The Black Lotus (Night Flower #1)
Author: Claire Warner
Release Date: June 29, 2014
Summary from Goodreads:
....though I would dearly love to play court to you, I would hurt you more than any other.
It is 1752.
The year that will change the life of heiress Melissa De Vire. As she makes her first fumbling steps into society, she meets the handsome young cad Justin Lestrade and his world tears her perceptions apart. For Justin is more than he appears and his secrets and enemies are manifold. Drawn irresistibly to him, she finds herself sinking into a realm of feuds, magic and old curses and her life will never again be the same.
“Justin?” He turned as she spoke, “I think you should pursue Melissa De Vire.”
He dropped what he had been holding and walked towards her.
“What?” Utter shock permeated his tones and he stared down at her as though he could not believe what he had just heard. “You must be mad.”
“No, just practical.” Unconcerned by the anger on his face, Emily reached down and pulled the gold bracelet back onto her wrist. “You like her, that much is obvious and she seems to have some interest in you, despite her transparent denials.”
For a long moment, Justin said nothing, stunned by the words that were coming out of Emily’s mouth. “Haven’t you just convinced me that this existence is so much hell, that you would lie with someone you don’t care for just to rid yourself of it? Why would you ask me to pursue someone I couldn’t be with? Do you hate me that much?”
Emily turned away and sat down in one of the chairs. “I don’t hate you Justin, but if you don’t take her and make her yours you will regret it.” She picked up her bonnet and began pulling at the flowers set into it. “Alistair already knows about her, give it a little time and she will be linked with us. I’d much rather you drag her along rather than leave her to be fodder for John.”
“So how does my brother know about Melissa?” Justin’s voice was dangerously quiet as he stood opposite her. “Have you stirred the pot again?” He turned and slammed his fist into the wall. “I thought you were past these petty games. Real people are at stake.”
“Yes.” She stood and faced him. “Real people are at stake and if you do not act this time, John will merely take her from you in the same way he took Anna.” She grabbed his fist and brushed the drops of blood from the knuckles. “Do you not realise yet that there is nothing that you can do to hide her from him.”
“I’ve spoken to her once.” He hoped that she did not see through the lie, “And that has been all. God curse it Emily, she may only be intrigued, do not turn this into a grand love affair on the basis of one conversation.” He pulled his hand free and seized the back of her neck. “If you start this, you’d better be prepared to face the consequences.”
Emily laughed in his face. “Don’t threaten me darling, I won’t take it.” Her hand snaked around his wrist and she pressed hard on the joints, causing him to gasp in pain. “I will not spend the next few decades suffering from your ill temper. Don’t forget love, that I know you almost as well as you know yourself.”
Justin allowed his hand to drop from her skin and whispered. “Then why would push this? I am interested yes, but I know that I can’t have her. John need only know that I flirted with her, as I do with many women.”
“I push because John will know regardless. He has his spies and he will find out.”
When I was a child, I made up games and characters when my sister and I played with dolls. As I grew older, I would make up scenarios and scenes, fully intending to write them down but never finding the time. In my late teens, I discovered the world of role playing and settled into an avid ‘geeky’ life of D&D, comics, sci-fi and fantasy fiction. Years passed and I finally gave voice to the stories in my head. I write romance, fantasy, action and adventure. I love tales of steampunk and history, tales of magical powers and dark curses lurking in the shadows. Though The Black Lotus is not my first attempt at a novel, it is the first I have finished.
And some fun facts about me:
My favourite Disney film is Atlantis.
I’ve been a film extra and stood 5 feet away from Sam Rockwell.
Babylon 5 is my fave sci-fi show.
I cried at the end of Toy Story 3.