Title: The Captive Lord
Genre: Historical Romance
The private coach struck a frozen rut and lurched to the left jostling the three weary travelers inside. Lord Blackthorn, a suspicious man, came instantly alert. Highwaymen were rare, now, on the London road but not entirely unheard of. Instinctively, Blackthorn reached for the pistol secreted in one of the specially constructed pockets inside his greatcoat. The sudden movement wrenched the dagger wounds barely scabbed over in his shoulder and chest. He bit back the cry of pain that rose in his throat. Closing his eyes, he held his breath and sat very still until the pain eased.
For once, and not for many years, Lord Ware Blackthorn sought the comforts of his father’s house. Whether his father allowed him room was uncertain, at best. Perhaps when the Duke saw his eldest son suffering the alternating waves of fever and chill, he would relent. Yet, Shrivenham seemed so far away. For the hundredth time since he‘d left home, Blackthorn wondered if he would make it back alive.
A surreptitious shift by the occupant on the forward seat caught Blackthorn’s attention. Mere feet away, with the coach shutters drawn against the cold night, he could scarcely make out the man’s features. Why had the Prince Regent insisted so vehemently the stranger accompany him? A clergyman was hardly the kind of person awarded passage in the Regent’s private coach. Something about the man seemed off, shabby clothes but handmade boots, humble manners but arrogant eyes. Blackthorn had distrusted him at first sight.