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The Shadow of Her Smile
by Christy Poff

Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Suspense/Thriller Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read
Description: Cole Dellacourt, a rich gambler to the world, works of an international law enforcement agency. The man he's been after for years, both professionally and personally, is making advances towards Ravenshire, a strategic property on the Scottish coast. Laurell Ravencroft is fighting to hold onto her birthright but the castle proves to be more valuable to Frank Sullivan and his illegal dealings. Cole helps Laurell drive him off when Sullivan is taken care of at a high-profile arms deal but it comes at a high price. Will the shadow of her smile be enough to keep them together or will the sins of the past destroy them?
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2006
eBookwise Release Date: October 2006


10 Reader Ratings:
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Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [337 KB]
Words: 76026
Reading time: 217-304 min.

5 Angels "Christy Poff has an engaging thriller in The Shadow Of Her Smile. The Shadow Of Her Smile is all Cole Dellacourt can think of as soon as he sees Laurell Ravencroft. Cole is an international business man, gambler and he secretly works for an international law enforcement agency. He is after a man determined to acquire Laurell's home Ravenshire on the Scottish coast. Laurell is a widow and the Lady Ravencroft; she loves her family home and continually refuses all offers to purchase Ravenshire. When Cole and Laurell meet, they each have a hidden agenda, but with love at first sight that goes right out the window. The emotions that pull them together are powerful and they each feel the bond. Christy Poff has filled The Shadow Of Her Smile with thrilling suspense and is a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions. This beauty has everything: hate, greed, deception, evil psychosis, terror, torture and death and yet is offset by love and compassion, loyalty and laughter, healing, friendship, and birth. This erotic romance was a sensuous treat. Christy Poff has given her characters such a depth of emotion you care about their troubles to the very end. She takes you into their reality and you gasp and cry and shout with joy right along with them. Snap this up, once you start your troubles will fly out the window as you engage with Laurell and Cole."--Dana P, Fallen Angel Reviews

"Ms. Poff has penned a sizzling drama, rich in sensual romance, dark suspense, and high adventure. The secondary characters are as three-dimensional as Laurell and Cole were. The pace of the story was smooth, the dialogue sharp, and not a single detail was missed. This is a heart-wrenching tale of love put to the test by revenge, greed, and evil. 3 cups!"--Kimber, Coffee Time Romance, Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books

"Ms. Poff has written a wonderful book that includes many aspect of what a reader seeks out. Intrigue, erotic passion and mysteries are only the beginning of what will keep one glued to the pages. The characters are developed in a believable way. The relationship between Laurell and Cole develops fast and adds to the overall drama of the story. Douglass Sullivan's determination to obtain Ravencroft Manor is forceful and the reason's why, when they are revealed, will shock as well as amaze. I found myself edgy for Laurell and Cole as the danger of their situation increased. This is perfect for anyone looking for a creative story filled with entertaining characters, erotic passion and an edge-of-your-seat plot. Overall Rating: very Sensual."--TJ, The Romance Studio

Chapter 1

"Sullivan has become a prime objective between US agencies and Interpol, especially in Great Britain. MI-5 is not happy he's on British soil."

"Is this the latest surveillance information?"

"Yes. Also included is information on a property in either Ireland or Scotland and a woman who may be unwittingly involved."

"And she is important because..."

"She owns property strategic to his plans for shipping and smuggling."

"I see."

"As always, you're on your own. We'll take care of any special needs or requests you might have, but you only report to me when you feel it's warranted."

"Good, I'll provide you with what I need as soon as I go through these."

"Out of curiosity, how long have you been after this guy?"

"Too long."

* * * *

"What is the latest on the offer we made to Her Ladyship?"

"No answer yet."

"Damn! Why is she taking so long?"

"She doesn't want to sell the family holdings. Research has her directly descended from the first Lord Ravencroft."

"It's a losing proposition with her."

"She doesn't see it that way."

"What's our current offer?"

"Fifty million, US."

"Up it to seventy-five and add two weeks. I want her to say she'll sell. See to it."

"Yes, sir."

Douglas Sullivan, ruthless and without compassion, wanted Ravencroft Manor at Ravenshire and he would get it one way or another. He didn't care as long as he got what he wanted.

* * * *

Ravencroft Manor stood on a hill overlooking the small hamlet of Ravenshire, Scotland. Behind it, the highlands protected it and the valley while it faced the North Sea. Over the early centuries of its existence, the villagers looked to the sitting lord to protect them in times of war or other dangerous situations.

In return, the people worked to make their lives good while supporting the castle and its inhabitants. A good system, it provided for an extremely good working relationship for everyone involved. To the present day, the people depended on the Ravencroft family as the Ravencrofts relied on the village. Not too much had changed outside of the current lords no longer needing to mount the armies that once fought for their safety--everyone grateful.

Over the years, Ravencroft had hosted various festivals and celebrations, and now was no different. The hamlet's inhabitants put together the annual end of summer event with lots of food and entertainment. This year, they held a hot-air balloon race.

The balloons of different shapes, sizes and designs entranced those in the crowd below them. Twenty entered and the winner appeared to come from a neighboring village.

"You've outdone yourself this year."

"Thank you, Sir Charles. You are way too kind."

"Only stating the truth. Who'd have thought balloon races..."

"I saw one in the States a few weeks ago. It made for an enjoyable affair. I'm amazed at how popular it seems to be over there."

"I had seen articles but I hadn't realized it either."

"I'm just glad we could pull this off. The money raised should be a good amount for the school, I think."

"By your leave, Your Ladyship, I'd be happy to go check."

"Thank you. I am interested."

Sir Charles left her and she watched the race head to an end. As she watched the balloons soar overhead, relief eased her mind, but only for a short while. Danger from outside this peaceful valley weighed on her as she began to formulate a plan on how to keep it this way.

"Damn, we cannot lose this piece of heaven."

"Your Ladyship, they would like you at the finish line."

"Thank you, Jamie. I'll be right there."

"Yes, mum," he replied, bowing to his mistress. Laurell Ravencroft could be described in only one way. Watch the John Wayne movies named The Quiet Man and Big Jake. Everyone who saw her said the same thing. If anyone is an image of another, Laurell would be it. The conversations would be the same.

If anyone watched The Quiet Man or Big Jake, they immediately remembered Maureen O'Hara. She played a spitfire with fiery red hair and a disposition to match. No one ever crossed her because her Scottish roots became more and more evident. She never lost her temper, though she had come close. Laurell Ravencroft echoed the firm but respected countenance of Martha McCandles--strong, independent but with a devilish side to her.

Laurell's red hair highlighted her green eyes. On some occasions, they would sparkle with the fire of a magnificent emerald while on others, they appeared to be piercing like cold, green ice. They still showed fire but those around her knew not to make her mad.

Everyone in the hamlet loved her because she held a special place in her heart for each and every one of the villagers. It tickled Laurell to see the young boys attempt to hide the obvious crushes they had on her. Single for years, some of the men thought they'd try to spend quality time with her but she easily turned them down while not hurting their feelings.

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