I’m delighted to introduce A Talent for Trickery, the first book in my new Victorian-set “Thief-takers” series. Our hero, Private Investigator Owen Renderwell, is on the hunt for a thief and murderer. And he knows just how to catch his man. All he needs is a little help from our heroine, Miss Charlotte Walker-Bales. The daughter of an infamous confidence man, Lottie is in a unique position to offer insight into the mind and motives of a hardened criminal. There’s just one flaw in Owen’s otherwise excellent plan. Lottie hasn’t spoken to him in eight years. She has no interest in working alongside a man of the law, and certainly not the one who betrayed her trust, endangered her family, and broke her heart.
The Thief-takers, 1
Author: Alissa Johnson
November 3, 2015
The Lady is a Thief
Years ago, Owen Renderwell earned acclaim-and a title-for the dashing rescue of a kidnapped duchess. But only a select few knew that Scotland Yard's most famous detective was working alongside London's most infamous thief...and his criminally brilliant daughter, Charlotte Walker.
Lottie was like no other woman in Victorian England. She challenged him. She dazzled him. She questioned everything he believed and everything he was, and he has never wanted anyone more. And then he lost her.
Now a private detective on the trail of a murderer, Owen has stormed back into Lottie's life. She knows that no matter what they may pretend, he will always be a man of the law and she a criminal. Yet whenever he's near, Owen has a way of making things complicated...and long for a future that can never be theirs.
A wolf in repose didn’t cease to appear threatening—it simply looked like something you shouldn’t wake.
She frowned at that thought and kicked the bed. She wasn’t afraid of this man.
He didn’t jump, as she’d rather hoped. Instead, he pounced, drawing a blade from under his pillow and coming off the bed in a movement so quick and fluid, the candle flame barely flickered. Before she could even think to dodge out of the way, the knife was two inches from her face, gleaming sharp and silver in the moonlight.
She merely blinked at it. “Charming.”
Owen blinked in return, the glaze of sleep lifting from his eyes. He yanked his arm back, spinning the knife in his hand to face the blade away from her. “God, Lottie,” he hissed. “You bloody well know better.”
Admittedly, she did. She also knew he wouldn’t hurt her, half-awake or not.
He glared at her a moment before turning away to set the knife on the bedside table. It bothered her a little to see the hand holding the blade tremble slightly, but it bothered her more that she should be bothered at all. What the devil did she care if she’d unnerved the man?
“If you damaged my linens, Renderwell, you’ll pay for their replacement.”
Another glare, this one more irritated than angry. “You used to be a bit more cautious.”
On the contrary, she used to be a great deal more reckless, but she had no intention of sharing that with him. “And you. I could have done you in a half-dozen times just now.”
“Oddly enough, I fancied myself safe here.”
“Yes, that is odd. Particularly in light of that knife.”
“Habit,” she repeated dryly. “You must pay your mistresses a fortune.”
Alissa Johnson is a RITA-nominated author of historical romance. She grew up on Air Force bases and attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She currently resides in the Arkansan Ozarks where she spends her free time keeping her Aussie dog busy, visiting with family, and dabbling in archery.
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