Moon and Stars by Elizabeth Johns
Lady Charlotte Stanton was officially on the shelf. Her first offer
to be a chaperone had sealed her fate at the advanced age of
eight-and-twenty. Yet, one magical evening a mysterious gentleman took
pity on her and danced with her clandestinely under the stars. He
refused to tell her who he was—other than unsuitable. It has ruined her
peaceful existence as an aging spinster.
Sir David Douglas, known to many as Captain Deuce the infamous
smuggler, regardless of having changed his ways and made his fortune
away in the Indies. His past was destined to follow him forever. Despite
helping bring down a high level smuggling ring, the King wants him to
do more to earn his pardon. Reluctantly, he is forced back into the dark
trade of smuggling once again.
As Sir David struggles to gain his freedom, Lady Charlotte tries to
unravel his mystery and help him. But will she find her happily ever
after or will she be caught up in the sins of his past?
“Sometimes I think I have more in common with the moon and the stars
than Polite Society,” a deep, baritone voice said from behind her, as if
the man had heard her thoughts.
Charlotte managed not to flinch. She was unused to anyone seeking her company in dark places.
“Yes, I was brought up amongst the ton, yet it is not often comfortable,” she replied, still looking at the night sky.
“That is the last word I would use for it,” he said as he came to stand
next to her. He was so close she felt warmth radiating from him and
smelt his scent of spice and pine. She was afraid to turn and look. She
did not wish to ruin the moment with reality, yet the arm of his coat
appeared to be well made, and his hands appeared to be strong.
They stood there in silent kinship, listening to the sounds of laughter and dancing coming from the ballroom.
“Would you care to dance?”
Charlotte did not answer. This man must be someone new in Town, someone
who knew not who she was, or could not see her clearly in the moonlight.
What did it matter? It was only a dance. One dance would change
She held her hand out to him and finally allowed herself to look up.
“Have we been introduced?” she asked, annoyed at her inanity. She had never before seen this man, of that she was certain.
His light grey eyes twinkled in the moonlight, and they were looking at
her—her!—flirtatiously. Crinkles formed at the edges of his eyes,
indicating an experience and maturity that made him more handsome when
he smiled. It was devilish cruel that men became more striking with age.
“You know very well we have not,” he answered.
He pulled her close—too close—and began to twirl her around. The moment
was too intimate for mere words. Charlotte felt light and dainty for the
first time ever as this man spun her in his arms. She must be dreaming.
It was a heady, delicious feeling as her pulse raced and her insides
When the music ceased, they stood there still, retaining the position of
the dance as their breathing slowed. Charlotte grew self-conscious as
the man studied her.
“Am I to know your name?” she whispered.
He took her hand and brought it to his lips, sending shivers through her.
“Some things are better left unspoken, my lady.”
“I loved everything about this story. Every woman needs to meet a man
who wants her just the way she is. Despite the struggles and self
doubt, despite the familial opposition, despite the outside forces and
ever present danger from sinister forces – our dear couple finally
“Elizabeth Johns writes lovely, intricate Regency tales filled with
angst, longing, tragedy and triumph. She does not pander with
superfluous and gratuitous sex scenes. Yet her stories are romantic and
satisfying. I highly recommend this series and all of Johns’ books if
you want to be transported and escape this time period to the land of
happily ever after. I cannot wait for the next one!”
Author Elizabeth Johns
National bestselling author Elizabeth Johns was first an avid reader,
though she was a reluctant convert. It was Jane Austen’s clever wit and
unique turn of phrase that hooked Johns when she was “forced” to read
Pride and Prejudice for a school assignment. She began writing when she
ran out of her favorite author’s books and decided to try her hand at
crafting a Regency romance novel. Her journey into publishing began with
the release of Surrender the Past, book one of the Loring-Abbott
Series. Johns makes no pretensions to Austen’s wit but hopes readers
will perhaps laugh and find some enjoyment in her writing.
Johns attributes much of her inspiration to her mother, a retired
English teacher. During their last summer together, Johns would sit on
the porch swing and read her stories to her mother, who encouraged her
to continue writing. Busy with multiple careers, including a
professional job in the medical field, author and mother of small
children, Johns squeezes in time for reading whenever possible.
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