Amiens, France, 1916: Captain Julian Ashford, a British officer in the trenches of the Western Front, is waylaid in the town square by Kate, a beautiful young American. Julianís never seen her before, but she has information about the reconnaissance mission heís about to embark on. Who is she? And why did she track him down in Amiens?
New York, 2007: A young Wall Street analyst, Kate Wilson learned to rely on logic and cynicism. So why does she fall so desperately in love with Julian Laurence, a billionaire with a mysterious past?
What she doesnít know is that he has been waiting for her...the enchanting woman who emerged from the shadows of the Great War to save his life.
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“Outstanding…With a complicated romance, intriguing suspense, a dashing hero, a feisty heroine, and a fantastic but plausible time-travel explanation, this book will hit the mark for readers wanting something exceptional for their summer reading."
I knew it was a dream, a nightmare, but still I couldn’t break free into consciousness. I kicked upward toward the surface, thrusting with all my might, until my lungs burst with a scream that wouldn’t release. Someone called to me: distant, urgent.
And then I emerged, sweating, with Julian’s arms around me and his voice murmuring in my ear. “Sweetheart, wake up. Kate, it’s all right.”
I turned blindly into his chest. “You’re here,” I said, between heaving gasps of air. “You’re still here.”
“Of course I’m here. Shh. Of course I’m here.”
He held me against his body, enfolding me with himself, and gradually the panic died down. I concentrated on breathing slowly, on grasping at the solid physical details around me, anchoring me to reality: the sheets, the faint glow from the nightlight, the cool air entering my nose. Julian’s skin pressed into mine.
“Better?” he asked, after a minute.
“Yes,” I said.
A low chuckle rumbled from his throat. “Your first nightmare already. Is it all so very dreadful?”
I snorted into his chest. “Terrible. A severe case of endorphin overload. I may not live through the night.”
“Rubbish,” he said. “My endorphins are jolly well singing in my ears, and I’m not moaning on about it.”
“Oh, I don’t know.” I snaked my hand along his side and administered a sharp tickle. “I definitely heard moaning.”
“Look here. Stop that. Stop it, I say. Kate!” He doubled over and tried to roll away without falling off the bed.
I began laughing. “Oh my God. You’re ticklish. Come back here.”
“I am not . . . Kate, you’re rubbish . . . stop that at once!” His frantic hands manacled mine at last; he flipped me onto my back and held my wrists above my head. “Minx,” he muttered, kissing me. “You’ll pay for that.”
“You’re just . . . full of lovely . . . secrets . . . aren’t you?” I giggled, around his kisses.
“Mmm.” His body began to transform, to mold itself to mine; his lips edged downward, damp and scorching, along my throat and breasts. He drawled: “But not nearly as many as you, sweetheart.”
What is it, really, that makes a man a good lover? Beloved, I’ll do my best, but I’m rather a novice at all this, he’d said last night, fumbling with the hooks of my bra, and yet he’d gone on as if he possessed the secret map to my body: discovering hidden points of sensitivity I never knew existed, touching my flesh with a preternatural sensual attunement, delivering himself to me with every stroke. He allowed no hiding under sheets, no closed eyes, no defense whatsoever. It was like falling backward into a pit of extraordinary depth, trusting him to catch me; the most exquisite, excruciating vulnerability, made bearable only by the certainty that he felt it, too.
We lay afterward in tranquility, in wordless communion, hardly able to move; I on my side, one leg buried between his, studying the pattern our woven fingers made against his chest. I could feel his other hand tangle through my hair. His flushed skin seemed to melt downward through mine, layer by layer. “So,” I heard myself say, dreamlike, “are you absolutely sure you haven’t had any lovers in twelve years?”
“Let me think a moment.” A dramatic pause, and then: “Yes. Yes, quite sure.”
“Kate!” His head tilted upward. “You’re doubting me?”
“I’m just saying, you seem to know your way around. How to please me.”
“Well, for Heaven’s sake, I want to please you. I want to maintain you in a state of perfect drunken bliss. A dizzy hormonal stupor. Anything at all, you see, to entice you to soldier on with a lonely benighted chap who can’t”—he kissed the tip of my nose—“quite seem to see his way without you anymore.”
