Table of Contents
Praise for the Novels of Allison Chase Her Majesty’s Secret Servants
Most Eagerly Yours
“This romance has an intelligent heroine and sexy hero, plots against the queen, intriguing twists and surprises. . . . All of this makes Chase’s first Her Majesty’s Secret Servants novel a page-turner.”
“A perfect balance of history, mystery, and romance that promises further adventures in this series.”
“A wonderful beginning, leaving me eager to know how the other sisters may act as the queen’s ‘secret servants.’ ”
—Romance Reader at Heart (a Top-Pick Rose)
“Fast-paced. . . . Fans will enjoy the opening act of Her Majesty’s Secret Servants as dueling investigations lead to a traitor and love.”
—Genre Go Round Reviews
“Chase creates each scene of this historical novel with vivid and precise words that fill each page by painting the intricacies so well that the reader feels as if they are revisiting an old friend.”
—Romance Junkies (4 ¾ Blue Ribbon rating)
“I’m going to be eagerly awaiting her next book.”
New York Times
bestselling author of
Some Like It Wild
“I thoroughly enjoyed
Most Eagerly Yours
. Allison Chase is a masterful storyteller. Her plots are intriguing, her talent for crafting a mystery unparalleled, and her love stories are touching as well as sensual. I am now a fan! She is a writer who delivers a book that delights me in every way, interlacing sensuality and romance with stunning detail, gripping mystery, and intrigue, plus fabulous characters who steal into my heart and keep me turning the pages. If you yearn for a story that engages all your senses and makes you sigh with satisfaction at the end, I highly recommend an Allison Chase book.”
New York Times
bestselling author Catherine Anderson
“Vivid and evocative, the voice of Allison Chase will whisk you away to a thrilling and sensual world of historical passion and intrigue.”
bestselling author of
Captured by the Highlander
“This book was a delight from cover to cover! I can’t wait to see what happens with the rest of the Sutherland sisters and the adventures they will have as this series continues.”
—Historical Romance Writers
The Blackheath Moor Novels
Winner of the
Award for Best Historical
“An enthralling adventure. Sophie is a spirited, witty heroine and Chad is a tortured hero who truly has some heavy crimes on his conscience. . . . Allison Chase takes the classic gothic romance style of Victoria Holt or Daphne du Maurier and brings it into the twenty-first century with her addition of some spicy love scenes . . . makes an enthralling read.”
, the reader will want to go all the way to the end . . . an interesting read for both mystery and romance fans. Get cozy and prepare to have an adventure.”
—Romance Reviews Today
“Contains a strong amateur-sleuth suspense subplot that enhances the lead couple’s romantic relationship. The story line is filled with warm passion and terrifying events that will keep readers on the edge wondering who is chasing whom in this dangerous search for the truth.”
Midwest Book Review
“The windswept, forbidding coastline is the ideal location for Chase’s second Blackheath Moor gothic, where fear, deception, and passion dwell together. She sends chills down your spine as she heats up the pages with passionate love scenes and frightening incidents. Chase’s name is fast becoming synonymous with delicious, heart-stopping thrillers.”
“Dishes up a wonderful story in a charming, romantic tradition, complete with a handsome and tortured hero, real conflict, and a touch of mystery! Anyone who loves . . . a well-written historical romance will relish this tale.”
New York Times
bestselling author Heather Graham
“This wonderfully moody and atmospheric tale, with its brooding hero, troubled young child, unquiet spirits, and unfriendly housekeeper, has many of the accoutrements of the classic gothic of the sixties. In fact, except for the ramped up sensuality . . . it is reminiscent of Victoria Holt.... The solid writing, riveting opening, and clever plot twists recommend this worthy debut.”
“A compelling and exquisitely written love story that raises such dark questions along the way, you’ve no choice but to keep turning the pages to its stunning conclusion. Allison Chase is a master at touching your heart.”
—Jennifer St. Giles, author of
“A dark tale of danger and desire.”
—Eve Silver, author of
“Set in 1830, the book moves at a spanking good pace. Readers who relish the passionate interludes will enjoy it all the more.”
The Historical Novels Review
“In this first book in the Blackheath Moor series, Allison Chase delivers a gothic tale complete with a house filled with secret passages and a ghostly presence. Impending danger permeates the tale, capturing readers’ attention as the dramatic struggles between Nora and Grayson escalate. The tale ends in a dramatic and thrilling conclusion on the cliffs where it all began.”
OTHER BOOKS BY ALLISON CHASE
Her Majesty’s Secret Servants Series
Most Eagerly Yours
The Blackheath Moor Series
Published by New American Library, a division of
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First published by Signet Eclipse, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, December 2010
Copyright © Lisa Manuel, 2010
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eISBN : 978-1-101-47660-4
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To Dr. Yakira Frank, who recognized the romance writer in me years before I did, and whose parting words to me as I graduated from the University of Connecticut have proved prophetic. Thank you, Dr. Frank, for your wisdom, your encouragement, and your uncanny insight into what the future held in store for me.
I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the exquisite job NAL’s art department did on this cover . . . and for that matter, on all my covers so far. You have consistently gotten each one perfectly, beautifully right.
My gratitude also goes out to the unsung heroes in copy-editing. Your skills and remarkable eye for detail have more than once saved me from some rather embarrassing errors.
To my editor, Ellen Edwards; her assistant, Elizabeth Bistrow; the marketing and publicity departments; and all the others at NAL who believe in this series and have lent their invaluable support, my sincerest thanks.
Finally, this book could not have been written without the support of my husband, my family, and my intrepid critique group. I’m grateful to have all of you in my life.
vy Sutherland slapped the morning edition of theTimes
onto the counter in front of her. Her shocked gaze darted over the books lining the walls of her family’s tiny shop. Had she read correctly? She snatched up the paper again and reread the headline:
PRICELESS JEWEL STOLEN FROM BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Her eyes skimmed over such phrases as “without a trace,” “no clues,” and “queen distraught.”
The rap of knuckles against the shop door made her flinch. She had locked up not ten minutes ago, shortly after her two sisters, who helped her run the Knightsbridge Readers’ Emporium, left for the opening of a new play across town. Ivy hesitated. Ever since her eldest sister, Laurel, had returned from Bath last spring, there had been changes in the Sutherlands’ lives. Laurel’s new husband, the Earl of Barensforth, saw to it that his three sisters-in-law enjoyed heretofore unattainable luxuries like plays and new frocks and more books than Ivy could ever hope to read.