently, along her paling cheeks. He pulled back as a rumble of thunder rolled over them. He glanced upward then back to her again.
"I...I..." she began, but any other words died in her throat.
"Surely tha hast someone coming f'tha?" he inquired of her. She nodded slowly, staring at him, trying to accept that this was real. All of it. He returned her frank stare, but then his eyes dipped to her exposed breasts.
Belatedly, painfully, her hand stole up to clutch the torn bodice fabric closed. She kept the other tightly around the hilt of the dirk hidden in the folds of her dress. Lesley shivered again. She could not stop trembling. She closed her eyes. Her throat burned where the other man had choked her.
"There be an inn not far off," he remarked softly. "Best to leave this place. Them two might still be lurking about. Don't reckon taking them on again if it's all t'same to tha, miss."
Another rumble of thunder rolled over them. The sky darkened even further. Lesley's mind worked slowly now. She shouldn't leave but she couldn't very well stay. Then, she realized that Miles would be following the homing transmitter which was at that moment scarpering around God only knew where in that drunken bastard's shirt.
Then she remembered something else. She moved her hand to her left ear. The sub-vocal was gone as well. She might as well have been stripped naked and left completely defenseless. Well, actually, she was.
"I c-can't! Gone..." she gasped out, nearly incoherent, gesturing haplessly in the direction the two had disappeared. She closed her eyes, gritting her teeth as much in frustration as against the pain she felt.
"Well, Ah can't very well be leaving tha here now can Ah? Tha be half naked, prob'ly hungry if Ah know t'look of it..."
He rose to his feet, and stood over her, shaking his head. He took her in, shivering and wet in the freezing north wind that swept down across the moors. Her full lips going blue but pressed together in a line of determined stubbornness. "Mad. it's mad Ah must be. Ach, do what tha will..."
But he didn't walk off. As though torn by indecision, he turned to regard her once again, oblivious to the first cold drops of rain that became a torrent within seconds.
"Please..." she managed in a croaking whisper. She struggled, trying to find her feet, swayed a few moments, but fell again onto her knees. Closing her eyes, Lesley tried again, dragging herself out of the deepening mud, against the force of the hard rain. This time, strong arms held her up and steadied her. Astonished at the touch, her eyes flew open to meet his only inches away. It gave her the queerest feeling. So he was real after all. This was all real. Too, too real.
He balanced her deftly, with a hand to her back. Lesley whimpered slightly at the pressure. He suddenly pulled back the hand at her back and held it out. A bright smear of red slashed across it, almost immediately rinsed clean by the torrent of rain. He flexed the hand, and then swept her up into his arms.
"Ah'm thinking there's more than food tha will be needing." She heard him whisper quietly into her ear, just before the dirk fell from her limp fingers, and she lost consciousness.
Elle 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