rosemary laurey

Kiss Me Forever

Kiss Me Forever
ISBN 13: 978-1-4201-1495-9
ISBN 10: 1420114956

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As Walk in Moonlight this book won the the Dark Paranormal category and Best of the Best in the Prism.

Grand Prize winner of the Scarlet Letter contest and finalist in the Lories, the HOLT and the Orange Rose contests.


Dixie LePage didn't expect life in an English village to be exactly like South Carolina but nothing prepared her for what she found in the quiet little village of Bringham. Falling in love with a 400-year old vampire, the not so dead Christopher Marlowe, taught her the full meaning of 'culture shock.'


excerpt

The lights from the Barley Mow and the moon shimmering on the pond gave Dixie a clear view. It would be an easy walk to cross the Green and circle back to Miss Reade’s. The dry, well-trodden path skirted around the water’s edge and joined the lane near three tile-hung cottages with neat hedges and lighted front doors. Turning right, Dixie followed the curve of the lane.

Five, modern brightly lit houses, caught her attention with glimpses of flickering TV screens and a woman filling a kettle at a sink. The path ended and the road narrowed past a clump of trees that cast ragged shadows over the lane. Something fast and warm scuttled inches from Dixie’s feet. Tempted to abandon what now seemed like a crazy moonlight hike, Dixie glanced back across the Green and realized the Barley Mow was a good hundred yards away. She had to be near Orchard House. She’d tramped this far. She wasn’t going back. If she walked in the middle of the lane, she’d avoid four-footed nocturnals and tree roots.

Then she heard the owls. Two of them, calling back and forth like a pair of feathered Harpies. Nothing like it to add a bit atmosphere. She was alone, in the dark, on a deserted country lane, in a foreign country, looking for a house she’d never seen.

Dixie willed courage, marched round the next curve, and stopped. This was her house. She knew it.

She peered through high wrought-iron gates. A gravel path led past shadows of overgrown shrubs to a square, brick house where moonlight flickered on long sash windows. Paint and rust flaked in her hands as she shook the gate. The chain clanked like Marley’s ghost, rattled and fell to the ground. Budging the gate took more effort. Either the gate had sunk or the drive risen in the past months. The hinges complained but a few hard shoves opened the gate enough to slip in sideways. Dixie stood on the gravel driveway and surveyed her property. Even in the dark, she could see she owned an elegant house. Eight, double hung windows were set in a beautifully proportioned facade and four dormers rose from the roof. A dark shadow of a front door stood at the end of the uneven path ahead and the gravel drive circled behind the house. It could have been the set for Sense and Sensibility. And it was hers. Complete with moonlight.

In an upstairs window, on the far right a light flickered. It wasn’t moonlight.

A burglar. In her house.

Fired by righteous indignation, Dixie raced up the steps to the front door and tugged the iron loop of the bell pull. Loud chimes echoed through the silent house. Standing on the step, Dixie watched the light disappear and then...nothing. What did she expect? Someone to answer the door bell?

Even the owls had gone quiet. Nothing moved in the night. Dixie half-convinced herself she’d imagined the light when a door banged. Twice. A loud cuss word echoed through the night quiet.

Cautious now, keeping to the overgrown grass, Dixie crept round the side of the house. It was a whole lot bigger than it looked from the front. Odd corners and shapes jutted out behind. A cluster of out-buildings huddled over by a high brick wall. Deep shadows hid everything except rough outlines and shapes and patches of moonlight made an eerie checkerboard of the backyard. Dixie waited by the corner, watched and listened. A dark shape slunk across the yard.

The intruder continued his path between a clump of overgrown bushes. Fury burned away all her caution. “What are you doing in my house?” she called. The intruder didn’t stop to answer. One look behind and he fled across the grass and out through a side gate.

Dixie chased, racing through the gate, out into the lane and caromed into a dark figure.

“What are you doing?” she demanded, too angry to consider fear.

“Dixie?” She knew that voice.

“Christopher? Christopher Marlowe? What you doing here?” This was a bit much, first intruding on her dinner, then her property.

“Walking home. Are you alright? You’re shaking.” Strong hands gripped her shoulders. That last bit was true. She shook from her knees to the shoulders he held. Dixie stepped back from his hands and looked sideways. They stood in a narrow, unpaved lane. Behind her loomed the high brick wall and ahead, distant lights from the new houses glimmered through the trees. He stepped closer. “Something scared you. What are you doing here at this time of night?”

“Looking at my house.” Had he been the intruder? He’d been suspiciously close but he wasn’t breathing heavily. After that sprint across the garden, a marathoner would be wheezing. “You really live out this way? You said you lived by the station.”

“It’s a short cut.” One hand went back to her shoulders. “You shouldn’t be wandering around her after dark. It’s not safe for a woman.”

She’d ignore that. “Someone was there. In the house. I saw a light. They ran out this way.”

“And you thought it was me?”

How did she answer that one? She still did ...halfway. “There’s no one else.”

“I promise it wasn’t me. I don’t wander round empty houses by torchlight.”

“You think I imagined it?” Let him dare answer ‘yes’.

“No. It’s probably some teenager braving out a dare. The house is supposed to be haunted. You interrupted some likely lad’s attempt at macho. This time I am walking you home. You’re scared and it’s not wise to wander around after dark.”

She let him walk her back to Emily’s. Familiar with the path, he warned about roots and hazards hidden by the shadows. Crossing the edge of the Green, he took her elbow, “There’s a dip here, watch out,” he said. She stopped and explore with her foot. There was a hollow, deep enough to trip on but hidden by the grass. “How did you know?” she asked, looking up at his pale face in the moonlight.

“I walk here all the time.”

Ten minutes later they stood by Emily Reade’s front gate. He waited. Surely he didn’t expect her to invite him in? He was going to be disappointed. “Thanks for the escort. I think I can find the way next time.” She held out her hand.

A strong, cold hand grasped hers. “Take care, Dixie. I’ll be seeing you around.”

He waited at the gate as she walked up the path. Dixie turned and waved as she reached into her jeans pocket for the key. It felt warm after his fingers.

Without turning on her light, Dixie watched from her bedroom window as Christopher retraced his steps across the Green. Had he spoken the truth? Was that path by her house a short cut to his? A few questions or a check on a map could answer that. She watched him halfway across the Green until his silhouette faded in the dark.

Christopher Marlowe paused in front of Orchard House and willed himself to think about the library inside. He wouldn’t think about its new guardian, her copper curls, her skin smooth as clotted cream, or the warm green eyes that glittered with intelligence. Most of all he’d ignore the warm rich blood that coursed though her veins. Temptations like that could ruin everything. With her ancestry she was more likely adversary than ally. He'd learned that much in four hundred years.

 

reviews

As Walk in Moonlight this book won the the Dark Paranormal category and Best of the Best in the Prism.

Grand Prize winner of the Scarlet Letter contest and finalist in the Lories, the HOLT and the Orange Rose contests.

 

available at

Kindle
Amazon.co.uk
BN.com and NOOK
The Book Depository