Julia stood trembling in the hall illuminated by the light he’d left on at the landing. Her eyes were red and puffy, hair disheveled with bits of grass stuck in the tumble, feet bare and dirty; she must’ve slipped on the wet lawn as she ran to the house because her legs and dress were muddy and grass stained. She clasped sodden tissues in one hand, bedraggled lilies in the other. Pollen from the orange pistols smeared her tear-stained face and her dress.
“Julia, what on earth?”
“Did you give me these?” she gasped.
“Yes. I won’t do it again if it upsets you.”
She flung herself at him. “I’m sorry. I know you have rules—I’m probably breaking one being here now—but I saw him. I saw Cole. He gave me a lily and said to watch out. He’s going to die all over again if I can’t stop it.”
This time Will didn’t hold Julia lightly, but fastened his arms around her. She trembled all over. Holding her more tightly, he clutched her to his bare chest. “Cole can’t die twice. It was a dream. That’s all.”
Will wondered if his damnable cousin had kissed anything else. It was absurd to be jealous of a man dead for two centuries, but he was. Oh, how he was. He fought for control over this fiery emotion and reasoned gently. “Dreams seem real, Julia. And you’re more connected to the past than anyone I’ve ever known.” Unnervingly so, and he had no rational explanation for it.
Trying to think, he pressed his lips to the top of her soft head. “You have a heightened awareness of people and places, a sort of sixth sense. I’m sure that’s all it is.”
“You’re here right now with me, aren’t you? I gave you the lilies, sweetheart, and I’m telling you not to cry.”
“Did you just call me sweetheart, Will?”
“Did you just call me Will?”
“It’s your name, isn’t it?” she asked in a strangled voice.
“A long time ago, a schoolboy name. I’d say we could both do with a stiff drink. But first, a warm bath. You’re a mess.”
She lifted incredulous eyes. “You’re going to bathe me?”
He wished. “No. Usher you in that direction.”
Blurb: Star-crossed lovers have a rare chance to reclaim the love cruelly denied them in the past, but can they grasp this brief window in time before it is too late?
Newly arrived at Foxleigh, the gracious old Wentworth home in Virginia, British born Julia Morrow is excited at the prospect of a summer working as a guide in the stately house and herb garden. She quickly discovers the historic plantation holds far more. She becomes obsessed with the portrait of handsome Cole Wentworth, killed in a quarrel over the lovely English lady, Julia Maury, two hundred years ago. Then she meets his double, William, the only remaining Wentworth heir.
Somehow, Julia must persuade Will that their fates are entwined with those of Cole Wentworth and Julia Maury, and that the man who killed his ancestor has returned to enact the deadly cycle again, or she will lose him twice. The blade is about to fall.
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