Silk and Shadows

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Silk and Shadows

The Silk Trilogy #1

He called himself Peregrine, the wanderer, and he came to London for revenge...

Like the falcon he named himself for, Peregrine is wild and free, an exotic prince who fascinates 1839 London with his wealth, mystery, and dangerous allure. He emerged from his mysterious Asiatic past to exact retribution for an appalling crime. Nothing and no one can stop him—except perhaps Lady Sara St. James, whose fragile beauty conceals a gentle heart, genuine goodness, and a soul of steel.

Unable to resist his seductive charm, Lady Sara turns away from her ordered life to embrace a man she loves, but cannot fully trust. In Sara, Peregrine sees a chance for a life beyond revenge. But can he keep her without revealing his devastating secrets? Or protect her from the enemy he has vowed to destroy?

Sharply defining unforgettable characters and exquisitely fashioning a sumptuous love story, Ms. Putney proves herself a dreamspinner of the highest order….This splendorous tale is the perfect romance for the reader in search of the extraordinary.

~Romantic Times

Mary Jo Putney is a gifted writer with an intuitive understanding of what makes romances work. I loved Silk and Shadows, couldn’t put it down, and don’t think readers will, either.

~Jayne Ann Krentz

A fabulous, fabulous book. Bravo!

~Mary Balogh

Silk and Shadows is something else. Like brilliant. It got under my skin as very, very few books have. It’s still under my skin. Mikhal was haunting.

~Loretta Chase

Mary Jo Putney’s absolutely best yet.

~Laura Kinsale

Books in Silk Trilogy

Silk and ShadowsSilk and SecretsVeils of Silk

Prologue

England, 1839

He called himself Peregrine, the wanderer, and he came to London for revenge.

It was dusk as the Kali drifted up the Thames, her goal a berth at the Isle of Dogs. The air was thick with the rank scents that occur where water meets land, and too many people live in too little space.

Peregrine leaned against the foremast, watching the lights of London flicker on and listening to the water splashing softly under the bow. An onlooker would have thought him casual, but the relaxation in his lean figure was a product of years of discipline, a habit of pretense so long established as to be second nature. He had learned early that it was safer to let no one know the true state of his mind and heart. Over the years he had become so adept at dissimulation that he himself did not always know how he felt.

But tonight he had no doubts about the nature of his emotions. This bland, civilized English darkness concealed his enemy, and that knowledge burned triumphant in his veins. He had waited a quarter of a century for this moment, when the time was right to extract a slow and exquisitely painful blood price for what he had suffered.

The flame of hatred had been fired when he was a boy of ten, and over the years he had tended it with black, bitter care. Waiting and preparing for his revenge had been a strange mixture of pleasure and pain. He had wandered the face of the earth, acquiring wealth in many ways, honing mind and body until he was a more deadly weapon than any knife or rifle, learning how to survive and prosper in any land, among any people. Every skill, every golden coin, every sharpening of wit and hand, had been treasured as another step toward his ultimate goal.

And now all his preparations had led to this: London, called the greatest city on earth, with its wealth and squalor, snobbery and noble ideals.

He left the routine of docking and regulations to his captain, preferring silence and the voluptuous ecstasy of anticipation. From a distance he had already begun to spin his web about his prey. Now he would weave the final threads himself, learning the best and subtlest torments to apply. Peregrine wanted his enemy to know why he was being destroyed; he wanted to be close enough to see fear and fury grow, and to glory in the ultimate destruction.

When they had cleared customs, Peregrine sent a message to Lord Ross Carlisle, who was important to his plans. Then he waited. The man known as Peregrine—warrior, wanderer, rich beyond avarice, hero to a mysterious people who lived beyond the bounds of British law—was good at waiting. But very soon, the time for waiting would be over.