Sunday, 13 September 2015

ANGEL HEART by Marie Laval

ANGEL HEART by Marie Laval
Regency with a paranormal twist


Who did the woman think he was to summon him to her room like that? A lackey, probably. His lips twisted in an angry snarl as he climbed the stairs two by two. Madame Norton might live in a ramshackle manor house on the bleak, windswept Devonshire moorland, but she was still a Beauregard on her mother's side and a member of the English gentry by marriage. He should have followed Martin's advice and stayed at the club a while longer.

He walked down the draughty corridor and drummed impatient fingers on her door.

‘Who's there?’  A timid voice answered from behind the door.

‘Saintclair. Did you want to talk to me?’ His tone was short.

The door opened just enough for Madame Norton to peer through.

He exhaled sharply to control his rising temper. ‘Are you going to let me in or shall we talk in the corridor?’

She opened the door wider and he strode in.

‘Is there a problem?’ He looked down at her. Barefoot and swamped in an old dressing gown, the woman hardly reached his shoulder. He wondered what she wore underneath, if anything. His pulse quickened and a sudden rush of heat coursed through his veins. He stuck his hands in his coat pockets.

She stepped back and folded her arms on her chest.

 ‘You said you would be back early, yet you left me waiting here all day.’

Her icy tone did nothing to cool his blood. In fact it had just the opposite effect. He took a deep breath and walked to the fireplace to put some distance between them. His lips stretched in a thin smile.

‘Sorry. I got…distracted.’ He shrugged. ‘I did arrange a carriage and a driver for us. We're leaving for Lyon on Saturday.’

She looked at him again in the way a queen might look at a mangy dog.

‘Why wait until Saturday? Your instructions are to take me straight to Beauregard. Monsieur Malleval won't be pleased.’

 If she meant to intimidate him, she had failed. She was starting to amuse him greatly—in more ways than one. 

‘I have things to do. Anyway, what's the rush? I thought you might like to come to town with me tomorrow and see a play in the evening.’

Her eyes flashed in anger.

‘I do not go to the theatre, Capitaine. I am in mourning.’

He arched his eyebrows. ‘After six years?’

‘My husband was a wonderful man. I will mourn him all my life.’ Her eyes filled with tears, she bit her lip.

He didn't answer. There was one thing to be said for her. She was convincing—a first-class actress. He had almost been taken in by her wistful sighs and tearful eyes, by her drab mourning dresses and the almost virginal blushing on her cheeks every time he looked her way. He had almost believed her grief-stricken widow act…until he saw young Norton leave her room in the middle of the night with a wide grin on his face. He knew better than to be fooled by a woman, especially a pretty one. 


Devonshire, 1815.

Marie-Ange, the young widow of an English officer, accepts an inheritance in France only to find that everything in Beauregard is not as it seems. Why is the sinister Malleval so obsessed with her family? And could her darling Christopher still be alive? Marie-Ange finds herself trapped in a dangerous web of lies, intrigue and mystical possession, and the only person to whom she can turn for help is Captain Hugo Saintclair. Yet the enigmatic Hugo represents a danger of a different kind …

‘Angel Heart’ is a lavish mix of romance, adventure and a hint of the supernatural, largely set in France against the turbulent background of Napoleon’s return from Elba.



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