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UNRAVELING SECRETS by LANA WILLIAMS
Unraveling Secrets, Book I of The Secrets Trilogy
When the past returns to haunt her…only one man can save her.
Set in 1880’s London…a new Victorian Historical Romance!
When her father’s murderer returns from the dead to threaten her family, Abigail Bradford attempts to warn him off, but soon learns chasing a ghost is no easy task.
Stephen Nolton, Viscount Ashbury, stumbles upon Abigail in the dirty streets of London’s East End. Able to read auras of good and evil after an electromagnetic experiment went terribly wrong, Stephen hovers on society’s edge, keeping secret his unique skill and personal mission. Despite his fascination with the lady and her unique golden aura, he intends to keep his distance.
Desperate to protect her family, Abigail turns to the one man she believes can aid her. In Stephen’s arms, she finds so much more than she hoped. Stephen tries to resist his desire for the independent beauty, afraid she’ll unravel his secrets. But when he discovers the murderer is linked to his own past, he must decide how much he’s willing to risk for love.
UNRAVELING SECRETS by LANA WILLIAMS
Those green eyes bored into hers as his fresh, clean scent filled her lungs. It struck Abigail that, for the second time that day, she’d placed herself in danger.
“Did you not see the knife he held the last time you confronted him?”
“Ah…” How was she supposed to think when he loomed over her? His lips were close enough to—
“He could stick that knife in your side before anyone noticed he held it.”
His hands held her waist to make his point. She jolted forward at the contact, her nose bumping his chin.
“Oh!” Her lips parted. She couldn’t take her gaze off his mouth. His hands felt warm on her waist despite the layers that separated them.
He gave her a little shake as he spoke. “Do not approach him again.”
She looked up into his eyes and tried to swallow. What had she been trying to say? Oh, yes. “Someone has to and you’re not taking any action. I don’t understand why you haven’t yet spoken with him.” Lord Ashbury didn’t seem to realize how desperate she was to put an end to the threat that Simmons represented.
“For one, Simmons vacated the lodging house you discovered and hasn’t been seen at the pub. Secondly, a more pressing matter is now requiring my attention.”
She drew in a breath to steady her nerves only to catch his clean scent once more. It reminded her of the sea with a hint of bay rum. Compared to the foppish dandies she’d met who smelled of strong cologne in an effort to mask other odors, Lord Ashbury smelled refreshing. She looked up at him from beneath her lashes, hoping to hide his affect on her.
What on earth was wrong with her?
A mere look from this man had her fumbling like a young girl, uncertain of herself. And when he touched her—regardless of the layers of clothing that separated them—awareness speared through her to her toes. The sensation was very unsettling, not to mention unfamiliar, but oh, so intriguing. No man had ever made her feel anything like this.
He rubbed his forehead as though he had a headache before scowling at her. “I did not promise a particular schedule.”
“If you can’t find him, simply say so. There’s no need to become defensive.”
The glare he gave her would’ve withered others, but luckily she was no fainting wallflower. “Perhaps we should locate him together,” she suggested, her enthusiasm growing as the idea took hold.
“I’m experienced in such matters. You may rely on me to take care of it.”
“You must forgive me for failing to trust you,” Abigail said. “After all, I only have your word.”
“That should be enough.”
“Hmm. I would suggest we plan some sort of outing for the morrow to see if Simmons appears.”
“Probably not Regent Street again. What of Hyde Park?”
“Or perhaps Piccadilly would be better?”
“The two of us seen together will only complicate matters.”
She frowned, not sure what he meant. “How so?”
“I’m an unattached gentleman and you a lady. If we’re seen together in public, certain conclusions would be drawn.”
“We wouldn’t want the ton to latch on to the notion that we are involved in any way.”
She bit her lip, pondering the ramifications of what he’d said.
“I would remind you,” he continued, moving to the edge of his seat, “that your visit here today is highly inappropriate.”
“True.” She blinked and eased back, suddenly uncomfortable with his proximity.
“I think it best we don’t meet again.” He tapped his gloved finger on her nose. “And do not confront Simmons.”
A spark of awareness flashed through her, mingled with fear.
But she couldn’t afford to let him intimidate her. “I will do what I see fit—”
A small smile played at the corner of his mouth. “Do you never cease arguing?”
She stiffened when his lips took hers, shock holding her still. The heat from his lips melted her from the inside out. A tiny moan escaped her mouth and he groaned in response.
Her anger slipped away and desire took its place. All thoughts flew from her mind and she could only feel. Much more than simple heat spiraled through her.
So this was desire…
For so long now, she’d thought herself incapable of feeling it.
She tilted her head, wanting more of what he offered. His hand cupped her cheek, the other holding her arm, steadying her from the sway of the carriage. With more courage than she’d thought she had, she reached up to rest her hand on his broad shoulder.
For a long moment, she allowed herself this pleasure. She allowed herself this longing for things that could never be. This man was not for her, but that didn’t mean she didn’t wish he was.
He eased back, breaking the fragile moment that she’d never forget.
She opened her eyes and couldn’t stop a smile from spreading across her face. She knew exactly why he’d kissed her, and while a small part of her was sad that it wasn’t because he desired her, she was grateful he’d tried to distract her from her purpose. It had been a lovely distraction and had taught her something new about herself. She was capable of passion. How wonderful to know.
“You are a very clever man, Lord Ashbury. Of that I have no doubt. But you will not be rid of me so easily.”
Unraveling Secrets is her latest historical romance release and is set in Victorian London.
Filled with a love of books from an early age, Lana put pen to paper and decided happy endings were a must in any story she created. She writes in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, two growing sons, and two dogs.
She loves hearing from readers! Stop by her website at www.lanawilliams.net and say hello!
Links to Lana’s website, blog, books, etc.
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**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Lana will give away an ebook of UNRAVELING SECRETS to one of her lucky readers who comments on her Monday Interview or Wednesday Book Bench blogs!! Don’t miss this chance to read this story!! Thanks, Lana, for sharing your stories with us!