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Excerpt from A Desperate Fortune:
Her hands would not stop shaking.It was left to Madame Roy to tie the tapes of Mary’s petticoat and fit the second gown over the one she wore already. They’d been told in no uncertain terms they could bring nothing with them but the little they could carry in their hands, or wear, and having been allotted but five minutes to prepare themselves they’d had to work at speed, a thing that Mary was incapable of doing in her current state.
“He killed a man,” she said again. She’d said it twice already but Madame Roy only nodded as she’d done before, with patience.“Yes, I know, dear. Put your gloves on.”
“He” was in the chamber next to theirs, with Jacques. No, Mr. Thomson. Mary found the change of names confusing, and her brain was having difficulty holding to the details. Mr. Thomson. And the man in gray was Mac…MacSomething. He was Scottish, then. Her father had been Scottish, though this hard man’s voice was nothing like her memory of her father’s voice. Her father’s had been pleasant, even soothing, but this man’s was—“Are ye finished?” He was standing in the doorway.
Madame Roy spoke back to him in English, only Mary was surprised to hear her accent and her intonations sounded much like his. “We’re nearly done, aye.”
“Where’s your book?” he asked, and Mary stared at him uncomprehending until he repeated with more emphasis, “Your book. The one ye write in.”When she still could not reply he muttered something that she took to be a curse and crossing to the bed began to shift the bolster and the pillows. Frisque, who until now had been content to sit amidst the blankets and observe the bustle and confusion, rose to bark a protest. The Scotsman swung his gaze towards the little dog, and Mary found her voice.
“Do not harm him!”Madame Roy had finished with the fastening of Mary’s cloak and let her hands drop lightly onto Mary’s shoulders as if she would hold her back from interfering, but the potent rush of terror and protectiveness would not let Mary hold her tongue. “The book is in the clothespress.”
It was underneath the linens but the Scotsman found it easily and slipped it with the penner into one of his coat pockets before turning once again towards the bed, where Frisque was barking still. “The dog,” he said to Mary, “cannot come.”
“I will not leave him.” She could feel her chin lift even though she was afraid, and for a moment they stood staring at each other.He was not a handsome man. His face was formed of stubborn angles, none of which was even, and his mouth at one end slanted up and downward at the other, and his eyes held not a hint of warmth. They measured her impatiently. He said, “It will be trouble.”
She did not back down. “You said that we could bring what we could carry,” was her argument. “And I can carry him.”With a frown the man reached down and scooped the barking dog into his one large hand with no apparent effort. Frisque, whether from prudence or his love of being held, wisely fell silent, though his feathered tail began to wag. The Scotsman exhaled tightly in what could not quite be called a sigh, and turning from the bed closed the small distance between him and Mary, thrusting Frisque into her hands. “But nothing else,” he said. “And we go now.”
Description:A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley
9781492602026 * $16.99/TP * ON-SALE: April 7, 2015For nearly three hundred years, the cryptic journal of Mary Dundas has lain unread. Now, amateur code breaker Sara Thomas has been sent to Paris to crack the cipher.
Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing—for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed.As Mary’s gripping tale is revealed, Sara is faced with challenges that will require letting go of everything she thought she knew—about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love. Though divided by centuries, these two women will be united in a quest to discover the limits of trust and the coincidences of fate.
Author Bio:New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Susanna Kearsley is known for her meticulous research and exotic settings from Russia to Italy to Cornwall, which not only entertain her readers but give her a great reason to travel. Her lush writing has been compared to Mary Stewart, Daphne du Maurier, and Diana Gabaldon. She hit the bestseller lists in the U.S. with The Firebird (a RITA winner) as well as, The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden (both RITA finalists and winners of RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards). Other honors include National Readers' Choice Awards, the prestigious Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, and finaling for the UK's Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Her popular and critically acclaimed books are available in translation in more than 20 countries and as audiobooks. She lives in Canada, near the shores of Lake Ontario.