Two unforgettable tales. One dazzling diamond!
Summer 1814 . . .
When Evangeline Munroe inherits the exquisite but supposedly cursed Nightshade Diamond, she considers it a bit of good fortune. Then she literally runs into Connoll Addison, Marquis of Rawley, the most sought after bachelor amongst the ton. Surely her immediate attraction to the rogue is bad luck. Could the diamond be more dangerous than she ever imagined?
Present . . .
Samantha Jellicoe thinks it's good luck that has her—a reformed cat burglar—providing security for a museum exhibit. Then she discovers the Nightshade Diamond, with an accompanying note that says the thing is cursed. Cursed indeed! How else to explain Scotland Yard breathing down her neck, the appearance of an ex-boyfriend, and her lover Rick Addison suddenly testing the boundaries of their relationship? She needs to unload the gem and soon, or shemay lose her dreams forever.
About the Author
A native and current resident of Southern California, Suzanne Enoch loves movies almost as much as she loves books. When she is not busily working on her next novel, Suzanne likes to contemplate interesting phenomena, like how the three guppies in her aquarium became 161 guppies in five months.
Read an Excerpt
Twice the Temptation
"Aunt Rachel, you are not on the verge of being put to bed with a shovel," Evangeline Munroe said primly, her hands folded on her lap. "I daresay you're more likely to be dancing with that nice Lord Geary at the next assembly."
"That's not so, child," her aunt said, giving a dramatic cough. "I've been slipping for days. I'm only glad you arrived to pay your last respects before I'm gone to kingdom come."
"I'm not paying my last respects; I'm paying my ordinary ones." Evangeline frowned briefly, then smoothed the expression. Her face would be chasmed with wrinkles if she didn't take care. "Which is not to say that my ordinary respects are not sincerely meant."
"Oh, Gilly, Gilly, Gilly. Such a dear one, you are. Would you hand me one of those chocolate biscuits? I think I could possibly manage a nibble of one of those."
Evangeline used the silver tongs to select a biscuit, altering her selection to a plumper one when Aunt Rachel cleared her throat. "Did Mama tell you she's entering the garden competition again?"
"Why wouldn't she? Heloise has won the last three in a row."
"Four. Mama would be hurt if you forgot one of her victories."
"I'm more worried over the hurt she would do me if she knew I'd forgotten one. If she asks about my final conversation, please tell her I remembered all four of her ribbons."
Evangeline didn't want to discuss gardening ribbons at all. Curiosity had been pulling at her since her early morning arrival, in fact, but she refused to succumb. Her aunt had summoned her to Tandey House on the outskirtsof London and then spent the subsequent hour talking endlessly about nothing in particular. Whatever had prompted the invitation practically at dawn and a full fortnight ahead of her regular visit, Aunt Rachel would come around to discussing it eventually.
Her aunt sent her a sideways glance, shifting on the mounds of fluffed pillows that threatened to engulf her and the entire bedchamber. "You have the patience of Job, don't you?"
"I know how you enjoy your surprises."
"Yes, though I don't think I quite realized the mortal peril I would face when I embarked upon this particular venture."
"Peril?" Gilly repeated. "You're not going off to India again, are you?"
"Heavens, I'd never survive the voyage. No, this is something I've contemplated for quite some time. Though you know I prefer not to play favorites, I had to make a choice between you and your cousins." Evidently remembering that she was on her deathbed, she coughed once more. "You may wonder why I selected you."
"Since I don't know what you've selected me for, I can hardly comment on it."
"Aha," Aunt Rachel chortled. "That is it, precisely."
Evangeline blinked. "Beg pardon?"
"You possess an astounding measure of practicality, and absolutely no imagination. If you have no capacity for believing in fanciful happenings, you may be immune to their occurrence."
As highly as Evangeline prized her sensibility, that didn't sound like a compliment. "I believe what my eyes, experience, and logic tell me," she said, keeping her voice cool.
"Yes, I know. And while ordinarily I would hope you would learn to seek a broader perspective, one that would perhaps utilize your heart, under these circumstances your logic may be your most valuable tool."
Considering her aunt's flights of dramatics, Evangeline supposed she should be pleased to be excluded from the arm-flailing horde. And the word valuable always sounded promising. "I admit, you begin to make me curious."
Rachel Tandey slapped her hand on the rumpled bedsheets. "Oh, very well. You've wheedled it out of me." She reached beneath one of the pillows and produced an ornate wooden box the size of a teacup. "This, my dear, is for you." She handed it over.
With a dubious glance from the box to her aunt, Evangeline took it. "This isn't rhinoceros toenails like you gave me before, is it?"
"That was for Christmas. This is an inheritance. It's been in the family for a very long time. We're very careful about to whom it should be passed along. Go on, open it."
She would have preferred another moment or two to study the pretty mahogany box, but it wouldn't do to upset her aunt in the midst of gift-giving. Evangeline flipped up the small brass catch and opened the lid.
The bedchamber windows flashed white, and thunder abruptly cracked in a deafening, echoing crescendo around the room. "Good heavens! That was alarming." Rachel Tandey clutched her chest.
"It's been blustery since midnight," Evangeline said absently. "That's why I was late arriving here."
She scarcely noted what Aunt Rachel said. Her attention was on the contents of the box. A fine gold chain closely lined with multifaceted stones coiled loosely around the interior like a slender, hungry snake. In the middle lay a delicate setting also of gold, and holding thirteen small stones and a much larger blue-tinted one in the middle, sparkling like starlight. "It's not paste, is it?" she asked, knowing from the sparkle alone that it must be real. A diamond. Dozens of diamonds. But the blue one . . .
"It's very real. But now that you've set eyes on it, I have to tell you that it doesn't come by itself."
Carefully Evangeline freed it from the velvet-lined box. "There are earbobs as well, then?" she asked hopefully. It was heavy, but not absurdly so. "Not earbobs. A curse."
"Mm-hm." She held up the necklace, scarcely breathing as she let it spin and sparkle in the candlelight. "This is an heirloom? The centerpiece alone must be a hundred carats!"
"One hundred and sixty-nine carats. As it's been passed down to me, the tale is that the diamond came from"
"A hundred and sixty-nine carats? Why have I never heard of it before? This should be the entire family's pride and joy!"Twice the Temptation. Copyright © by Suzanne Enoch. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It's hard to pick a favorite Sam & Rick story but this was a great one!
¿A Diamond or Forever¿. The owners of the infamous Nightshade Diamond believe that the gem is cursed and possession means misfortune will strike. In 1814, Evangeline Munroe becomes the latest holder of the jewel. Within a short time of ownership, she collides with Marquis Connell Addison. In spite of her warnings, he courts her risking the legend that bad luck will prove to be their chaperon.----------------- ¿Diamonds Are Not a Girl¿s Best Friend¿. Two centuries later retired jewel thief Samantha Jellicoe and her billionaire lover, Rick Addison find the Nightshade Diamond and an accompanying note that from his ancestors claiming the jewel is cursed. Neither Rick nor Sam believes such nonsense, but then the first calamity strikes followed by the next adversity with the New Scotland Yard suddenly pursuing them.--------------------- TWICE THE TEMPTATION uses the gimmick of the cursed gem to provide the audience two entertaining romances, almost two centuries apart. The regency is a fun tale starring likable characters while the contemporary returns fan favorites Jellicoe and Addison (see FLIRTING WITH DANGER, DON¿T LOOK DOWN and BILLIONAIRES PREFER BLONDES). Suzanne Enoch display her talent with twice the fun for her fans.--------------- Harriet Klausner