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Blurb:Haunted by a crushing fear of death, a young Victorian woman discovers the secret of eternal youth—she must surrender her life to attain it, and steal heartbeats to keep it. In 1860 Surrey, a young woman has only one occupation: to marry. Senza Fyne is beautiful, intelligent, and lacks neither wealth nor connections. Finding a husband shouldn’t be difficult, not when she has her entire life before her. But it’s not life that preoccupies her thoughts. It’s death—and that shadowy spectre haunts her every step. So does Mr. Knell. Heart-thumpingly attractive, obviously eligible—he’d be her perfect match if only he wasn’t so macabre. All his talk about death, all that teasing about knowing how to avoid it… When her mother arranges a courtship with another man, Senza is desperate for escape from a dull prescripted destiny. Impulsively, she takes Knell up on his offer. He casts a spell that frees her from the cruelty of time and the threat of death—but at a steep price. In order to maintain eternal youth, she must feed on the heartbeats of others. From the posh London season to the back alleys of Whitechapel, across the Channel, across the Pond, across the seas of Time… How far will Senza Fyne go to avoid Death?
3) “Well?” She tapped her fingers against the bench. He leaned forward and rested his elbows on the back of her seat beside her. “I don’t think my name would lend a shred of comfort to your state of melancholy.” She crossed her arms, wishing the church didn’t feel quite so chilly. “Perhaps not, but the security I would gain from a proper introduction would most certainly bolster my sense of propriety.” “Funny, how people think names are the be-all and the end-all. I didn’t expect that from you, little Miss Shakespearean scholar. Very well. If a name will urge you to be honest with me and, more importantly, yourself, I’ll give you a name. You can call me…” His voice drifted off, as if he were thinking of something, and he settled back into his own seat. Overhead, the church bell rang. Nine o’clock. “Mr. Knell.” He sounded pleased with himself, as if he enjoyed a private joke. “Most fitting, n’est-ce pas? Now that we are such intimate friends, I feel perfectly within the realm of propriety to confide that I know something that would distract you from your lonely endeavor.” Curious. She cocked her head, only to turn an ear toward him. “Which is?” He leaned over the bench, his face close to her ear. “Have you ever been to Woking?” She hadn’t. But without hesitation she rose to follow him when he got up to leave, knowing that she’d most likely be visiting Woking, and very soon. A quiver of worry stirred deep inside, a protest that she would leave decorum and proper behavior behind for the sake of this stranger. She quelled it with a firm resolve. She’d follow Mr. Knell into Hell if he’d been of a mind to go. That wasn’t a good thing. But it didn’t stop her, either.