Saturday, July 19, 2014

Final Hours (Love in Time Book One) by Cate Dean Excerpt

Final Hours (Love in Time Book One) by Cate Dean

Book One of an exciting new romantic suspense series - now *free*!

One man's death will change the future.

Only two people can save him - if they have the courage to trust each other.

Elizabeth Barritt fought hard to put her childhood behind her. Now she has the chance to move forward, to reach out for a new, exciting future. All she has to do is take the first step.

And she does - straight into Jackson Kane's path. He is a time traveler, on the hunt for a rogue agent.

When Kane is injured protecting Elizabeth from that agent, she makes a decision that will change her life, in ways she can't even begin to grasp. She takes him home.

Once he is healed enough to travel, Kane goes after the agent, chasing him back to war-torn London. But his journey back takes a sideways turn, forcing Elizabeth to make another choice. She follows him into the past, to help him stop one man from changing their future.

*Includes a preview of First Breath, Book Two of the Love in Time series.

Love in Time:
Book One - Final Hours - free
Book Two - First Breath
Book 2.5 - Loving Kane
Book Three - Second Chances (coming August 2014)


Elizabeth Barritt spent her last night in London walking along the Thames, pretending her life was this perfect.
Pretending she wouldn’t go back to her dead end art gallery job in two days. That she wouldn’t have to herd students through rooms of mediocre paintings and sculptures, try to keep their attention when they couldn’t care less. That she wouldn’t—
Stop torturing yourself, Beth.
She knew if she spent two weeks in London as an intern at one of the most renowned art galleries in the world it would spoil her. By the time she realized just how much, it was far too late.
With a sigh, she climbed the steps to the beautiful railing that lined this part of South Bank, and leaned against it to study the view along the river. Her fingers automatically moved to the gold heart locket at her throat, her thumb tracing the engraved flowers.
How she wished she had her pocket sketchpad with her, so she could capture the river, the city skyline, the beauty of all of it, one last time.
From here she could see the glory of Tower Bridge, the ancient bulk of the Tower of London crouching on its left. St Paul’s stood directly across the Thames, its dome white and ethereal against the evening sky. Multicolored lights from the buildings that hugged the river danced over its surface.
It was all so—magical. And she’d had so little magical in her life, the thought of letting it go was physically painful.
To make it worse, they offered her a position. A permanent position, one that would allow her to live here, work here, surrounded by some of the most incredible art in the world.
She said no.
And she still wanted to beat her head against the nearest wall for her kneejerk reaction.
“Okay—enough. I can always come back, when I’m ready.” She shook herself out of the depression before it dragged her down, pushed off the railing and took a deep breath. “I will come back.”
“All the world’s a stage, darling girl.” Elizabeth spun toward the voice. An older, really good looking man dressed in black leaned against the stone post of the water gate that led up to the Globe Theatre. Because she stood directly under an ornate lamp post, she knew he could see the blush that flamed her cheeks. “Find the part you want to play on it, and never settle for less than a standing ovation.”
He executed an elegant bow, winked at her and disappeared into the shadows.
She hugged herself, and smiled as she tucked away the moment, another souvenir of her time here. She had met so many people like him; friendly, wickedly funny people who lifted her out of her unhappy life, and showed her what she could be. Who she could be.
For the first time since her parents died and left her alone, a shy and withdrawn ten year old, she felt like she belonged. Elizabeth did not want to let that go.
She could take steps—small steps, at the beginning. As long as each one led to the life she now knew she wanted, she could be patient.
A cold breeze tugged at her waist length blonde hair, reminded her of her surroundings. She huddled deeper in her suede jacket, and headed for the charming, paved street that led to her hotel. The thinning post-show crowds prompted her to check her watch.
“It can’t be that late.” The clock bells at St. Paul’s chimed the hour, confirmed what her watch told her. She walked faster, her well-worn black boots tapping on the uneven pavers. “Daydreaming again.”
She tried not to berate herself for losing track of time, or that she had to get up early for her flight, that she hadn’t even packed yet, that if she didn’t get her act together she would screw up her entire schedule and miss her plane—
Panic shot through her, and she fought to control it even as her pace increased. By the time she passed the entrance to the Globe lobby she was running.
Before her perfect evening ended in a full-on panic attack, she went through the steps she worked out with her former therapist. Three easy steps to calm herself.
“Step one: slow down,” she whispered. Just saying it out loud moved her closer to her objective.
Elizabeth reached out for the brick wall of the building and slid her hand along the surface. The sting of it on her skin gave her a focus outside herself. It was the anchor she needed to get out of her head.
“Step two.”
She was breathless when she rounded the corner of the building, but less frantic. She stumbled past a short staircase and grabbed the black metal fence beyond it. Both hands clutched the narrow bars like a lifeline.
It had been more than a year since she lost control like that—long enough that she finally gave up the expensive visits as an indulgence she didn’t need anymore.
Nothing like taking two giant steps back.
Her heartbeat evened out as the panic adrenaline faded. In the aftermath, she used to curl up in a ball and cry until she exhausted herself. Step three helped break that. Now she took slow, deep breaths, rubbed her thumb over the warm surface of the gold heart locket until she felt calm. Or something that resembled calm.
“Okay,” she whispered. She took in another cleansing breath and pushed off the fence. “You’re going to be okay.”
Grateful there hadn’t been any witnesses to her freak out, Elizabeth sagged against the brick building, wiped her sweaty palms on her jeans.
A sharp snap whirled her around. She jumped as a black circle appeared in front of her, the air around it rippling—right before a man burst through it, out of nowhere.

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