"A sensual, unique tale of romance and time-travel."
Reviewed by Mandy Burns
Posted April 15, 2009
Romance Erotica Sensual | Romance Time Travel
Ryan Daire is a rough and tough vise squad detective in the
Chicago Police Department. And he has no idea what he's
going to do with the beautiful, classic mansion his college
professor left Ryan in his will other than maybe move in.
As Ryan walks through the empty rooms and quiet halls of
his new home, he envisions what it might have looked like
at the end of the 19th century. What he sees shocks him
into thinking he's crazy and needs to take some time off;
the stunning image of the woman he conjures up in his mind
is so real that he continues to see her, even in his new
In the year 1906, white slavery is a growing crisis in
Chicago. Hope Stillwater's father is using his money and
position in society to attempt to abolish this issue. What
he doesn't know is that Hope is doing her own investigative
work tracking down those responsible for kidnapping women
off the streets and selling them to the highest bidder. She
thinks she is alone in her quest, until the man she keeps
seeing in her mirror becomes real and assists in her fight
against the slavery. Unfortunately, she is unable to stay
out of trouble, which could very easily lead to her death.
Beth Kery spins a unique and sensual tale of time-
travel and love. Definitely a must-read.
He sees her, wants her, needs her…
Chicago Detective Ryan Daire has many secrets: a love for
Shakespeare, an appreciation for the all the finer things
in life, and an absolute lack of restraint in the bedroom.
Now he has an even bigger secret. In every shifting shadow
of the sprawling mansion he’s recently inherited he can see
her—tempting, ethereal, and untouchable. Hope Stillwater
inhabited that mansion in 1906. Raw desire has formed a
conduit between these two passionate souls who are
separated by the barrier of time.
Now he has to have her.
Intoxicated by each other’s presence, Ryan and Hope are
closer than ever to crossing that inviting boundary between
two worlds. But there is one grave danger: Ryan’s job has
put him on the trail of a depraved criminal in an
investigation that’s risking Hope’s eternal fate and
happiness. Now he must do whatever it takes to change
history, protect Hope from harm, and set his own desires
Excerpt“This professor guy must have liked you a hell of a lot to
leave you a mansion,” Ramiro muttered, a hint of envy
flavoring his tone.
“I was knocked flat on my ass when Alistair told me what he
planned, but there was nothing I could say to change his
mind. He insisted I was doing him a favor by taking it. The
value of the house is appreciating hugely because of the
real estate development in this area. Alistair’s lawyers
advised him to reduce his taxable estate with a gift.”
“Some gift. Better he’d left you some cash, though.”
Ryan stepped into a room and flipped on a light. He studied
the large spacious bedroom suite, the plaster ceilings and
intricately carved mantel. Alistair knew Ryan loved Chicago
history. He must have guessed how much Ryan would
appreciate the mansion.
“Cash’s got nothing on this place.”
Ramiro snorted. “They broke the mold when it comes to you,
Daire. Six foot and four inches of pure pushover. At least
to little kids and stray animals. Can’t say the same about
you when it comes to assholes like Jim Donovan.”
“You wouldn’t want me any other way.”
“Who wants you? I’m shackled to you,” Ramiro grumbled.
They stepped into the bedroom. Ryan ran his hand admiringly
over the carved mahogany mantel. Unlike the majority of the
house, this room retained some furniture—stuff that looked
to be the same vintage as the house, Ryan realized with a
sense of amazement. The green and white floral wallpaper
beneath the wainscoting had faded but still retained a
fresh, feminine charm. Obviously the bedroom had once
belonged to a woman.
The foot and headboard of a brass bedstead leaned against
the wall between two antique mahogany tables. Ryan fingered
the cool metal thoughtfully. The brass needed to be cleaned
but the bed was perfectly intact. An image of himself
polishing the brass and putting together the bed for his
own mattress flashed vividly into his mind’s eye.
He’d be nuts to even consider moving into this place.
“Look at this. Looks like something you’d have your nose
buried in.” Ramiro held up an old leather bound book that
he’d found in one of the table drawers. The color of the
once crimson leather had faded to a dull dark red.
“Shakespeare’s sonnets,” Ryan murmured. He owned a copy of
his own, nearly as well read as this old tome. Ryan had
cultivated a love of Shakespeare from his father that had
been nourished by Alistair. The book parted to a well-worn
gold-leafed page when he opened it. He immediately
recognized the one hundred and sixteenth sonnet.
He raised the book toward his face and inhaled. His brow
furrowed at the scent of gardenias mixing with the odor of
leather and mildew.
“I’ll bet you can get a couple grand for this old chest,
Daire. People pay out their asses for antiques. Holy shit,
check it out.”
Ramiro moved aside from the opened door of the massive
mahogany wardrobe so that Ryan could see the full-length
mirror attached on the inner side of the door. The frame
had been carved into a meticulous iris design beneath the
gilt. Time had taken its toll on the mirror itself. Six or
so inches all along the exterior had gone foggy with age.
