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by Beatriz Williams

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Amiens, France, 1916: Captain Julian Ashford, a British officer in the trenches of the Western Front, is waylaid in the town square by Kate, a beautiful young American. Julian’s never seen her before, but she has information

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Amiens, France, 1916: Captain Julian Ashford, a British officer in the trenches of the Western Front, is waylaid in the town square by Kate, a beautiful young American. Julian’s never seen her before, but she has information about the reconnaissance mission he’s about to embark on. Who is she? And why did she track him down in Amiens?

New York, 2007: A young Wall Street analyst, Kate Wilson learned to rely on logic and cynicism. So why does she fall so desperately in love with Julian Laurence, a billionaire with a mysterious past?

What she doesn’t know is that he has been waiting for her...the enchanting woman who emerged from the shadows of the Great War to save his life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson is good at her job, good looking, smart, and while she’s somewhat out of place in her shark-filled firm, she’s hardly the sort of woman the handsome billionaire investment genius Julian Laurence would be expected to take an interest in. Yet from the moment he sees her, he’s smitten. Equal parts mystified and attracted, Kate’s left to wonder why he backs off as suddenly as he appeared. Is he just some rich jerk blowing hot and cold? No, he’s deeply in love and stuck with a secret: he’s from a different time, and they’ve met before. Williams’s pacing is excellent: as one question is answered, another arises, and soon, like Kate herself, readers are in too deep to argue. When the book starts moving between Wall Street (where Kate is accused of leaking information to Laurence’s firm) and the WWI front (where Julian is an officer in the British Army), and the lovers face difficulties on all sides, we’re happy to suspend disbelief. Some of the book’s many plot threads get dropped, but it doesn’t matter; at heart this is a delicious story about the ultimate romantic fantasy: love that not only triumphs over time and common sense, but, once Kate overcomes Julian’s WWI-era ideas about honor, includes mind-blowing sex. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (May)
Library Journal
In 1916 France, a lovely young American named Kate gives British officer Julian Ashford some crucial information. In 2007 New York, Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson falls frantically for rich but mysterious Julian Lawrence. What's the connection? Promotional references to Diana Gabaldon and a love that transcends time should give you a clue. This debut novel won two Romance Writers of America awards before it was even sold and boasts great quotes from the likes of Anne Fortier and Karen White. Likely a winner.
Kirkus Reviews
An engaging romantic debut cheerfully bends the rules to unite soul mates Kate and Julian, separated merely by an ocean, a world war and a century. Pivoting on a time-slip even more unlikely than most, Williams' full-throated love story demands absolute suspension of disbelief for maximum enjoyment. Operating in both 1916 and 2007, it introduces a couple who cross the time/space continuum to find--and protect--their other halves. Kate Wilson, an investment analyst in modern Manhattan, can't believe her luck when blond, rich, honorable, single, athletic, British hedge-fund wizard Julian Laurence falls for her. But Kate doesn't yet understand her destiny. She is also seen in alternate chapters visiting Amiens in France during the Great War, searching for iconic war poet Capt. Julian Ashford in an effort to change the course of history. Mysteries abound, and Williams dodges explanations for too long, opting instead for an excess of conversations about trust and commitment which drain suspense and create a sagging, stalled middle section. When answers finally come, they arrive in a rush of derring-do and credulity-stretching chicken-and-egg explanation. Williams' terrific premise proves impossible to sustain, but with her gift for humor, snappy dialogue and swooning romance, there's plenty to enjoy and the promise of more enjoyable escapism to come in future work.
From the Publisher
“Irresistible…A memorable story of a timeless love.” —New York Times bestselling author Karen White

Overseas is one of those addictive stories that grabs you and doesn’t let go. Beatriz Williams has an amazing storytelling talent.” —Lauren Willig, author of the Pink Carnation series

"A sensational debut…a heady blend of wit, charm, and romantic sizzle.” —Anne Fortier, New York Times bestselling author of Juliet

Overseas is written with a magical depth that kept me utterly glued to the page...Bravo, Ms. Williams. You are about to become immortal.”—Darynda Jones, author of First Grave on the Right

"A delicious story about the ultimate romantic fantasy."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Product Details

Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.46(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Read an Excerpt

I knew it was a dream, a nightmare, but still I couldn’t break free into consciousness. I kicked upward toward the surface, thrusting with all my might, until my lungs burst with a scream that wouldn’t release. Someone called to me: distant, urgent.

