THE SEDGWICK CURSE Harlequin Intrigue mystery/romantic suspense by Shawna Delacorte reissued by Harlequin in ebook
G-EXCERPT #2: (chasing shadows)
Taylor glanced at her watch. Five minutes after midnight. This was her opportunity to explore the house without anyone knowing what she was doing. A moment of hesitation told her how unsettled she was with her decision. She had deceived Donovan to the point of perpetuating her lies after he had confronted her about her true identity. And now she was taking advantage of his generosity in allowing her to stay in the house by snooping behind his back. It was not a very honorable thing to do, and under normal circumstances she would never consider such an objectionable action.
But these were not normal circumstances. And something was terribly amiss. If only she could shake the uneasiness churning inside her, that constant edge that set the tiny hairs on her arms on end and left her nerves rattled. She attempted to shove away her concerns, but the best she could do was relegate them to a corner of her mind without really dismissing them.
Taylor quietly ascended the stairs to the third floor. She paused at the top of the staircase and shone her flashlight down the length of the long hallway, peering into the darkness as far as the beam of light penetrated. A cold movement of air brushed across the back of her neck. A ripple of fear made its way through her body, depositing a hard lump in her throat. She whirled around, fearful of what she would see. The only thing that greeted her was silence and an empty hallway. Another shiver jittered across her skin, electrifying her nerve endings.
Maybe she couldn’t see anything, but she most certainly felt it—a sinister presence hiding somewhere in the shadows. Someone was watching her, someone who radiated menacing vibrations.
The ripple of fear she experienced at that moment came from a real person—someone made of flesh and blood. At least that’s what she had to believe, otherwise the implications would be too frightening.
A sound, very soft but ever so real, reached out and grabbed her. She froze on the spot. Her heart pounded in her chest and the blood raced through her veins. Her first impulse told her to run back to her room and barricade her door. But her feet refused to move. A shortness of breath caught in her lungs. She forced her words, but they came out as a frightened whisper.
“Who’s there? Come out where I can see you.”
She strained to hear the noise again, to identify the sound. It seemed to be coming from down the hall, beyond the reach of her flashlight. As much as she wanted to get out of there she knew if she ran she would only be taking her fears with her, whether they were real or imagined. She tentatively took one step forward, then another as she waved the flashlight from one side of the hall to the other.
She froze in her tracks. There it was again—that sound. The blood rushed in her ears, almost drowning out the mysterious noise. She forced a tenuous calm to her rattled nerves as she tried to concentrate. The sound seemed to be a cross between shuffling feet and what she could best describe as wind whistling through an air vent. Donovan had told her the third floor had never been modernized. So what kind of air vents could there be if the heating system didn’t extend to the third floor? She again forced her gaze to the limits of the beam from her flashlight. Then a slight movement caught her eye, a shadowy figure disappearing around a corner.
In a moment of hesitation she wondered if it was wise for her to pursue the shadowy figure. Was she behaving like the feisty heroine from one of those old Gothic novels who stomped her little foot in determination, then ignored the warnings and foolishly descended alone into the dark cellar where several other young women had disappeared?
THE SEDGWICK CURSE, a Harlequin Intrigue by Shawna Delacorte has been reissued in ebook available at http://ebooks.eharlequin.com (do search for author name Shawna Delacorte). Also available at Barnes and Noble in NookBooks (www.bn.com) and Amazon for Kindle at www.amazon.com. Information is available on my website www.shawnadelacorte.com
THE CHILLING TRUTH
To learn the truth behind her great-grandmother’s past—and the curse that still surrounded both her family and the old woman’s tiny country village—Taylor MacKenzie made her way to England. But from the moment she arrived at her ancestors’ manor house, an eerie chill echoed the evil of the past and a shadowy figure seemed to follow her every move.
Donovan Sedgwick, the new lord of the manor, had eyes that pierced Taylor’s soul and held her in an otherworldly thrall. But he seemed ravaged by demons of his own—demons that only her kisses were able to calm.