Part 2 of Scoundrels series by Loretta Chase 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 "I like the windows," he said. He wanted more air. His reply elicited one sharp glance, but that was all. In silence, Madame Beaumont led him to the studio. Windows, Leila thought ruefully as she attacked the mess on the studio worktable.

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Part 2 of Scoundrels series by Loretta Chase Leila ignored it. Obviously, she and Francis were not ideal employers. All had disapproved of her. I was only hoping to get in to change Mr. Dempton knew better than to knock. Today Mrs. The last time—" "Yes, Mrs. I quite understand. Leila frowned. Laudanum, of course. He must have taken laudanum and fallen asleep.

There was nothing new in that. Nonetheless, she felt a prickle of uneasiness. She rapped at the door. She gave a harder rap and called to him more sharply. No response. Cautiously she opened the door and looked in. Her heart skidded to a stop.

He lay on the carpet by the bed, his hand wrapped about the leg of the toppled nightstand. Dempton came running at the sound, stopped short at the doorway, and let out an ear-splitting shriek. Oh, Tom, for the love of heaven! His flesh was cool, too cool. No pulse. No breath. She heard Mrs. Dazedly, Leila looked down. Broken glass. Shards from the water glass, smooth and clear, and the etched glass of the laudanum bottle.

Puzzle pieces of blue and white porcelain Get the doctor. And—and Mr. Quickly, please. Hurry, you must hurry. Yet the doctor had warned him. Francis himself knew. She wanted to scream. Life went away and left papers. Life went away and you put what was once alive into a box. Into the ground. She shuddered. And Mr. He offered his hand. Dempton weeping loudly in the hall beyond. Leila heard his wife trailing after him down the stairs. Told him to roast in hell, she did. I knew it would come to this.

Death was there, and she left Leila to look upon it alone. Oh, God forgive you. Forgive me. I would have held your hand. I would. You were kind once. For that Oh, you poor fool. It was then she became aware of the odd scent. She looked at the broken laudanum bottle, its contents soaking the carpet near his head. This smelled like She sniffed, and drew back, chilled.

There was water and laudanum. Nothing else. No cologne. But she knew this odor. She sat back on her heels, her eyes darting about the room. The crash and the thump. But not another sound. No cry for help, no curses. Just the noise for an instant, then silence. Had he died in that instant?

She made herself bend close and sniff again. It was on his breath and in the air about him. So very faint, but there: bitter almonds. Why had she thought of ink? The doctor. In Paris. Long ago, yes, telling her to keep the windows open. Prussian blue.

Do you know what this is made of? Prussic acid, child. The symptoms began in seconds. It killed in minutes. The heart slowed A teaspoon of the commercial variety could kill you. It was one of the deadliest of poisons, because it was so quick, the doctor had said. It was also hard to detect. But there was the bitter almonds odor. That was what she smelled. Someone had poisoned Francis with prussic acid. She shut her eyes. And she had been quarreling with him, loudly, bitterly.

You heard her…Told him to roast in hell. A jury. A trial. About Papa. Like papa, like daughter. Her heart raced. No, she would not hang. She rose on shaky limbs. Prussic acid. Bitter almonds.


Excerpt from Captives of the Night

Part 2 of Scoundrels series by Loretta Chase Leila ignored it. Obviously, she and Francis were not ideal employers. All had disapproved of her. I was only hoping to get in to change Mr.


Captives Of The Night

He admires your work. Only ten minutes. Then you can run away and hide in your studio. With a short laugh, Francis withdrew it. Turning away from his dissolute face, she moved to the hall mirror—and frowned at her reflection. She had been planning to work in the studio, which meant that her thick, gold-streaked hair was merely dragged back from her face and tied behind with a ragged ribbon.


Loretta Chase . . . In Other Words

Reviewed for www. I discovered, after reading Lord of Scoundrels, that it was part of a series, and there were two books which came before it. Having loved it so much, I was quite anxious to check out those other books, but I have to say that by comparison both have greatly disappointed me. While I Reviewed for www. In fact there were times that I found it difficult to believe that the same author had written both books. I found Captives of the Night to be very heavy on the mystery element of the story to the point of overshadowing the romance, and in the end, neither aspect ever really grabbed my attention. To me, the book was very dry and lackluster, with no action to speak of at all.


Captives Of The Night (2006)


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