Title A Year of Light and Shadows
Author Helena Fairfax
Genre Romantic Suspense
Three romantic mysteries in one romance boxed set
Book One: Palace of Deception
From the heat of the Mediterranean….
When the Princess of Montverrier goes missing, Lizzie Smith takes on the acting job of her life. Alone and surrounded by intrigue in the Royal Palace, she relies on her quiet bodyguard, Léon. But who is he really protecting? Lizzie…or the Princess?
Book Two: The Scottish Diamond
To the heart of Scotland…
Home in Scotland, Lizzie begins rehearsals for Macbeth and finds danger stalking her through the streets of Edinburgh. She turns to her former bodyguard, Léon, for help…and discovers a secret he’d do anything not to reveal.
Epilogue: A Question by Torchlight (A Short Story)
A story of mystery and romance…
The approach of Hogmanay in Edinburgh means a new year and new resolutions. Lizzie and Léon have put their year of danger behind them. But something is still troubling Léon, and Lizzie fears the worst…
All new subscribers to Helena’s newsletter receive a FREE copy of Palace of Deception – Book One in the Year of Light and Shadows anthology. You can subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/bRQtsT
Léon and I made our way out of the apartment building, down the stone steps and out into the streets of the Grassmarket, where hundreds of people were already thronging the pavements on their way to join the procession. The chilly air on my lungs was a shock after the warmth of our kitchen. I glanced up at the icy sky, my breath coming out in white clouds. The cold began to nip at my fingers, and I was glad of Léon’s gloved hand wrapped around mine, and his warmth at my side.
We joined the slow-moving crowds and made our way with them down the Grassmarket, along Cowgate and up the steps to join the procession on George IV Bridge. Every year I never failed to draw in a breath at the magnificent sight of hundreds and hundreds of people lined up on the bridge beneath a sea of flaming torches, their flames burning as far as the eye could see. It’s a majestic scene. I glanced up at Léon as we reached the top of the steps, wanting to share with him my excitement, but he was gazing ahead, lost in thought. What was visible of his face was pale under the flickering light. I realised he’d barely spoken a word since we left the apartment. That nervous tension again. Whatever was wrong?
I opened my mouth to ask him, but by then we were passing the stewards in their fluorescent jackets.
‘Here y’are, son.’ One of the stewards handed Léon a burning torch. A few months previously Léon would have struggled to understand the quick Scots accent, but now he nodded, giving the steward a word of thanks and a smile. He passed the torch to me in silence and took one for himself. The crowds lining the bridge chatted and called out to one another good-naturedly, and all around the bright flames of their torches flickered yellow and orange, sending streams of black smoke heavenwards. I pulled up my fur-lined hood and stamped my feet once or twice as we waited for the procession to set off. Beside me Léon stood perfectly still, but I still couldn’t shake off the feeling he was suppressing some nervous emotion. He was staring straight ahead, seemingly unaware of the people around him. The flame in the torch he was carrying trembled. I was about to tug on his sleeve – to ask him what was troubling him – but then the crowds broke out into a ragged roar, and the massed Highland pipes and drums began to play “Scotland the Brave”, and in all the rush of noise there was no chance of being heard. The procession, thousands strong, began to move as one in the wake of the pipers, the light from their burning torches streaming up in the freezing night air.
I grasped my own torch and held it aloft, and as Léon fell into step beside me his own flame quivered and dipped.
Amazon universal link: http://mybook.to/lightandshadows
Helena Fairfax writes engaging contemporary romances with sympathetic heroines and heroes she’s secretly in love with. Her novels have been shortlisted for several awards, including the Exeter Novel Prize, the Global Ebook Awards, the I Heart Indie Awards, and the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme Award.
Helena is a British author who was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She’s grown used to the cold now, and these days she lives in an old Victorian mill town in the north of England, right next door to the windswept Yorkshire moors. She walks this romantic landscape every day with her rescue dog, finding it the perfect place to dream up her heroes and her happy endings.
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