Marcus Thorne wears several masks in his life—playing retired pirate, Captain Hawk, is his favorite, but if his secret is discovered, he could die. Captivated by his enemy’s daughter, Marcus kidnaps her, but in return, she captures his heart…until he discovers Isabelle is one of Napoleon’s spies with the power to endanger his life and the lives of his friends. After her release, Isabelle can’t stop thinking about her masked abductor and how he’d stolen her heart before ridding her of his presence. Betrothed to a man who strangely reminds her of the man whose kisses set her ablaze, she marries him, only to discover he’s not who he seemed to be as he is withholding secrets. But then…so is she.View More
Marcus held his wife as they held each other on the couch, staring into the low burning fire in the hearth. Satisfaction settled deep within him, as always happened after their loving. She sighed and cuddled closer, her hand splaying over his chest. He lifted her fingers and kissed each one before settling her softness back on him.“Marcus?”“Yes, my love.”“Are you planning to return as Captain Hawk anytime soon?”He chuckled. “Not anytime soon, but I will eventually. Prince Regent needs me—needs my skills now more than anything.”
Dizziness flowed through Marcus’ head as he marched toward his friends. Whatever Simon had hit him with earlier to knock him out had left a nasty gash in his head. Weakness wasn’t an option. Especially now.Taking a deep breath, he pushed himself to help his fellow crew members. Just as he reached Gabe, Simon cut his friend’s leg with a lucky slice. Gabe stumbled back clutching his wound as blood trickled between his fingers. Simon lifted his sword to finish the deed, but Marcus stepped between him and Gabe, blocking the blow.Simon jumped back and held his ground, his gaze narrowed on Marcus. The room swam around him, and he blinked to gain his bearings. He must have strength. He’d come too far to lose, and now that he knew
Donning the customary black mourning gown, Isabelle left the house and stayed in town all afternoon. She didn’t want people to think she cared nothing about her father-in-law’s death, but neither did she want to stay in the house while Marcus occupied it. Being outside in the sunlight helped brighten her day. If only in small measurements.As she moved from shop to shop, she thought about collecting things to take back to France when she returned. Her heart hadn’t softened toward Marcus, and she didn’t know if it ever would. Trust was a hard thing to build back up after it’d had been broken.Marcus had shattered her hopes and dreams with one lie that grew and festered. She still cared for him but didn’t want to. I
For the next few days, Marcus stayed in his bedroom or his study, drinking his sorrows away. Not even rum affected him anymore.Because of his lies, he’d lost Isabelle. She hadn’t talked to him since the night his father died, but her silence said it all. She wouldn’t forgive him, and soon she’d leave and return to her aunt and uncle in France.Agony twisted inside of him, causing so much pain and sorrow, sapping away his will to live. How could he go on without her? She had brought joy into his life—happiness he didn’t think he deserved. Now he wanted it back. He wanted to smile again, laugh, and love, but only if she was with him.
In three steps Marcus stood in front of his father, grabbed his shirt and shook him. “Tell me. What trap have you planned?”Slowly, a grin stretched across the old man’s face until a full-blown laugh shook his chest. The eerie sound grated on Marcus’ nerves.“You don’t deserve Lord Lockwood’s title,” his father spat.Marcus pushed his father away, roughly. “You never deserved the title of Father.” He shook his head. “You’ll never know everything you put me through as a child, making me feel worthless in your eyes just because I was sick. However, because of your treatment, I was determined to gro
“What?” Marcus stared at the boy, not believing what he’d heard.Monkey nodded. “She saw me today and bade me give Hawk this message. She wants to meet ye in the abandoned building by Thorne Shipping.”“Did she say why?”“No, but she looked mighty put out. Whatever she has to say to Hawk I’m sure will be upsetting.”“Aye, it will.” He gnashed his teeth. Why would she want to see Hawk now, especially after confessing her love to her husband? There was only one way to find out. “When does she want to meet Hawk
The second Marcus arrived at home, an ominous feeling washed over him like a dark cloud filling his soul. Something wasn’t right. A different atmosphere hung in the air, causing anger to rise in his bosom. There had only been a few times he’d experienced this feeling, mostly in the presence of his father. So why now?Just before he reached the stairs, Gentry rushed in from the kitchen.“My lord, you have an unexpected visitor.”“I do?”“Yes. Lord Blackstone arrived this morning and waits for you in your study.”
“Marc—Marc—Marcus?” Lord Blackstone’s stutter turned into a fit of coughs. She rose from her chair and hurried to the table where a picture of water and glass sat. She poured him a fair amount and brought it back to him. “Here, drink this.”He nodded and sipped the drink. Slowly, his coughs subsided and he breathed deeply.“Forgive me for upsetting you, my lord.”“Not your fault. I have a heart condition, and sometimes I cannot breathe well.” He took another sip out of the
Isabelle paced in her room, flexing her hands against her side, anticipating the time her husband would leave for his meeting. If he waited much longer, she would go insane.Heavy footsteps pounded on the floor. She rushed to her door and pressed her ear against the wood. Marcus’ footsteps moved past her room and descended the stairs. Relieved the time had finally arrived, she quickly slipped out of her wrapper and pulled on the boys’ clothes her maid had fetched for her earlier this evening. Thankfully, her maid found large black breeches, shirt and overcoat to hide Isabelle’s womanly figure. She stuffed her long hair into a brown cap before leaving her room and sneaking down the servant’s stairs. When she reached outside without being spotted by her husband’s staff, she breathed easier.
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