Only the center portion reflected true. Still, the mirror
was so huge that Ryan didn’t have to stoop his tall frame
to see his face in the reflection.
Only it wasn’t his face that he saw. He started in surprise.
He whipped around so fast that Ramiro jerked back in alarm.
“What?” Ramiro asked. The whites of his brown eyes showed
as his gaze shifted warily around the room and then back to
Ryan. “What’s wrong, man?”
Ryan turned back to the mirror, this time seeing his own
bloodless face and greenish-blue eyes staring back at him.
“You didn’t see her?”
“That woman. She was just right here, standing in front of
me. I saw her in the mirror.” He quickly inspected the
empty wardrobe, scanned the bedroom and rushed to the door.
The hallway stood empty and silent, the dozens of closed
doors along both walls reminding him of watchful eyes.
“There’s no one here but us, Daire,” Ramiro said from just
Ryan shook his head. He knew what he’d seen with his own
two eyes: a stunning, lithesome-limbed beauty with pale,
flawless skin and a long mane of soft, curling dark hair
hanging loose down her shoulders and back.
The same woman he’d imagined briefly in the ballroom, he
realized. But this had been different. In the ballroom it
had just been like a super-vivid flash of his imagination.
This had been real.
Realer than real.
Laughter had curved her lush, dark pink lips. She’d worn a
sheer negligee, the bottom of which barely covered the dark
nest of hair between her slender thighs. She might as well
have been standing there naked for as much good as the
nightgown did. The only other thing that adorned her
flawless skin was a locket hanging around her neck. Ryan
could still see perfectly with his mind’s eye the detail of
the filigree carved into the silver and the throb of the
woman’s pulse at her throat.
“No. I definitely saw her,” Ryan insisted firmly, but even
as he said it, he began to question himself.
He’d seen the front of her in the mirror…as though she’d
stood directly before him with her back to him.
His breath froze on an inhale.
There hadn’t been anyone standing in front of him. She’d
just been in the mirror, staring out at him as if the space
between the gilded frame had been a doorway not a pane of
glass. He crossed the room and touched the surface of the
mirror. Despite the bizarreness of what had just happened,
he didn’t really believe he’d feel anything but the cool,
smooth surface of the glass.
Shock jolted through him for the second time that evening
when the molecules of his fingers seemed to meld with those
of the mirror. He wondered if it hadn’t been his
imagination when a second later he pressed his fingertips
against a solid pane of glass.
“You really didn’t see anyone?” he asked Ramiro as he
Ramiro shook his head.
There was no way in hell Ryan wouldn’t have noticed the
back of that woman if she stood in front of him. That
flimsy excuse for a nightgown wouldn’t have completely
covered her bare ass.
Uh uh—not a possibility. As a healthy, red-blooded male,
Ryan knew for a fact he would have noticed that.
“Dios, Daire. I think you saw a ghost.”
Ryan shot Ramiro an annoyed look. “I didn’t see a ghost.
She was perfectly solid.”
He recalled the startled expression in her velvety black
eyes. “She looked as surprised to see me as I did her,”
“What’d she look like?”
A pair of full, shapely breasts and succulent, fat nipples
pressing against transparent cloth that did nothing to hide
their rosy hue flashed into Ryan’s mind’s eye. The potent
eroticism of the recalled image made his cock jerk in his
What’d she look like? Edible. Delicious. Like an angel on a
mission of sin.
“Dark hair. Dark eyes,” he muttered. For some reason he
felt hesitant about sharing even a basic description of the
woman with Ramiro.
“You saw a ghost all right. This house is haunted,” Ramiro
declared as he glanced around, his feet shifting nervously.
Ryan couldn’t help but grin. “I thought you were a big, bad
vice detective. Since when are you scared of a little tiny
Ramiro gave him an insulted look. “Ever since the ‘little
tiny female’ is dead.”
“She’s not dead.”
Ramiro looked a little taken aback by Ryan’s hard
tone. “Whatever, man.” Ramiro shivered and started toward
the door. The image of his brawny partner shuddering
reflexively struck Ryan as markedly odd, not to mention
alarming for some reason.
“The only time I saw you get so pale was when you got
shot,” Ramiro said. “Take my advice and sell this place
quick as you can. I’ll take the likes of a slimy rat like
Anton Chirnovsky any day versus a haunted house. Come on.
Crenshaw will be waiting for us at Bureau Headquarters.
We’re making sure Chirnovsky has his story straight and is
in good voice before we strap the wires on him for
Donahue’s downfall this weekend.”
Ryan closed the heavy wardrobe door with a brisk bang,
perhaps hoping to shatter the fey spell wrought by the
vision of the stunning woman. He didn’t believe in ghosts
and he was every bit as eager to nail Jim Donahue for human
trafficking as Ramiro was.
Still, he lingered in the doorway, casting his gaze around
the empty bedroom warily before he shut out the light.
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