Shannon here: Historical romance author, Christine Lindsay shares a romantic excerpt from Captured by Moonlight. Comment on any post dated May 20 – 24 to get your name in the drawing for an e-book copy. Deadline: June 1st, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Christine:
Excerpt from Captured by Moonlight by Christine Lindsay:
A mile or so away, lights beckoned through the thick belt of trees, outlining the extensive home and outbuildings of the plantation, Lavinia. The roar of a large cat shook the jungle, silencing the other grunts and snuffles of the surrounding forests. Incongruously, Rachmaninoff’s Second concerto from a gramophone filtered out with its all-too-familiar composition. It wasn’t the prowling predator stalking nearby that set Laine’s teeth on edge. The warm evening heavy with moisture altered the notes of the concerto, so that they echoed discordantly in her ears. That, and the unwanted memories the music dredged up.
A lemon grove surrounded the buildings that included a smattering of thatched huts. Rory stopped the cart and left the reins to a bare-footed servant in a white-fastened coat and trousers. Bella and Rory moved toward the house, and Laine strolled behind them to the sprawling two-story building, its deep veranda supported by thick white columns.
A dissonant series of bass notes from the piano jarred with the haunting and higher notes of violins. The heels of her shoes crunched on the path of crushed limestone, setting her off balance. Off-key.
Closer to the house, light penetrated the shadows of the garden. She halted at the edge of an aureole of light that splayed on the lawn at her feet. As the night air slipped over her skin, waves of scent upon scent wafted—lemon, frangipani, jasmine . . . mimosa.
Rory called out to someone, but Laine couldn’t move.
It was a night for lovers. A night for the very first lovers when perhaps Eve had turned to her God-given Adam.
With a hiss, the needle of the gramophone searched for its groove on the next recording, and a familiar line of poetry scratched through Laine’s mind. I recognize the signs of the old flame . . . of old desire.
She shook herself mentally. How foolish to let this sensuous night stir up longings she’d tried to forget.
Thunder rolled as Rory turned to wait for Laine while Bella took the steps to a small pavilion of fretted marble, set a few yards from the main house. Their host presumably sat within. He stood, and the flaming torches on the lawn behind him threw his height and slender frame into sharp relief. The shape of his shoulders. The slight angle at which he bent his head as he listened to their chatter coming up the path.
“Rory and Bella,” he called out in pleasure, “I should have sent the car to collect you. It’s going to rain. Can’t you feel it? Like Wordsworth wrote, ‘How beautiful is the rain. After the dust and heat.’”
The tiger roared again out in the jungle. And Laine froze as Eve might have frozen when the first heartache had entered the world and everything had changed between Eve . . . and Eve’s own Adam. Rory caught her gasp, his smile fading to a frown.
Still cloaked in darkness their host came down the steps of the pavilion, but he stopped suddenly. “I hadn’t realized you brought company.”
“It’s the nurse we need,” Rory said. “Remember, you and I talked about—”
“Of course.” Their host’s voice had gone a tad breathless. “It’s just, Rory, we hadn’t decided . . . . You know how upsetting it is to . . . .” He turned toward her, trying to make out her features in the gloom. In the dark his voice had turned warm again. “Never mind all that, we mustn’t make the lady feel unwelcome.”
As though she were cold, she shivered. His accent was that of an educated man, an accent molded by Oxford. BalliolCollege to be precise. A man who adored poetry—Wordsworth, AE Housman, Virgil—the only man in a million who would name his plantation after the Roman goddess, Lavinia. She should have known. He used to write so many of Virgil’s verses to her in his letters, words that had set her aflame then with longing for him to return from college.
He took the remaining steps to the ground. His white shirt open at the neck and his gray flannel trousers, the garb of a man who never had cared for stiff formality. Light from the house and the torches sought out and found the lean planes of his face, the dark hair sweeping off his brow that when over-long curled at the base of his neck. The sensitive mouth curved in a welcoming smile for his uninvited guest.
She counted the stones at her feet, and looked up. It was not a dream. For there he stood.
His smile froze as her own when she stepped into the puddle of light on the path. She rallied up all the nonchalance she could. “Hello, fancy meeting you here, Adam.”
About Christine: Irish-born Christine Lindsay writes award-winning historical novels. In Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight, Christine delights in weaving the endless theme of the Heavenly Father’s redemptive love throughout stories of danger, suspense, adventure, and romance.
The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home.
About the book – Captured by Moonlight:
Prisoners to their own broken dreams…
After a daring rescue goes awry, the parched north of India grows too hot for nurse Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana. The women flee to the tropical south…and run headlong into their respective pasts.
Laine takes a new nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancé is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her years ago. Why, then, is she still drawn to him, and to the tiger cub he is raising?
Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts whether freedom will ever again be in her future, much less the forbidden love that had begun to whisper to her. Is faith enough to live on? Or is her Savior calling her home?
Amid cyclones and epidemics, clashing faiths and consequences of the war, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?
Come back May 22 for Christine’s 2nd excerpt!