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Authors: Jane Feather

Chase the Dawn

BOOK: Chase the Dawn
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PRAISE FOR THE NOVELS OF
JANE FEATHER

The Bride Hunt

“A charming romp.”—
Publishers Weekly

The Bachelor List

“Feather develops her conflicts well, and when they’re needed to make the relationship compelling, they step gracefully into the spotlight.”—
Contra Costa Times

“In her latest wonderful romance, Feather enriches the genre.”—
Booklist

“A lighthearted romp with great banter … Fans … will no doubt find
The Bachelor List
enjoyable, and will eagerly be waiting for the next in the trilogy!”—
Romance Reviews Today

Kissed by Shadows

“[
Kissed by Shadows]
will hook readers at the outset…. Feather skillfully draws out the intrigue and immerses readers in the time period.”—
Publishers Weekly

“This fascinating follow-up to
To Kiss a Spy
is rife with danger and intrigue.”—
Booklist

“Strong characters and writing, a rich historical backdrop and a secondary love story flow through the pages of this sensual, memorable romance making it ‘a keeper!’”—
Romantic Times

“Jane Feather continues to … perfectly combine sensuality, suspense, and lovely leading ladies.”—
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

To Kiss a Spy

“Passion and intrigue abound in this lusty yet dignified bodice-ripper.”—
Publishers Weekly

“Another genre winner from Feather, done with skill, sensuality, and brio.”—
Kirkus Reviews

“A devour-it-like-chocolate page-turner that takes the reader through the vivid landscapes of the times, from grand balls to the bleakest stews of foggy London and across the countryside.”—
BookPage

“Against the backdrop of espionage and intrigue in the court of young Edward VI, Ms. Feather writes a story filled with sensuality, passion and poignancy.”—
Romantic Times

“I recommend
To Kiss a Spy
as a fast-paced, engrossing novel of intrigue, passion and the power of not only romantic love, but love of family, to conquer and heal all.”—
America Online’s Romance Fiction Forum

The Widow’s Kiss

“Typical of Feather’s novels, the story succeeds as romantic fiction, with fine characterizations.”—
Publishers Weekly

“Rich characters, sophisticated sensuality, and a skillfully crafted story line: a first-class historical romance, wonderfully entertaining.”—
Kirkus Reviews

“Filled with period detail and dynamic characters, Feather’s appealing historical romance exemplifies the qualities that make her perennially popular.”

Booklist

“Feather, whose millions of readers eagerly await each new book, is at the top of her form here.”—
The Brazosport Facts

“One of the most intense romances I’ve read … From the opening scene to the final pages I was glued to this book. I had one of those nights where you keep reading no matter how late it’s getting. You keep looking at the clock thinking, ‘If I turn off the light right now, I’ll get six hours of sleep.’ Then it’s five hours, then four, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have finished the book before you get to three.”—
All About Romance

The Least Likely Bride

“Feather’s writing is quick, vivid, and upbeat…. Her hero is dashing and articulate; her heroine is headstrong and intelligent and ends up saving her lover; and it all adds up to a perfect light historical romance.”—
Booklist

“Ms. Feather’s latest is full of intrigue, passion and adventure—a lively read.”—
The Dallas Morning News

“A
charming, fast read.”—
The Philadelphia Inquirer

“I highly recommend
The Least Likely Bride
, and I plan to search out the other books in Feather’s Bride trilogy immediately.”—
All About Romance

“The third in Ms. Feather’s Bride Trilogy reunites Portia and Rufus, Cato and Phoebe and brings together Olivia and Anthony in this powerfully crafted story filled with romance and enough adventure to keep the reader turning pages. A keeper.”

Romantic Times

“Add a bit of ‘wrecking’ by a dastardly nobleman who wants to marry Olivia for her fortune, along with the skullduggery of a stepbrother she loathes, and you have a typically engaging romance à la Feather.”—
The Brazosport Facts

A Valentine Wedding

“A fast-paced book that will keep the reader entertained.”—
Denver Rocky Mountain News

The Hostage Bride

“The first in Jane Feather’s Bride trilogy is a feather in her cap and one of her best stories ever.”—
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Silver Rose

“Well-written and fast moving … entertaining.”—
Booklist

“Feather’s writing style is spirited and her plot is well-paced.”—
Publishers Weekly

Vice

“Vice offers everything from sensual romantic scenes to hilarious misadventures to an exposition on the problems facing ladies of the evening in the mid-18th century…. Readers will love it.”—
The Brazosport Facts

Violet

“Great fun … Feather’s well-paced plot generates lots of laughs, steamy sex and high adventure, as well as some wryly perceptive commentary on the gender stereotypes her heroine so flagrantly defies.”—
Publishers Weekly