“Idiot.” I curled a lock of his hair tenderly around my finger.
He drew his hand along the curve of my waist, his smile deepening as he went. “Besides, it seems to me, since my pleasure is more or less a foregone conclusion, the main object of the exercise ought to be your pleasure.”
“Hmm. I never thought of it that way.”
“A rather elusive creature, I’ve heard. Fascinating sort of quarry.”
“Wait a minute. You’re hunting down my orgasms?”
His laughter burst out like a rifle salute. “Kate. You damned magnificent creature.” He rolled onto his back, bringing me with him. “Yes, my darling. That’s exactly what I’d like to do, on and on until the end of my life.”
“Well, you’re off to a flying start, I have to admit.”
He said nothing to that, only tucked my hair behind one ear with a shadowed smile. His eyes had lost all color in the dimness, depthless and unreadable. “So do you mind telling me about it?” he asked at last. “Your dream?”
I folded my arms across his chest and rested my chin. “It’s stupid. Just an anxiety dream. I get them every so often. Kind of ridiculous, since you’re the war hero; I should be soothing away your nightmares.”
“What are you anxious about?”
“I don’t know. I usually only have them before a big meeting, some sort of performance.” I touched his lower lip. “I had one the night before we met.”
“You were nervous?”
“Oh my God. Was I nervous? Do you have any idea how intimidating you are?”
“I am? I thought I was rather a nice chap, actually.”
I shook my head, incredulous, and slid back down to rest against his side. “Julian, you have kind of a hard-ass reputation, in a business setting. No offense.”
“Oh.” I could hear the bafflement in his voice. “And I’m still giving you anxiety dreams?”
“I don’t know. Maybe. It’s my subconscious, remember?”
“So I’ve managed to convince your conscious mind, but your subconscious still thinks I’m a bounder?”
I laughed. “Hold on. I’m the over-analyzer in this relationship, okay? Look, it’s no big deal.” I squeezed my eyes, forcing out the details. “I think it was like the one I had the night before our meeting. I can’t really recall it exactly. Just kind of panicky, trying to explain something to someone. Someone dear to me. You, maybe? And that person, that man, drifting slowly away from me, not understanding, and the panic sort of paralyzing me.”
“Explain what, exactly?”
“I don’t know. Something important. Something vital. Life or death.” I opened my eyes to Julian’s face, taut and intent beneath the shadows, and tried to push away the feeling of dread that insinuated itself into my brain as I spoke. “But it’s like we’re speaking two different languages, and the harder I try, the further away he floats. Bizarre, huh?”
He tucked my head under his chin and began to stroke my hair. “Kate,” he said hoarsely, “Kate.”
“Don’t,” I said, into the hollow of his throat. “It’s just my silly neurotic brain. Nothing to do with you. I trust you.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
This is a delicious story about the ultimate romantic fantasy: love that not only triumphs over time and common sense, but, once Kate overcomes Julian’s WWI-era ideas about honor, includes mind-blowing sex.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A full-throated love story…With [Williams’] gift for humor, snappy dialogue and swooning romance, there's plenty to enjoy and the promise of more enjoyable escapism to come."
"A sensational debut! OVERSEAS is a heady blend of wit, charm, and romantic sizzle, all wrapped around a tantalizing mystery that will constantly surprise and delight readers."
—Anne Fortier, New York Times-bestselling author of Juliet
“Overseas is an irresistible combination of romance, history, and imaginative storytelling. Set against the tumultuous backdrop of World War I and the glittering lights of today’s New York financial world, Beatriz Williams creates a memorable story of a timeless love. . . . I can’t wait to see what she does next!”
—Karen White, New York Times–bestselling author of The Beach Trees
“Overseas is one of those addictive stories that grab you and don’t let go. Beatriz Williams has an amazing storytelling talent. . . . I wanted to crawl into the book and stay there.”
—Lauren Willig, New York Times–bestselling author of the Pink Carnation series
“History meets romance meets suspense! Compelling, original and wildly romantic, Beatriz Williams’ prose is stunning and the plot edge-of-your-seat gripping. OVERSEAS is an absolute triumph—I loved every page.”
—Tilly Bagshawe, New York Times-bestselling author of Adored
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