Mesmerized

Mesmerized

by Candace Camp

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Overview

Mesmerized by Candace Camp

The only way to fight a powerful darkness is with a powerful love

Olivia Moreland prides herself on discrediting charlatans, particularly the false mediums that flock to London. But when Lord Stephen St. Leger requests her help in investigating an alleged psychic’s claims, she can’t deny the ominous feeling she has within the walls of his ancient estate—or the intimately familiar connection she has with Stephen himself.

The last time he’d called Blackhope Hall home, Stephen had watched as his elder brother claimed both the family title and the woman he loved. Now, in the wake of his brother’s murder, Stephen has reluctantly returned to find his family ensconced in scandal. Who is responsible for his brother’s untimely death? And what is it about investigator Olivia Moreland that so thoroughly draws him in, reigniting a passion he hasn’t felt in years?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781335016720
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 12/26/2017
Series: Mad Morelands Series , #1
Edition description: Original
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 247,102
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Candace Camp is a New York Times bestselling author of over sixty novels of contemporary and historical romance. She grew up in Texas in a newspaper family, which explains her love of writing, but she earned a law degree and practiced law before making the decision to write full-time. She has received several writing awards, including the RT Book Reviews Lifetime Achievement Award for Western Romances. Visit her at www.candace-camp.com.

Read an Excerpt

Mesmerized


By Candace Camp

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-55166-729-0


Chapter One

1876

The oil lamp in the center of the long table was turned low, eerily lighting the faces of the people around it, throwing eyes and hair into deep shadows and dancing along the sharp lines of brow and cheekbone, making the silent attendees look gaunt and mysterious. All eyes turned toward the large wooden box a few feet from the table, dark and looming. There was no sound from inside it.

Then the lamp went out, and one of the women gasped. Blackness enveloped them. Hands turned cold, and pulses sped up. Everyone waited. There, in the dark hush, it was easy to imagine a ghostly finger trailing coldly across one's shoulders, to think, with a heart-pounding combination of fear and anticipation, that someone might speak from across the black void of death.

Even Olivia Moreland, despite the fact that she was there for a far different purpose, could not help but feel a little thrill dart up her back. But it was not enough to keep her from her business. Slowly, carefully, using the tricks she had learned from the very people she intended to expose, she eased backward, shielded by the blackness surrounding her, and separated herself from the ring of people around the table.

She paused for a moment, giving her eyes a chance to adjust to the lack of light; then she started forward slowly. It was still difficult to see, as the only light in the room was the glow from the hallway creeping in around the door. She did not want to alert anyone to the fact that she was up and walking. It had to be a surprise to everyone when she reached the medium's cabinet. All her attention was on the dark box before her; every nerve in her body seemed to quiver, tense with expectation. She was almost there....

A hand lashed out and wrapped around her arm, fingers digging painfully into her flesh.

Olivia shrieked and jumped. A deep masculine voice cried out, "There! I have you!"

All around the table, women echoed Olivia's shriek, and there was the clatter of a chair overturning and a general hubbub of voices and movements.

Whatever instinctual, primitive fear had flooded Olivia at the sudden grasping of her arm, it subsided at the sound of a very real and human voice.

"Let go of me!" she snapped, trying to pull her arm away.

"I think not - until you have explained yourself."

She continued to struggle, hissing, "Stop! You are ruining everything!"

"No doubt I am," he replied in a faintly amused tone. "It is always so unpleasant to have one's duplicity revealed."

"Duplicity?"

As the two of them exchanged words, there was the sound of a thud, followed by a muttered curse, and at last a match flared into life at the table. A moment later, someone lit the oil lamp and there was light in the room. Olivia found herself staring down into the cool gray eyes of her captor.

A faint shock passed through her, a feeling almost of recognition, though she realized immediately that she had never seen this man before. She was certain that, if she had, she would have remembered him.

He was seated at the table, his chair pushed a little away from those on either side of him, and he was half-turned and leaning back in order to grasp Olivia's arm. His shoulders were broad, and Olivia could well attest to the strength of his hands and arms. His face was lean, with high, wide cheekbones so sharp they looked as if they could have cut paper. It was a hard face, a look emphasized by the cold intensity of his eyes. Only his mouth - wide, with a full lower lip - would have softened his face, but it was at the moment pulled into a thin line. His hair, thick and dark, nearly black, was shaggily cut, as if someone had taken a pair of scissors to it - or, perhaps, a knife. The ungentlemanly appearance of his hair was echoed in his clothes - made of clearly fine materials, but just as clearly sewn by someone other than one of the well-known London tailors, as well as being a trifle out-of-date. She would have thought him foreign on an initial glance, except that his voice had been unmistakably that of an upper-class Englishman.

There was a moment of silence as everyone else in the room stared at the tableau.

