I have the very great pleasure of having Jo Bourne visit me today!! If you haven’t read any of her books you are in for a treat!! She is one of my favorite authors! She has also been generous enough to off one copy of her latest book to one of you! All you have to do is tell her you want it!
Now, without further to do, here is the cover!!
Ten years ago he was a boy, given the name Thomas Paxton and sent by Revolutionary France to infiltrate the British Intelligence Service. Now his sense of honor brings him back to London, alone and unarmed, to confess. But instead of facing the gallows, he’s given one last impossible assignment to prove his loyalty.
Lovely, lying, former French spy Camille Leyland is dragged from her safe rural obscurity by threats and blackmail. Dusting off her spy skills, she sets out to track down a ruthless French fanatic and rescue the innocent victim he’s holding—only to find an old colleague already on the case. Pax.
Old friendship turns to new love, and as Pax and Camille’s dark secrets loom up from the past, Pax is left with a choice—go rogue from the Service or lose Camille forever…
And an excerpt!
She felt him carefully, deliberately, loosen his grip and slide his hands to manacle her arms.
“Here’s good advice,” he said. “Don’t trust that man. Don’t believe anything he promised. And don’t lie to me.”
She could feel anger inside him, like the dark orange coal in a hearth that flares into fire unexpectedly, all at once. She knew him in this mood. In the Coach House, Devoir used to sit up at night, staring into the dark, brooding, radiating this kind of tightly wrapped rage.
He’d never let it loose. She wondered if he’d do so now. “Let’s talk first. You can hurt me later, Devoir.”
“I’m not hurting you. I’m not even making you nervous.”
“I beg to differ.” Held this way, she couldn’t shrug, but he’d feel the twitch.
Somewhere in the long years, Pax had become tall. She hadn’t needed to look up to talk to him when they were children. He’d been thin, then. Now he had the stripped-down frame of someone who’d pushed himself relentlessly, too hard and too long.
What does it say of a man that his hands are callused from fingertip to palm? That is forearms were wire hard muscle under the skin? She read years of self-discipline in his body where it weighed, honed and hard, against her. There was no hint of compromise anywhere in the compendium of him.
She’d fought Devoir on the practice field when they were children. Sometimes he’d won. Sometimes she did. They slapped the ground and stood up and began again. If they fought now, she wouldn’t win without hurting him badly. She might not win even then.
London was filled with amiable fools. It was a pity one of them hadn’t waylaid her. “This is pointless. You don’t have to extract information from me like a toothdrawer pulling teeth. Everything important is in that letter I sent to Meeks Street. Read it.”
“It’s in code.”
“Decipher it.” When the Fluffy Aunts came, they’d have it worked out in ten minutes. She wriggled inside his hold, against his body. “I haven’t been benign to you recently, but if I promise to be inoffensive for five or six minutes, will you give me enough space to scratch my nose?”
“Bear the discomfort.”
Supportez l’inconfort. C’est votre sacrifice à la Révolution. She remembered days, nights, hours, in the bare, inescapable training field and carrying a dozen different kinds of pain, body and mind. The Tuteurs said, “Bear the discomfort. It’s your sacrifice to the Revolution.”
In those days, Devoir had been a rock of strength for all of them, endlessly strong, endlessly patient. She missed him. This stranger was no substitute.
Paxton–she would think of him as Paxton–wrapped himself the whole length of her body, reading the tension of her bone and muscle, ready to predict any attack before she made the first twitch. He was all inescapable force, intelligently applied. One must applaud.
But any man on earth can be persuaded. A judicious mixture of lies and truth could work wonders. “You’re expecting great revelations. I’d rather you didn’t.”
He made a disbelieving exhalation between his teeth. That eloquent, familiar noise. That was Devoir’s comment on so many of life’s small happenings.
His grip loosened slightly. There was room to breathe.