Author: Lisa Manuel
Table of Contents
Practical, country-bred Moira Hughes must fight for the family fortune she believes her stepfather's heir
has unlawfully withheld from her. Graham Foster, treasure hunter and Egyptian antiquities expert, returns
to London to claim his barony only to find himself accused of foul play by Moira and her family. Finally
coming to a wary truce, Graham agrees to help Moira find her lost fortune, and together they follow a trail
of fraud, deceit, and murder that leads them through the streets of London—and into each other's arms.
CHAPTER 1Sir Graham Foster sucked blistering air into his lungs, gave his Arabian gelding a firm pat on
the neck, adjusted his feet in the stirrups, and raised his saber high above his head. Glaring sunlight
arced along the steel, sending a shimmering signal to the men assembled before him.Boot heels dug into
drought-scorched earth. A plaintive creaking arose as hemp ropes tightened and clenched. Some two
dozen workers strained forward beside ten of the best camels British pounds could buy. Slowly,
painstakingly, and with a screech that set Graham’s teeth on edge, the barrier to the tomb inched
open.He prayed the ropes would hold. And that the laborers handpicked from a local tribe of nomads
wouldn’t choose that moment to start an uprising or observe one of hundreds of incomprehensible
religious rituals. Or simply decide it was time to return to their colorful tents on the desert.He gripped a
handful of damp shirtfront and unstuck it from his chest. It had taken three months to
fi nd this tomb, a modest vault of stone and mud brick laid out on a rectangular slab about twenty feet
below ground. It hadn’t always been subterranean, but part of the once-prosperous village of Deir el-
Medina, now buried beneath centuries of blowing sand. It wasn’t a place one would expect to fi nd the
remains of a pharaoh, but rather a pharaoh’s master craftsman.Which suited Graham Foster fine. He
wasn’t searching for a king’s treasure or anything of great historical value. Not this time. A text in the
Alexandria archives had indicated this to be the burial site of a wealthy goldsmith from the second
millennia BC, and Graham expected a handsome return for his pains. He only hoped the poor dead chap
wouldn’t mind extending him a bit of a loan for a good cause.It had taken another two months to raise the
money and manpower needed to excavate. An additional four weeks to successfully bribe Pasha
Mohammed Ali, Egypt’s temperamental Turkish ruler, into allowing the “pesky British swine” access to
the area. Of course, this excavation was merely a means to a more important end. If it proved fruitless,
there would be more searching, more money to raise, more bribes to off er, and more nomads to deal
with.“My lord! My lord!”Shaun Paddington, his friend, assistant, and, when necessity dictated, imposter
British consul, hailed from the top of a rise some thirty yards away. Graham swore under his breath.
What could be so important that Shaun would interrupt him at such a crucial moment?A high-pitched
groan snared his attention. The workers were moving too fast, putting undue strain on both the ropes and
the entrance slab. Too much tension on the stone could literally rend it to pieces and cause a cave-
in.Graham cupped his hands around his mouth. “Slow
down before it shatters!”The perspiration rolling down his sides had little to do with the hundred-degree
heat pounding down from an unimpeded sun. He sucked another breath in preparation of a second
warning when he saw the lead camel drivers signal to their snorting, spitting charges.Graham held the
searing oxygen in his lungs. Done without the proper skill, the drivers could stop the progress altogether
instead of simply slowing it. The momentum would be lost. That meant starting over.“My lord!” Shaun
shouted again.Damn. From the corner of his eye, Graham saw his friend descend a sand dune...
Lisa Manuel is the author of Mostly a Lady. She lives in Coral Springs, Florida.
"A cunning story of treachery. . . Settle down with some tea and cakes and put up your feet. Fortune's
Kiss is an excellent Sunday afternoon read."
"Grabs ahold of your attention and doesn't let go . . . definitely one for the keeper shelves."
"The story is enthralling and entertaining. . . You will enjoy every aspect of this unique and sinfully
"A fast paced and easy read that will have readers thinking about what is going to happen next."