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Fountain of Dreamsby Josie Litton
Synopses & Reviews
London, Spring 1837
Lights shining in the high windows of the mansion's ground floor appeared and disappeared among the leafy branches of trees that swayed in the steady breeze off the river. The hour was shortly before midnight. In the walled park surrounding the house, an owl swept soundlessly from its perch. Wings barely moving, it soared over the open ground before descending rapidly to pluck a hapless mouse.
The man waiting in the dark shadows of the bushes saw the catch and smiled faintly. He, too, would hunt soon. Several hours before, he had gotten close enough to the house to confirm that the family was at dinner. He watched them briefly through one of the windows--Prince Alexandros; his wife, Princess Joanna; their nephew, Prince Andreas; and their daughter, Princess Amelia, were all relaxed and in good humor. They had no inkling that their privileged world was about to be shattered.
He had withdrawn to wait and now stirred a little, flexing muscles that would otherwise cramp as he remained concealed behind the thick bushes just inside the high stone walls. The night was cool and damp, but he scarcely noticed. He had known far worse.
He was a tall man, lean and very fit. For this night's work, he was dressed in the garb of a London office worker, a respectable man who earned his portion in a counting house, perhaps, or as a solicitor's secretary. A man neither poor enough nor rich enough to attract attention. His dark trousers and jacket, of plain but sturdy wool, made him all but invisible in the shadows. He had turned up the jacket collar for further concealment and pulled the brim of his felt hat down close to eyes that some had likened to the color of steel.
He was without weapons, although, to be fair, he would still have the advantage against most armed opponents. If the guards found him, he wanted to appear a harmless drunk who had wandered where he should not. For that purpose, he had rubbed dirt on the jacket and trousers such as would result from an inebriated climb over a stone wall, and he carried a half-empty bottle of whiskey in the pocket of the jacket.
By the look of it, the ruse would not be necessary. While it might be true that there was no residence better guarded in all of London, the patrols were at regular intervals, therefore predictable. That was expected. The security around the manor was intended to insulate its inhabitants from the waves of popular unrest that roared through London periodically, not from a lone man intent on gaining access.
Gray eyes flickered in the darkness. He waited, patient and watchful. The lights were extinguished on the ground floor as other lights appeared on the floor above. The family retired early by the standards of society. They preferred one another's company to the customary round of balls, routs, masquerades, assemblies, and the like. According to his information, they had no social commitments on this night. That suited his purposes perfectly.
The patrol was good; he scarcely heard it coming even though he was expecting it. The three men passed within a dozen feet of him. They did not speak and their steps were almost entirely silent. They were, he knew, part of the military force that was among the most feared in all the world. The warriors of Akora, the Fortress Kingdom beyond the Pillars of Hercules, had maintained that mysterious land's freedom and sovereignty for centuries. Ancient
The first book in Litton's new Fountain trilogy introduces a new generation of courageous men and spirited women of the island nation of Akora of Regency England, struggling to overcome the differences--and dangers--that are their extraordinary birthright. Original.
On a mission to investigate the disappearance of several American sailors believed imprisoned on Akora, Niels, a handsome American agent, comes to England to enlist the assistance of Lord Alex Darcourt to enter the forbidden kingdom and finds himself falling for lovely, spirited Amelia Darcourt. Original.
New York Times bestselling author Josie Litton captivated readers with tales of the passionate--sometimes forbidden--unions between the fiery men and women of the island nation of Akora and those of mighty England. Now the next generation of lovers longs to follow suit--but new conflicts may prevent history from repeating itself....
Fountain of Dreams
Lovely, loyal, and strong-willed as her parents before her, Amelia Darcourt is nonetheless entirely unprepared for her reaction to her family’s compelling American visitor. The handsome young man is a match not only for her wits but for her heart.
Yet no sooner does Amelia discover the attraction is mutual than she learns of a secret that may destroy her happiness. Could the man she is so drawn to have an ulterior motive for returning her affections--one involving the beloved island whose blood courses through her veins?
Charged with a secret mission to investigate the disappearance of several American seamen believed imprisoned on Akora, Niels has come to England seeking Lord Alex Darcourt’s help in entering the fortress kingdom. But in spirited Amelia Darcourt he has found so much more. Their burgeoning passion has him caught between duty and desire. Loath to leave her side, Niels resolves to win her heart upon his return. But just as the two are destined to be together, they are destined to face the challenges that threaten to keep them apart. Only then will they be free to seal their love.
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