Andrew Merrick was whisked from his home in England, 1848 to another time, the very day a mob had attacked his family. Wondering why he remains in this strange place, all he wants is find the treasure his father had hidden, hoping this might take Andrew back home. But he’s running out of time. When he meets a lovely woman in this strange new era, he feels she is the one who will help him.
Halle Chapman has come to England to find her missing father. What she finds instead is a nice man who claims he’s from the past. Although she doesn’t believe in time-travel, deep in her heart, she knows she must help Andrew. What she finds instead is discovering the key to her future lies in the past. Now, to return to her own time, she needs to solve the mystery surrounding Andrew Merrick and his family’s murder.
“This is what I wore when I came through time.” Andrew touched the hole in his sleeve. “This is where a bullet grazed me.”
Halle gasped and jerked her hand back. Taking more time, she studied his clothes. The way the stitches were done; the fabric and design told her this was no remake either. “Andrew, where did you get my gown?”
“From upstairs in one of the locked rooms.”
“Really? Is that why those rooms are locked because they hold items like this?”
He nodded. “I think so, but I cannot be certain.”
“So…perhaps I shouldn’t wear this.”
“On the contrary, my dear. This was in my family’s house, and because this is still my family’s house no matter what century we are in, the gown is my gift to you.”
Strange, how he said that with such conviction, and even stranger that she wanted so badly to believe.
Confusion clogged her mind once again, and she turned away from him and walked toward the bureau. Taking deep breaths, she placed a hand on her chest. Unfortunately, this was upsetting her more than she was prepared for. Didn’t Andrew know how ridiculous his story sounded? “Oh, Andrew. I wish I could believe you, but it’s so hard.”
Silence hung heavy in the room for a few earth-shattering minutes, only the thud of her heartbeat against her ribs rang through her ears. Finally, heavy footsteps echoed behind her mere moments before the lamp dimmed. Gasping, she swung around. “Why did you do that?”
“I don’t want you to look at my face with your eyes. Look with your heart.”
He walked closer until he stood a breath away. The skirt of her gown brushed against his trouser-legs. Gentle fingertips stroked the side of her face then trailed down her neck until his whole hand rested on her shoulder. Warmth cascaded through her and she shivered.
“Close your eyes if you must, but I’m going to take you back the day of my brother’s wedding. I will describe to you every detail in the room, every stitch of clothing worn by my family and the other guests.” His thumb rubbed her collarbone. “I shall answer any questions you have about that night or anything else you would like to know. Halle, I will do anything to make you believe I’m telling the truth.”
Up this close and in the shadows, it was easy to believe he was twenty-nine. It was easy to think of him being back in 1848 because of his dress and mannerisms. Even his voice didn’t sound as old as he looked. And heaven help her, she wanted to believe he was that man who she’d day-dreamed so much about since staring at his portrait.
She took a deep breath, trying to think of a question to ask. Something men don’t usually know…unless they were back in those days. “Tell me about Lord Brimhall’s wedding.”
Through the shadows, she noticed a smile tugging on the corners of his mouth, and as he started talking, his voice relaxed her, slowly removing her worries.
“December 6th, 1848, was a lovely winter day; the day my brother married Lady Helen.”
Andrew spoke like a true gentleman of the realm, like nobility ran through his blood, as if he had really been there. The tone of his voice nearly hypnotized her, and staring into his shadowed face didn’t help matters, either, because he was so handsome.
He described the room and what everyone wore. Halle couldn’t believe how detailed he was. Men were usually not that way. When he talked of his family, emotion clogged his throat, and she could feel how much he loved them. Most of all, he described the wedding perfectly—just as it had been back in those days, which were different than ceremonies now.
When he stopped, she wanted to hear more. It didn’t matter about what. His voice was so soothing. “Tell me, Andrew, what kind of meal was served?”
He took her hand and pulled her back to the bed where they both sat on the edge, facing each other. She stared into his dark eyes, not caring that he remained in the shadows. It was easier to believe he was twenty-ninth years old this way.
When he mentioned rosemary shortcake and cucumber sandwiches, Halle’s heart soared. Men of her day didn’t know facts like this. Doubts of his story flew from her mind, and she couldn’t help but think of him as Lord Andrew at this moment.
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