Excerpt of LORD OF LIES
She pivoted in place and strode toward Dell as he stood leaning against the back of the sofa, his ankles crossed in front of him in a deceptively casual stance. His muscles tensed when she stopped all too close for his peace of mind to stare at him with her sharp, fixed gaze.
“I need to be certain she is not still in some sort of trouble. I must be assured she is safe.”
Instinct urged him to refuse. One thing he had learned was that when people spied on loved ones, they often discovered things they were better off not knowing.
Still, there were only a couple of things he would never agree to do regardless of the profit. Outright murder was one. Harming a child was the other. Beyond those two rules, he was willing to do anything as long as it paid right. He had spied, stolen, threatened vile consequences to get what he needed, and infiltrated gangs and crime rings. He had used physical force to make a point and to save his own hide, and had occasionally been forced to do things he was not particularly proud of. But it was the purse that mattered, not the job. His success was based on his ability to remain passionless and unattached. That philosophy had done well for Dell over the years.
There was no reason to change now.
“Once her well-being and security are confirmed, you will pay the remainder of the fee?” he asked.
Her eyes narrowed just slightly, triggering a subtle alarm in Dell’s head.
“Of course,” she replied in a flippant tone.
Dell scowled. The girl had better intend to pay him. He was about to say something to assure himself of that when she took a disconcerting step even closer to him. Her skirts brushed his shins as she tipped her head back to better look into his face.
Dell fought to retain his ground. She carried with her the subtle essence of warm vanilla mixed with something unidentifiable that made him think of moonlit summer skies. The scent went straight to his head.
“Are you always in disguise?” she asked.
“When I’m working.”
Her smile then was a delightful quirk of her full lips that had Dell’s mouth going suddenly dry.
“Why do I get the sense you are always working?”
He didn’t reply.
“When do you get to be simply yourself?”
“We are done here,” he stated as he straightened to his full height. He expected her to step back.
“Oh, please don’t be that way,” she said with laughter in her voice. “I am curious. I find what you do extremely fascinating.”
“Well, I find you extremely annoying,” he grumbled as he stepped around her and headed for the door.
“I hear that often,” she replied ruefully as she followed him into the small foyer.
Dell ignored the way her self-deprecation caused a strange tug inside him. He strode to the front door and opened it. Looking back, he saw her standing there in his hall, her cloak draped over her arm. Her expression was open, and a tilt of her head brought his attention to her strong little chin.
When he continued to glare at her, she heaved a labored sigh and swept her cloak around her shoulders, lifting the hood to conceal her face. But of course, the woman would not leave so easily. Once again, she stopped in front of him before passing over the threshold.
Dell gritted his teeth.
Stupidly, he had placed himself right in the doorway where he had no room to step back from her. The fall of her cloak hit his boots as she narrowed her gaze on his face. Her focus traveled intently over his features. Her silvery gaze was unnerving.
Dell’s main skill was in blending into his environments as though he belonged. He had spent years learning to become a part of whatever world he entered so he did not draw attention from those around him. His disguises worked well enough for the casual observer, but were not exactly designed to hold up under close and constant scrutiny.
His scalp began to itch beneath French’s blond wig, and the clump of putty he had shaped into French’s prominent nose started to feel heavy and awkward on his face. Again, her scent, warm and mysterious, distracted him. He tensed his stomach muscles and pulled his shoulders back as he tried to keep from breathing too deeply.
Aside from physically forcing her through the door, which would require he place his hands on her, he had no choice but to endure her rude inspection.
The longer it took, the tighter he wound up inside.
When she finally looked into his eyes, he felt her gaze like a steel-pointed spear.
And when she smiled, that spear drove down through his center, searing his insides.
“Fascinating,” she whispered softly. Her voice was smooth and sultry.
Lust ignited, hardening his body with fierce and near-painful desire. “Are you finished?” he asked through tightly clenched teeth.
Her smile turned to a smirk as one corner curled up in a way that made him want to touch his tongue to it. “For now,” she said. “You will watch over Lily? Ensure she is at no further risk?”
Dell already regretted it, but he gave a short nod. “Do not come back here, Miss Chadwick,” he added sternly.
With another smile, she stepped out into the early morning light.
He remained in the doorway until she was safely back inside her hired hack. Then he closed the door with a muttered curse.
“I’ve lost my blasted mind.”
“You do strange things to me, Dell Turner. Tell me I am not alone in what I feel.”
His voice was low and rough. His eyes burned. “You are not alone,” he said.
Portia Chadwick longs for a life of adventure. When a dangerous moneylender kidnaps her sister, she dares to seek help from a man known only as Nightshade. Soon she finds herself charging headfirst into his world of intrigue and danger—and unexpected passion.
Dell Turner grew up in London’s back alleys and gin lanes. Vowing to escape his low beginnings, he hires himself out to society’s elite. When he accepts a job from a beautiful debutante, he doesn’t anticipate her relentless determination to join his mad occupation…or her unnerving ability to inspire emotions he thought long buried. She’s as dangerous to him as his world is to her, and yet Dell can’t bring himself to turn Portia away—even if it means risking her life.
Romance Historical [Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: July 1, 2017, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492618782 / eISBN: 9781492618799]
About Amy Sandas
USA Today Bestselling author Amy Sandas’s love of romance began one summer when she stumbled across one of her mother’s Barbara Cartland books. Her affinity for writing began with sappy preteen poems and led to a liberal arts degree from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She lives with her husband and children near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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