Within this frame, his curse is time…
Hannah Keys thinks she's setting off on the trip of her dreams, but after one mishap after another—beginning with her best friend abandoning her in the airport and ending with the man of her dreams dead—she's renaming it the vacation from hell.
When Hannah Keys discovers a four-hundred-year-old portrait in Wales, she is intrigued and somewhat saddened by the handsome Highlander portrayed by the artist's masterful, lifelike strokes. But when she runs into the majorly hunky model for the painting—in the flesh, in the middle of the night—she learns first-hand all about masterful strokes when she shares a night of medieval passion with him.
Lockhart Munro has been cursed inside the portrait until he meets Hannah Keys. For four hundred years, no one has heard him or seen him, let alone touched him. The one woman who can do all these things may be the key to his long-awaited freedom.
But if Hannah sets Lockhart free from his prison, will she be cursed to spend the rest of her lifetime without him?
Or perhaps freeing Lockhart will be just the beginning…
General Release Date: 24th May 2013
Hannah Keys rode sleepily on a bus headed for Wales. She was alone, thanks to her friend Cassidy who’d flaked on her at the last possible moment. Hannah and Cassie had been planning this trip to the UK for years—a month in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, a week for each.
Twenty-four years old, Hannah—a Canadian girl raised by her transplanted English mother—used to sit and listen for hours as her mum told stories of growing up in London, of the family she’d left behind, including Hannah’s father. His death had been the catalyst that had sent her mum fleeing to different shores before Hannah was born, to get away from the memories that were far too painful. Her mum had talked of friends from school, the beautiful countryside, of haunted castles and the amazing architecture that stood the test of time.
Hannah had read everything she could get her greedy little hands on, whether it be a history book or a historical romance novel or the old books her mum had brought over. Hannah had sat for hours and looked at the old photos, including one of her dad. She’d always been enamoured with anything English—the monarchy, the castles, and the history—while Scotland and Ireland held their own share of legend and lore that lured her imagination. Her mother had made everything sound so romantic, and now that her mum was gone, Hannah wanted and needed to see where her mother had come from.
The plan had always been to see the UK with her mum, but when her mother got sick, everything had changed. But she had made Hannah promise that she would still take the trip. That was when her best friend Cassie had stepped in to take her mother’s place. And it hadn’t hurt that Cassie had just seen 300, starring Gerard Butler. After that, Cass was convinced that every other guy in the UK might possibly look like Gerard, and she was all in.
At least Hannah had thought she was all in. But as she’d stood in line at the airport, with images of old stone castles and moors in bloom, rowdy pubs and Stonehenge running through her overly-excited mind, waiting for her BFF to show, the last thing she’d expected was for her cell phone ring and have her FBFF—former best friend forever—abandon her. Although Cassie had attempted to apologise enthusiastically, it would be a cold day when Hannah accepted it.
"What do you mean you’re not coming?" Hannah had asked through gritted teeth.
"Paul proposed last night!" she’d gushed. "Isn’t that the best news ever, Hannah?"
Hannah might have been happy for her at any other time, or if she hadn’t thought Paul was a complete dick and had only asked Cassie this life-altering question the night before the big trip because he didn’t want Cassie to go off without him...even though it had been planned long before he’d even met her. But, as much as Hannah disliked Paul as a person, she secretly envied what Cassie had with him. She wanted that for herself—someone to share her life with, someone to love and who loved her in return. She hadn’t allowed herself to be close to anyone since her mum had passed away. Hannah was determined never to love someone so completely again. It only led to heartache. Besides, she’d never had much luck with guys or relationships, anyway. They only wanted one thing, and it wasn’t her heart.
"And you can’t meet me why?" Hannah asked a little too loudly, causing other waiting passengers to look in her direction.
"Because I don’t want to leave him now," she whined, as if that should explain it all.
"But you can spend the rest of your life with good old Paul after we get back. Cassie, we’ve planned this trip for seven freakin’ years, and I’m standing in the airport all by myself waiting for—"
"Oh, I knew you’d understand, Hannah. You’re the best. I’ll see you when you get back and you can tell me all about the Gerards that you shagged without me. Send me a postcard from Ireland. I’ll make this up to you, Hannie, I promise, ’kay? Love you. Bye-bye."
The cell went quiet and Hannah resisted the urge to spike the damn thing on the floor. She spent the next thirty minutes panicking and pacing, trying to convince herself not to go back home.
You’ve come this far. You’re so close. Everything you’ve dreamt about is only a plane ticket and an ocean away.
She was insane to travel unaccompanied. Not only the danger, but what fun would it be to sightsee and bar-hop? Single White Female abroad and alone. She was just asking for trouble. Right?
Damn it, she argued, she’d scrimped and saved and budgeted for so long and she’d already spent the money. Besides, she really wanted to go, with or without Cass. This was her dream. And she’d vowed to her mother on her deathbed that she would take this trip.
Despite the last-minute problem, something inside her pulled her in that direction. It always had. Perhaps, if she was honest with herself, she should have realised that Cassie had never been as excited about this journey as she had.
So, for once, she threw caution to the wind and handed her ticket to the agent. "One for London."
Hannah held Cassidy’s ticket in her hand. "Can I cash this ticket in?" she inquired, almost as an afterthought. "My friend’s not going to be able to make it." "Sure, but you’ll only get about eighty per cent back."
"That’s fine." Hannah handed it over to the ticket agent. "It’s not my money, anyway," she said, under her breath. But she had every intention of spending it. Cassie owed her that much. Damages, Hannah reasoned, along with mental stress and suffering, not to mention abandonment.
H-K lives in Canada with her hard-working hubby. She has two very handsome grown sons and a beautiful teenage daughter.
She has been an avid reader all her life. Her first love is historical romance so it would come as no surprise that her favourite book of all time is Jane Eyre. But she'll read almost anything that captures her attention and imagination. She loves nothing more than to find a good book that she can't put down. She is a hopeless romantic and prefers happy endings.