|"He took a step toward her.|
"Go away." she shouted and waved at him.
"Go back where you belong."
He grinned, though barely, and advanced
another step toward her. "I belong here.
This is my room and that is my bed."
Soon, she would want him
there with her...
Whispers on the
By Donna Fletcher
There's a flavor I can't describe for Gothic Romance/suspense. I can't define it either, I just experience it with pleasure when I come across it. Of course, the location, Cornwall, England, the time period, 1808, and the first sentence might have been a clue... "Only the most dangerous ghosts haunt on a stormy night..." I loved it, of course!
Belinda (Billie) Latham traveled from Nantucket on the skin of her teeth. She had little money and, if she had not received the surprising message, she would have been destitute soon, or forced to marry. "She shivered at the repulsive thought and recalled that Jeremy always smelled of day-old fish and ale which he consumed in equal amounts and was the reason for his big belly."
Was it fate that had resulted in her, a step-daughter, formally being adopted so that she was now the sole heir to Radbourne Manor...located in the small town of St. Clair?
Maximilian Radborne had been the last lord of the manor, with his father being killed recently. It was said that Maximilian haunted the manor. and even the driver had refused to deliver Billie to her new home. Later the townsfolk were quite willing to share the story of what had happened to Lord Radborne.
"The driver shook his cap-covered head and waved his hand in front of her. 'I don't go there. Nobody does, especially on a night like this when the banshees are having a fine time for themselves."
"Lord, not ghosts, Billie thought. The last thing she needed at this very moment was to hear about ghosts. Her legs began to tremble...
"The driver shook his head, crossed himself and spoke in a fearfut tone. 'It's haunted."
Dropped at the local inn, Billie entered and introduced herself. Everybody was surprised that she was a woman, not what the lawyer had been expecting. Fortunately, the innkeeper, Bessie, immediately responded, getting food for her in welcome and, later, forcing her husband to take her on to the manor.
"George banged his near-empty tankard of ale on the table. 'She's the new owner. She should be told. What if she runs into the likes of him tonight?"
Once again Billie was dumped, this time at the gate, so that by the time she finally reached the manor, she was ready only for sleep. After convincing Pembrooke, apparently the butler, that she indeed was the new owner, she was soon preparing for bed.
Billie soon learns that she indeed must contend with Max, as she immediately began to call him, as he appeared and disappeared through the Manor. And then she met his father, who was haunting the caves below. Between the two, plus the town people, including the vicar, she soon began to piece together the story that had resulted in her now being the owner of Radbourne Manor...and that now placed her in extreme danger as the new owner. She had already discovered that Max's father had probably been killed by smugglers that had used the caves for storage...Foolishly she began to investigate...
Yes, there is plenty of suspense, but readers will probably be having too much fun watching the exchanges between Billie and Max. And when the vicar starts courting Billie; Max fumes! A delightful, somewhat surprising ending resulted in total contentment for this reader! You won't want to miss his one! Enjoy!
|"Some say he had the look of a madman that night and others say he acted|
like one. He ordered the boats drawn as the first desperate cry of a struggling
survivor sounded. More cries followed. Anguished cries. Fearful cries that
mingled with the road of the brutal sea...
"It was then it was heard. A lone pitiful cry sounding like that of a lost,
helpless child. It drifted in on a wave and crashed upon a jagged rock. The
lord threw his coat off him and marched to the boat. Taking the oars in his
powerful hands and with a shove from some still able men, he rowed out alone,
into the darkness, into the mouth of the rampaging sea."
"The cry soon died away and the villagers waited and waited. Morning brought
with it a calming of the storm...The sea spewed forth remnants of its rampage--barrels
pieces of the wrecked ship, trunks and, near the outcropping of rocks at the far end
of the beach, the rough waves deposited the remains of the broken and battered
rowboat of Lord Maximillian Radborne. The sea had swallowed him, burying him
in a watery grave."