Valentine

“Four out of four stars …
Valentine …
comes much closer to the Austen spirit than any of the pseudo-sequels that have been proliferating lately.”—
Detroit Free Press

Vixen

“Vixen
is worth taking to bed…. Feather’s last book,
Virtue
, was good, but this one is even better.”—
USA Today

Virtue

“Jane Feather is an accomplished storyteller…. The result—a rare and wonderful battle-of-the-sexes story that will delight both historical and Regency readers.”—
Daily News of Los Angeles

Also by Jane Feather

V
ICE
V
ANITY
V
IOLET
V
ALENTINE
V
ELVET
V
ENUS
V
IXEN
V
IRTUE
T
HE
D
IAMOND
S
LIPPER
T
HE
S
ILVER
R
OSE
T
HE
E
MERALD
S
WAN
T
HE
H
OSTAGE
B
RIDE
A V
ALENTINE
W
EDDING
T
HE
A
CCIDENTAL
B
RIDE
T
HE
L
EAST
L
IKELY
B
RIDE
T
HE
W
IDOW’S
K
ISS
A
LMOST
I
NNOCENT
T
O
K
ISS A
S
PY
K
ISSED BY
S
HADOWS
T
HE
B
ACHELOR
L
IST
T
HE
B
RIDE
H
UNT
T
HE
W
EDDING
G
AME

For my parents:
remembering chauvinism
and the ninth and tenth redoubts

B
ryony was going to sneeze. The agonizing tickle built inexorably with the disturbance of dust and straw in the hayloft. She pinched her nose with fierce fingers, squeezing her eyes tight shut as she prayed for deliverance. Through the drumming of her heartbeat, she could hear the low voices in the barn below, the scuffling of booted feet on the flagged floor. They were dragging something, hay bales presumably. But why? And who were they to come out of the night like shades, to come with such clear mischievous intent? They had clubbed old Jebediah to the cold stone of the stableyard without a second thought. What would they do if they found her?

She sneezed, burying her face in her hands as images of rape and murder ran rampant in her head. Such things were common occurrences in this year of revolution, 1779. Or at least they were if the hushed whispers of the women in her mother’s drawing room and the pontificating rhetoric of the men around the mahogany dining table were to be believed.

“What was that?” a voice from below demanded, and
a dreadful silence fell, a silence during which the creeping paralysis of terror gripped the girl in the loft, convinced her that the sound of her heart could be heard throughout the wooden building.

“Only rats,” someone said after the silence had continued into eternity, and the scuffling and dragging began again. “That’ll do,” the same voice said. Although low, it carried an authoritative ring that was not disguised by an inherent softness that sounded to the wild imaginings of the listener above like spring raindrops. There was a renewed silence, but this time it was clear from the quality that it came from the absence of life.

Had they gone? Bryony came onto her knees, wincing at the protestations of her cramped muscles, held for so long in rigidity. She listened again. Nothing. Then she smelled it. Smoke. She heard it. The insidious crackle of fire taking hold. They had put a torch to the hay bales below, stacking them up to create a funeral pyre for the unseen, unheard watcher in the loft above. She was going to die—burned alive like Joan of Arc. Did it hurt? Of course it did. She had read enough in the books of the saints extolling the excruciating torments of martyrdom, the blistering skin, the stench of roasting flesh, the sounds of popping and bursting as … dear God.

She stumbled to the ladder. Smoke curled, thick and black and impenetrable; flames crackled, then surged in sudden brightness. The smoke filled her nostrils, was dragged into her protesting lungs, and she was drowning in the hot dryness. Hindered by the rigid whalebone of her hooped petticoat, she half fell, half jumped down the ladder into the inferno, her only thought that there was one door, one possibility of salvation.

Flames from the pyre flicked out at her like the venomous
tongues of a nest of vipers. She dodged, covering her nose and mouth with the lace-ruffled sleeve of her rose damask evening gown. The thin soles of her matching satin pumps seemed to absorb the heat of the fire, scorching the bottom of her feet, and the warning smell of singeing hair brought tears of desperation to her already streaming eyes. The heat was so intense that it seemed she would not need to be touched by flame to be reduced to ashes. The door, her goal, was lost in the smoke, her sense of direction vanquished by terror, and she stumbled blindly in circles, straining for air that was not forthcoming, every inch of her skin stinging with the pain of the heat. Then, by some miracle, the door loomed in the smoke-wreathed darkness. She cried out in hopelessness as she touched the heavy latch and found the metal heated to an unbearable temperature—unbearable to any but the desperate.

BOOK: Chase the Dawn
3.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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