And then I emerged, sweating, with Julian’s arms around me and his voice murmuring in my ear. “Sweetheart, wake up. Kate, it’s all right.”

I turned blindly into his chest. “You’re here,” I said, between heaving gasps of air. “You’re still here.”

“Of course I’m here. Shh. Of course I’m here.”

He held me against his body, enfolding me with himself, and gradually the panic died down. I concentrated on breathing slowly, on grasping at the solid physical details around me, anchoring me to reality: the sheets, the faint glow from the nightlight, the cool air entering my nose. Julian’s skin pressed into mine.

“Better?” he asked, after a minute.

“Yes,” I said.

A low chuckle rumbled from his throat. “Your first nightmare already. Is it all so very dreadful?”

I snorted into his chest. “Terrible. A severe case of endorphin overload. I may not live through the night.”

“Rubbish,” he said. “My endorphins are jolly well singing in my ears, and I’m not moaning on about it.”

“Oh, I don’t know.” I snaked my hand along his side and administered a sharp tickle. “I definitely heard moaning.”

“Look here. Stop that. Stop it, I say. Kate!” He doubled over and tried to roll away without falling off the bed.

I began laughing. “Oh my God. You’re ticklish. Come back here.”

“I am not . . . Kate, you’re rubbish . . . stop that at once!” His frantic hands manacled mine at last; he flipped me onto my back and held my wrists above my head. “Minx,” he muttered, kissing me. “You’ll pay for that.”

“You’re just . . . full of lovely . . . secrets . . . aren’t you?” I giggled, around his kisses.

“Mmm.” His body began to transform, to mold itself to mine; his lips edged downward, damp and scorching, along my throat and breasts. He drawled: “But not nearly as many as you, sweetheart.”

What is it, really, that makes a man a good lover? Beloved, I’ll do my best, but I’m rather a novice at all this, he’d said last night, fumbling with the hooks of my bra, and yet he’d gone on as if he possessed the secret map to my body: discovering hidden points of sensitivity I never knew existed, touching my flesh with a preternatural sensual attunement, delivering himself to me with every stroke. He allowed no hiding under sheets, no closed eyes, no defense whatsoever. It was like falling backward into a pit of extraordinary depth, trusting him to catch me; the most exquisite, excruciating vulnerability, made bearable only by the certainty that he felt it, too.

We lay afterward in tranquility, in wordless communion, hardly able to move; I on my side, one leg buried between his, studying the pattern our woven fingers made against his chest. I could feel his other hand tangle through my hair. His flushed skin seemed to melt downward through mine, layer by layer. “So,” I heard myself say, dreamlike, “are you absolutely sure you haven’t had any lovers in twelve years?”

“Let me think a moment.” A dramatic pause, and then: “Yes. Yes, quite sure.”


“Kate!” His head tilted upward. “You’re doubting me?”

“I’m just saying, you seem to know your way around. How to please me.”

“Well, for Heaven’s sake, I want to please you. I want to maintain you in a state of perfect drunken bliss. A dizzy hormonal stupor. Anything at all, you see, to entice you to soldier on with a lonely benighted chap who can’t”—he kissed the tip of my nose—“quite seem to see his way without you anymore.”

“Idiot.” I curled a lock of his hair tenderly around my finger.

He drew his hand along the curve of my waist, his smile deepening as he went. “Besides, it seems to me, since my pleasure is more or less a foregone conclusion, the main object of the exercise ought to be your pleasure.”

“Hmm. I never thought of it that way.”

“A rather elusive creature, I’ve heard. Fascinating sort of quarry.”

“Wait a minute. You’re hunting down my orgasms?”

