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Synopsis of my second novel, The Black Above, coming in 2012

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Much to his astonishment and dismay, Lord St. John Davies has fallen in love with an alleged spy, Lady Ellis Cavanaugh. Things would have been so much simpler had he fallen for one of the other, more suitable ladies of his social set; someone to keep his house and fill his nursery—in short, someone pliant, proper and utterly dull. However, Lord Davies has not been so fortunate.

Instead, he finds himself helplessly smitten with the stunning and sensual Lady Ellis. She is bold, brash, irreverent and indomitable, not to mention reliably unpredictable and wildly funny. Lord Davies finds that his head aches with the exertion of keeping up with her wit and his body aches from the strain of constantly containing his laughter. Added to all her charm is her notoriety; Lady Ellis is a famous, haute couture-wearing novelist. She has written an obscenely popular (and reportedly autobiographical) work on the life of a British female spy during World War II. If the novel is to be taken as gospel, this means that, in a former life, Ellis was a spy, and was married to a fellow agent. Moreover, it means she and her husband were both betrayed and sent to Dachau. Lastly, it suggests that, while Ellis made it out alive, her husband did not.

Lady Ellis? A former spy and concentration camp survivor? A tragic widow? A bloody fascinating, mysterious woman. A dangerous woman. A woman any man should have the sense to stay away from. Evidently, Lord Davies hasn’t any sense.

Occasionally, Davies glimpses the frailty in her, carefully hidden beneath the impenetrable armor of her wit. He also sees something else; something that he cannot quite put a name to—something perilous. And he intends to figure out what it is. He is given the perfect opportunity when a terrible crime takes place on her family’s Shropshire estate and he is swept along for the ride. At first, it appears that Ellis has brought him to her family home merely for her own entertainment. However, things with Ellis are rarely what they seem.

At one moment, Davies is entranced by Ellis’ charms. At another, he is astonished by the seemingly callous unconcern she feels for her father—a man who has been wrongfully accused of gruesomely murdering his best friend and long-time estate manager. Can she really be so cruel, so flippant? Or is she the loyal and deeply affectionate woman he suspects her to be? Davies intends to find out who Ellis really is and why he has been brought to Felix House. In the process, he intends once and for all to convince Ellis to marry him. And he will be damned if he takes no for an answer.

Dizzily, asthmatically funny, with wit as sharp as a knife, Ellis will sweep you effortlessly up in her adventures and leave you breathlessly behind when she’s done with you. Try and keep up, and if you can’t, stay out of her way.  She doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

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