"I don't have to explain myself to you!" Olivia retorted, desperately searching for a good reason for her to have been walking about. She twitched at her skirts, which had managed to become twisted, showing an entirely inappropriate ruffle of her petticoat on one side. There was a lock of hair that had escaped from her neat bun, as well; she could feel it curling down beside her face. She realized that her appearance put her at a disadvantage, and she was made even more uncomfortable by that steady silver-gray gaze on her face. But she refused to let this man cow her. Olivia was quite aware that she was small and unremarkable in appearance - a little brown wren of a woman, she had more than once thought of herself, especially when compared to the other, more peacocklike members of her family. But she had learned to counter that impression with a steady and stubborn refusal to be intimidated.

She cast a disdainful look down at the stranger's hand, curled around her upper arm. "I demand that you cease this bullying at once."

"I think you have to explain yourself to the company in general," he countered, but he relaxed his grip enough that it was no longer actually painful.

"Exactly what were you doing sneaking about the room? Were you about to manifest yourself as a 'visitor from beyond'?" His deep voice was laced with cynicism.

"Of course not!" Color flared in Olivia's cheeks. She was painfully aware of the gazes of everyone else in the room fixed on her. "How dare you?"

"Sir, this is scarcely the behavior of a gentleman." One of the other men in the room spoke up, a portly fellow with a great curling mustache and plentiful muttonchop sideburns - such hirsute magnificence grown, Olivia suspected, to compensate for the man's shiny bald pate.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Mesmerized by Candace Camp Copyright ©2003 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. 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.

Customer Reviews

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Mesmerized 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once into the plot I couldn't put this down. Lord Steven and Miss (Lady) Olivia, are at the center of a centuries old paranormal mystery . They are surrounded by a host of interesting supporting characters and find they share feelings for each other from ghosts of the pasts.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1876 Olivia Moreland works at exposing hoaxes that prey on the grieving who desperately want to communicate with loved ones from the great beyond. During a séance, she gets up to debunk the latest fraud, but Lord Stephen St. Leger stops her, thinking she is the fake. Once the air is cleared, both are tossed out as skeptics. Before Olivia leaves for home, she gives him her business card stating she is an Investigator of Psychic Phenomena. Stephen indiscreetly labels her as a member of the ¿mad¿ Morelands.

Not long afterward, Stephen hires Olivia to unmask a so called psychic taking advantage of his mother still mourning the loss of her oldest son. His sister-in-law is too selfish to help and mostly hinders Stephen and Olivia¿s efforts. As Olivia tries to prove fraud, Stephen and she fall in love with one another though she believes he still loves his deceased sibling¿s wife.

This engaging Victorian romance will please readers who appreciate a spunky young woman, a hunk of a hero, a touch of the supernatural (perhaps) and a pinch of suspense. The duo shares in common a healthy skepticism and a growing attraction. The entertaining story line leads to fans MESMERIZED by Candace Camp¿s fun historical.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read! Olivia Moreland wants to discredit anyone who preys on those who have lost love ones as does Stephen St. Leger. When they are thrown together in a mystery surrounding a Medium, Stephens mother, secret treasure and murder. A wonderful mystery with a twist awakens love between Olivia and Stephen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great characters. Action packed. Great series.
bookaholicAD More than 1 year ago
My first book by this author and I loved it. It had just a hint of paranormal, but is by no means a paranormal story. No, instead, this is a victorian England story and the storyline is exciting and engaging. I loved the characters and their journey to solve the paranormal mystery they became engaged in. Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good, fast read. Hard to put down! The ending felt a bit rushed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't usually read romance novels. This one isn't just a romance. It has evil, action, love and mystery. Good story. I enjoyed reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was just what the doctor ordered. I had just finished a very slow tome which was overly detailed and the last chapters of a history book (enjoyable, but still a history book). Mesmerized was a fantasy, a paranormal adventure, a romance, a taste of history all rolled into one. I started reading it in Nook's chapter a day offering and had to read it faster than that. The plot starts out with the main characters trying to catch the fraudulence of a psychic medium and rolls into paranormal happenings that shock and confuse the two. Stir all that with a touch of romance. It is one sweet book. For those who don't care for expicit detail, I will warn there are a couple of spots. Don't miss the whole book because of them. It's actually a miniscule part.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of Candace Camp and enjoy her books that have connecting characters. One thing I do love is that you can read these out of order or as a stand alone and they hold their own. I really enjoyed Mesmerized, Olivia is a plucky heroine and Nicholas the steadfast hero. Neither characters are over the top too good to be true types. I enjoyed the plot and especially the subplot from the past. I would even love to read a book about the star crossed lovers from long ago. Although there were a few slow parts, overall I enjoyed this first book in the series and look forward to reading the rest.
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