His laughter burst out like a rifle salute. “Kate. You damned magnificent creature.” He rolled onto his back, bringing me with him. “Yes, my darling. That’s exactly what I’d like to do, on and on until the end of my life.”

“Well, you’re off to a flying start, I have to admit.”

He said nothing to that, only tucked my hair behind one ear with a shadowed smile. His eyes had lost all color in the dimness, depthless and unreadable. “So do you mind telling me about it?” he asked at last. “Your dream?”

I folded my arms across his chest and rested my chin. “It’s stupid. Just an anxiety dream. I get them every so often. Kind of ridiculous, since you’re the war hero; I should be soothing away your nightmares.”

“What are you anxious about?”

“I don’t know. I usually only have them before a big meeting, some sort of performance.” I touched his lower lip. “I had one the night before we met.”

“You were nervous?”

“Oh my God. Was I nervous? Do you have any idea how intimidating you are?”

“I am? I thought I was rather a nice chap, actually.”

I shook my head, incredulous, and slid back down to rest against his side. “Julian, you have kind of a hard-ass reputation, in a business setting. No offense.”

“Oh.” I could hear the bafflement in his voice. “And I’m still giving you anxiety dreams?”

“I don’t know. Maybe. It’s my subconscious, remember?”

“So I’ve managed to convince your conscious mind, but your subconscious still thinks I’m a bounder?”

I laughed. “Hold on. I’m the over-analyzer in this relationship, okay? Look, it’s no big deal.” I squeezed my eyes, forcing out the details. “I think it was like the one I had the night before our meeting. I can’t really recall it exactly. Just kind of panicky, trying to explain something to someone. Someone dear to me. You, maybe? And that person, that man, drifting slowly away from me, not understanding, and the panic sort of paralyzing me.”

“Explain what, exactly?”

“I don’t know. Something important. Something vital. Life or death.” I opened my eyes to Julian’s face, taut and intent beneath the shadows, and tried to push away the feeling of dread that insinuated itself into my brain as I spoke. “But it’s like we’re speaking two different languages, and the harder I try, the further away he floats. Bizarre, huh?”

He tucked my head under his chin and began to stroke my hair. “Kate,” he said hoarsely, “Kate.”

“Don’t,” I said, into the hollow of his throat. “It’s just my silly neurotic brain. Nothing to do with you. I trust you.”

He said nothing for a long time, only went on caressing my hair: long regular strokes to the very tips, letting the strands slip away from his fingertips to rest on my back and shoulders. I let my eyelids sink downward, savoring the tickle-soft sensation. Eventually I felt his voice stir the air above my head. “I won’t drift away, Kate. I won’t fail you.” He said it fiercely, as if he were trying to convince himself.

“I know that,” I said, more to comfort him than myself, and stretched myself luxuriously against the solid mass of his body. “You’re so hard on yourself.” I yawned. I was beginning to feel drowsy again, despite the clinging uneasiness.

“Am I?”

“Way too hard.” I put my arm across his chest and closed my eyes. “I don’t need you to be perfect, you know. I just need you to be you. To be . . .”—my brain was beginning to float—” . . . to be mine.”

He made a noise of some kind; I couldn’t quite tell whether it was a chuckle or a groan. “Yours always, darling. Now go to sleep. No more nightmares. You’re safe, now. I’m here,” I heard him say, somewhere near my ear. It was the last thing I heard before drifting off, hoping sleep would dissolve the knot of foreboding in my belly.

He wasn’t there, though, when I woke up. My new BlackBerry sat on the pillow in his place, with an e-mail at the top of my inbox.

Beloved, I must be mad, to tear myself from your side like this. Sleep late and enjoy yourself. I left the Rover for you. Go find some alluring frock and meet me at the Lyme Inn at 8pm. XX

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
 “History meets romance meets suspense! Compelling, original and wildly romantic, Beatriz Williams’ prose is stunning and the plot edge-of-your-seat gripping. OVERSEAS is an absolute triumph—I loved every page.”
—Tilly Bagshawe, New York Times-bestselling author of Adored

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