Secrets of the Highwayman [NOOK Book]

Overview

Melanie Jones thought she was imagining things. Surely there's not a breathtaking man astride a magnificent black horse racing her sports car on a country road. And he has the nerve to wink at her, just before he vanishes into the night! When he appears to her in solid, sinewy muscle, Melanie realizes he's real . . . and irresistible.

Nearly two centuries ago, Nathaniel Raven was betrayed and murdered by a trusted friend. He now has one opportunity to uncover the secrets of that...

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Secrets of the Highwayman

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Overview

Melanie Jones thought she was imagining things. Surely there's not a breathtaking man astride a magnificent black horse racing her sports car on a country road. And he has the nerve to wink at her, just before he vanishes into the night! When he appears to her in solid, sinewy muscle, Melanie realizes he's real . . . and irresistible.

Nearly two centuries ago, Nathaniel Raven was betrayed and murdered by a trusted friend. He now has one opportunity to uncover the secrets of that night, and Melanie is the only woman who can help him. She may be the most infuriating and independent woman he's ever known, but there is no denying the burning passion between them . . . or the lethal danger that has followed him from the past . . .

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061751134
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 293,554
  • File size: 470 KB

Meet the Author

Sara Mackenzie has long had an interest in the paranormal, and it seems appropriate that she should live in an old house with a resident ghost. When she's not writing she spends time reading or watching movies and trying to keep up with the housework. She also pens historical romance for Avon Books as Sara Bennett.

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Read an Excerpt

Secrets of the Highwayman


By Sara Mackenzie

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Sara Mackenzie
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060795522

Chapter One

Melanie slowed the Aston Martin, creeping along the narrow lane. The vehicle almost brushed the hedges growing on either side, reducing her vision to the depth of the headlights forward or the taillights backward. She felt like she was in a tunnel, with only a strip of dark, star-strewn sky above. Was she even going the right way? The last sign was miles back.

She had never felt so completely alone.

Maybe she should turn back. There'd been a pub at the crossroads, and the thought had crossed her mind to stop and stay there for the night, but then she'd decided it would be best to just get to her destination. She could wake up tomorrow morning at Ravenswood, ready to begin work.

Now she regretted that she had been so dedicated.

She longed for her neat, familiar office with an actual physical ache. Melanie Jones, twenty-nine, solicitor with the firm of Foyle, Haddock and Williams, had a reputation for getting things done in an orderly fashion. Everything in its place, no surprises, everything . . . comfortable.

People said that about her. You knew where you were with Melanie Jones. Others, less kind, called her a control freak. Melanie preferred to think that she lived her life just as she wanted it, the rough edges smoothed off, every possibledeviation noted and sidelined. Her childhood had been a nightmare of doubts and uncertainties and, when she left home, she had promised herself she would never have to worry about the inconsistencies of life again.

And now here she was, deep in Cornwall, driving a car she loathed because her Ford Escort was being repaired and her boss had insisted she take his car, an Aston Martin. Sensible Melanie, driving a car made famous by James Bond, into the dark depths of Cornwall.

The car crept forward and abruptly the hedges gave way to a grey stone wall on one side and a dense wood on the other. She hit a pothole, and as her headlights tilted, there was a brief view over the wall and across a field, and then the road widened a little, enough to make her feel less claustrophobic.

Maybe it would be all right after all. She'd keep going until she found a signpost, then she'd decide whether to continue or turn back to the pub. Maybe there'd be another pub close by. With luck, the worst was behind her, and Ravenswood was just around the next bend.

Melanie sped up a little in anticipation, just as something big and black ran out in front of her car.

She slammed on the brakes and was jolted violently forward, bruising herself against the seat belt. The car engine stalled and for a moment Melanie sat, stunned, wondering what had run out in front of her and whether she had hit it. She blinked to clear her vision, and peered through the windscreen.

A dog. A hound. Bigger by far than a Great Dane, and coal black. It sat on its haunches in the middle of the lane, facing the car, ears pricked, perfectly still. It was looking right back at her, the gleam of the headlights reflecting in its oily dark eyes.

Melanie couldn't move.

There was something strange about the hound, something frightening. Its size was intimidating, but there was a stillness to it. And the way it stared straight back into her eyes, as if it was aware of her as a person. Melanie became conscious of the utter silence all around them.

