eBook Details

The Moonstone

By: Claire Delacroix | Other books by Claire Delacroix
Published By: Deborah A. Cooke
Published: Oct 23, 2011
ISBN # 9781927477076
Word Count: 107,000
Heat Index   
EligiblePrice: $3.99 $2.79 (after rebate)

Available in: Mobipocket (.mobi), Epub
Click here for the print version

Categories: Romance>Time-travel Romance>Romantic Comedy Fiction

Description
North England 1395 – Falsely accused of witchcraft, ever-optimistic Viviane is sure the truth will set her free. But when her execution is imminent, only a wish on an unusual moonstone pendant bequeathed by her father offers any solace. Thinking it harmless, and sympathetic to her plight, the knight escorting her to the execution grants her request – and is shocked when Viviane disappears.

Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, 1999 – Suddenly Viviane finds herself in a wondrous realm she believes is the legendary Avalon. Befriended by some rather eccentric locals, she quickly finds the warmhearted island community happily compatible with her sunny disposition. But the hand of justice soon reaches across time and space to bring her back. The hand, however, belongs to the same handsome knight responsible for her freedom. And soon this powerful man, devoted to upholding the law, finds himself caught between duty and a far more powerful emotion…

This edition includes excerpts from ONCE UPON A KISS and THIRD TIME LUCKY.
 
Reader Rating:  Not rated (0 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating:   Not rated
Excerpt:
In that moment, they reached the threshold of the prisoner's gate to the courtyard. Niall caught a glimpse of the archbishop, his hands braced on the arms of the high seat, his expression grimly exultant, the black and red of his garb a striking sight. Thousands gathered in the courtyard, pennants snapped against the azure sky, the smell of smoke was in the air.

The sunlight glistened off the executioner's gruesome arsenal, arrayed for public view, and Niall found a lump rising in his throat.

Then the crowd caught a glimpse of the prisoner and roared for blood.

Viviane jumped back against Niall in alarm. She breathed quickly, her gaze dancing over the sliver of view accorded to them from here.

And when she turned to Niall, her smile was banished. A fearful light claimed her eyes and the tint of roses that had colored her cheeks faded to naught. There was no longer any merriment to be found in her hazel eyes.

"He does not mean to hear me," she whispered, as though she could not believe it.

Niall could not lie to her in this moment. He shook his head heavily, wishing he could tell her otherwise. "Nay."

"They said he would give me a final audience," she said wildly. "They said I would have a chance to plea my case. They said..." Viviane’s eyes filled with helpless tears and she stared up at Niall, searching his visage for the truth.

He did not have the heart to keep it from her. He held her gaze and let her see the truth in his own.

"They lied to me," she whispered hoarsely.

Niall looked to his toes, wishing he could tear the archbishop's insignia from his back and run. 'Twas always thus, but usually the prisoners were either deserving of their fate or driven mad by their time in the dungeons. Niall cleared his throat, knowing that this time the archbishop had erred.

Not only was this woman no witch, but Viviane was too delightfully alive to die this day. Indeed, the sparkle of her company had briefly made Niall forget how his knee ached, how far his life had fallen from his own dreams.

Yet there was naught he could do about the matter. Niall hated the powerlessness of his situation, such marked contrast to what his life had been before. His task it was to fulfill his duty, no more than that.

Yet, against every rule he knew, against every pledge of loyalty he had sworn, Niall hesitated to lead the woman out into the screaming throng of people. 'Twould be an ugly confrontation, it always was, rotten fruit and vulgar language taking the air. 'Twas a humiliating way to die and one this woman far from deserved.

He liked her, regardless of the addled state of her convictions.

Viviane bit her lip and blinked back her tears, glancing once through the doorway before impaling Niall with a luminous glance. "Could I wish upon my father's stone? Would it trouble you overmuch?" Her words faltered and she seemed suddenly very young. She did not stand so tall now that her optimism had deserted her. "I...I might never have the chance again."

She most certainly would not. And Niall could not see what damage it would do to indulge her. 'Twould only take a heartbeat and the archbishop need never know.

But he could not risk untying her hands, lest someone unexpectedly appear. Without a word, Niall reached for her chain, noting how heavy his hands looked against the finely worked silver, against the flawless cream of her throat.

There was no time to seek a clasp, he simply took the chain within his hands and lifted it over her head. Her glossy hair caressed his hands like the finest silk, the faint scent of her reminding him of sunshine in dancing meadows of wildflowers. Niall slipped the gem into the waiting cradle of her slender fingers and his mouth went dry as their hands brushed in the transaction.

She took a deep breath and tipped her head back, squared her shoulders and squeezed her eyes closed. Her pose was a curious blend of vulnerability and strength that tore at Niall's hardened heart and for an impetuous moment, he wished he might have had the opportunity to know more of this Viviane.

"I wish," she said softly but with passion. "I wish that I were as far away from here as ever a person could be."

And no one could have been more surprised than Sir Niall of Malloy when the lady shimmered right before his eyes, shimmered with the same strange blue light as was trapped in the gemstone. A flash blinded him and he heard a tinkle as he instinctively closed his eyes.

When Niall looked a mere heartbeat later, there was naught before him but a single moonstone, tangled in its silver chain, lying on the floor before him.

And the crowd beyond, baying for the spectacle of execution.

The Moonstone

By: Claire Delacroix
x