Maybe I'm imagining it.

She blinked again, but the hound was still there.

Waiting.

The thought popped into her head. It did look as if it was waiting for something. She cast a nervous glance sideways at the woods. The trees were close together, twisted, bending, like old widows gossiping, they formed a wall of blackness. Anything could be in there, watching her, preparing to pounce.

One thing was for certain--she needed to get out of here.

Melanie gave the car horn a long blast. In the eerie silence the sound was very loud, but the black hound didn't even flinch. Her heart thumping, her hands shaking, she sounded it again. Still the thing wouldn't move.

"All right then, if that's the way you want it." She fumbled with the ignition key. The powerful motor started. The black hound didn't take its eyes off her as she began to inch forward toward it. The car moved closer, and the animal still didn't move. The big black head was higher than the hood of the car, high enough that the gleaming eyes were on the same level as her own.

This was worse than before, when at least there had been some distance between her and the hound. Now it loomed over her.

"Good God, what now?"

The car bumper must be almost knocking against the animal's body. She braked with a gasp.

"Will you please go away!"

A whistle came from the woods.

The black hound's head snapped around, and then it was on its feet. With one gigantic leap, it cleared the lane and vanished into the thick wall of trees. And just like that it was gone.

Melanie ran a shaking hand through her short blond hair.

So it must have been a real dog, she told herself with relief. Only a real dog responds to a whistle . . . doesn't it? For a moment there she had been wondering if the hound was something else. Something like Conan Doyle's creation. Hadn't she read somewhere that he'd taken the "Hound of the Baskervilles" from west country folklore? The ghostly, demonic black hound that ran across the moors in the night, seeking . . .

"Seeking what?" Melanie muttered. "London solicitors traveling in Aston Martins on business to out-of-the-way places? It's probably someone's pet."

With her hands still shaking, she drove forward again, this time picking up speed. There was a sense of relief when the woods tapered off . . . .

Continues...


Excerpted from Secrets of the Highwayman by Sara Mackenzie Copyright © 2006 by Sara Mackenzie. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2007

    A reviewer

    Of the three in the series, this one was OK. The characters were not as exciting, and the plot could have been more interesting. A bit flat in places, and I found it dragged. I really enjoyed the 'Highlander' book, and expected more from this one

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2007

    this is one great book like her others two books that follow this one

    I really hope she will write more books like this. It's about time someone wrote some good romances like Sara Mackenzie. A CUTE GHOST ROMANCE Tammy

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2006

    Wonderful Book

    Enjoyed it. Entertaining and well written. This is book 2 of this series.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a reviewer

    He died in 1814 shot down while allegedly trying to rob a coach. Now almost two centuries later, the Sorceress decides Nathan Raven should return to life so that he has an opportunity to right the wrong that his ignoble murder caused to his family. The Sorceress instructs Raven to locate mortal Melanie Jones and persuade her to help him in his cause no further instruction as to why this woman is provided.------------------ Foyle, Hoddack, and Williams legal firm sends solicitor Melanie Jones to remote Ravenswood in Cornwell to inventory the estate once owned by a notorious highwayman. She arrives late at night because the ever pragmatic Melanie wants to begin first thing in the morning. However, a large hound reminiscent of Arthur Conan Doyle¿s canines greets her followed by a strange man who insists he was unfairly accused and murdered in 1814 finally Raven demands she help him. Though trying to initially figure out how to flee the lunatic, practical Mel soon works at Raven¿s side as she believes him, but the adversary may not just be inhuman but an immortal supervillain.---------------- SECRETS OF THE HIGHWAYMAN is an exciting romantic fantasy with some time travel elements that grips fans from the opening prologue when the enigmatic Sorceress decides for no apparent reason to ¿awaken¿ the Raven and never slows down until the return to the tomb where others sleep awaiting their turn to change history. The action never slows down once Raven and the solicitor meet as they fall in love while battling a seemingly invincible opponent. Sub-genre readers will enjoy this thriller, want to obtain the previous Novel (RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDER) if not already read, and look forward to the next entry, PASSIONS OF THE GHOST.---------------- Harriet Klausner

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