The Owl and the Pussycat by Dahlia Rose Genre: Historical Interracial Romance
They never knew who she was though she hid in plain sight. Among the people there was awe of her, and the way she managed to slip in to steal valuables and leave without a trace. Woman were offended because she wore tight men’s trousers and apparently the bounty on her head wasn’t just for money but for lust. There was a bigger reason, why stealing was necessary, the divide between the rich and the poor was vast, and she intended to fix it by hook…. or by being a crook. Now she heard the set ‘”The Owl’ on her trail. No matter to her because she had the intelligence and skill to outwit even their most willy investigator. She was Ella Covington, the burglar called, “The Pussycat.’ She would not be caught.
There was never a perfect crime just inept investigators and detectives who cheated people out of hard-earned money. The Pussycat was just another robber who would inevitably show their hand when over confidence came into play. A female burglar intrigued him especially when he uncovered her true identity. Now it was a cat and mouse game, to tease himself and to tempt her. Like two dueling swords they parried and each time it was simply delicious. Alas, there were bigger players on the board, and he grew impatient for his prize The growing attraction for the woman whose motivation eluded him had overflowed. This was a frivolity that could catch her a hangman’s noose. He would protect her and he wanted to make her his. He was, Duke Richard Vance and “The Owl’ always caught his prey.
The mark was set. It was almost too easy and that should have been her clue something was wrong. But it was too good to pass up, after her meeting with Boone Barnes, the same son of the man trusted by her mother. Ella knew that to help Diana and her children, the risk had to be taken. Johnathan Pierre and his wife, Brigitte Au Clair, were vastly rich and to be invited into their mansion meant you had the social status they deemed worthy.
The Au Clair home sat empty, as its owners were on safari and from there would be travelling to India and finally China. Everything was covered and the staff cut to only two people who kept the property tidy and the home clean of dust. It was ripe for the taking and from it Ella could have enough to do what was needed for her friend.
Boone’s information was directly from a disgruntled ex-employee. The Au Clairs had a hidden room where they hid part of their wealth. With it was not just jewels, but gold coins, which were Ella’s focus. They were easily hidden and used as payment and if Ella could pull this off, before they returned she would have more of their wealth in her grasp.
Low clouds hung over the waning moon, making the city seem darker at night. It was perfect for her to move over rooftops and scale the walls that led to luxurious gardens between some of the larger mansions. Sometimes there were lights in windows and light laughter could be heard, and at those houses she kept close to the ground when necessary. The Graystone mansion was the last house between her and the mark. Ella moved across it with sure feet while the family played the piano inside.
Her foot slipped, sending her body down part of the gabled roof that faced the street. The special shoes that her mother had created caught the gutter and she dug her hand into the rough clay tiles. Ella took the risk of glancing below and caught sight of the black helmets of two constables passing on the street. Their usual patrol took them through the streets of the wealthy but they rarely went down to the Devil’s Acre unless there was a body. Then it was just to throw the corpse in the back of a cart without an investigation.
She pressed herself against the dark tiles hoping she blended in with the shadows from the chimney. If they looked up, she may be caught but a slow breath of relief let her lips as they walked by, oblivious to her presence. Regaining her footing, the Au Clair house came into sight and a smile crossed her face.
There was no reason to enter the home from the roof because it was empty. She ran across the grass at the side of the home and climbed the trellis covered with flowered vines to a balcony. Using the lock picking tools of her trade, Ella made entry and went from the boudoir of the master suite to the hallway and down the massive marble steps that led down to the lower level.
Her feet made no sound and she winced when the unoiled hinges of the door made a loud creak as she opened it. From floor to ceiling were books. Titles filled each wall of the room and Ella longed to sit in the leather chaise lounge chair to read every one. It was her passion, one outside her mission to help everyone she could in the slums of London.
“Fifth row down, behind the desk,” Ella murmured as he fingers trilled across the leatherbound covers. “One, two, three, four, five, six… this one.”
She tilted the book from it position on the shelf and she heard a soft click. Boone’s information never steered her wrong. She pulled the bookshelf out and stepped inside, hoping her eyes would get accustomed to the darkness. One soft click flooded the room with light and Ella was frozen in her steps. Her eyes widened when she found Richard sitting in a chair facing the secret door, and he drained the glass that he held in his hand.
“R-Richard?” she stammered his name.
A small smile crossed his face. “Hello, Pussycat.”
The Owl and the Pussycat By Dahlia Rose
Dahlia Rose is the USA Today best-selling multi genre author from Urban fantasy to Romance with a hint of Caribbean spice. She was born and raised on the Caribbean island of Barbados and now currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her life revolves around her five kids, who she affectionately nicknamed "The Children of the Corn and her husband and longtime love who is also a honorable retired Army veteran. She has a love of dark fantasy, sci-fi, and the things that go bump in the night. With over seven dozen books published Dahlia has become a reader favorite. Not only because of her writing but her vivacious attitude in talking to her fans online and at various events. Her books feature strong heroines with a Caribbean or African American culture, that is showcased in the vibrancy of her words. Books and writing are her biggest passions, and she hopes to open your imagination to the unknown between the pages of her books.
I’m a Bajan gal, not many people know what that means unless they follow Rhianna. We’re both from the island of Barbados, its home base, it’s the blood in our veins and the sea is our mother. I spent most day on a beach with my toes in the sand ready a book while my siblings played in the water and in impromptu game of Cricket starts in the sand. Skip to now, fifteen years into my career and I live in Charlotte, NC with my family but Barbados isn’t far away. I’m working on a new cozy mystery series on the island and of course I took the optometry to go home for research
One of my favorite places on the island is The Animal Flower Cave. Its where Billy Ocean filmed his video Caribbean queen and after you go down the steps, its better to take off your shoes and go across the rocks. In fact better to wear a bathing suit because you can win in the left over pools when the tide goes down. The cave is flooded at high tide and at low tie you can touch the coral and watch them dart back into the rocks, hence the name. There is a guide to help you over the slipper or the rough bits but its worth every minute to hear the story of how it was found and marvel the beauty of the cave. Did I mention that on the cliff you can take some of the most amazing pictures of the cakes that you can’t get into, a restaurant and bar with the best rum punch ever.
I love my island home, the food and Bajans are the friendliest people you will meet in the Caribbean island chain. I went home for three weeks with my husband and the baby of the family aka the 12 year old Shark boy who turned into Aquaman for the duration of the trip. The low tides, crystal blue water and cloudless skis, was his happy place. Since I’m a research junkie, I spent time in records looking up Scottish lineage that came though the islands, including my husbands people. This came as a happy coincidence since my historical do feature wonderfully diverse characters from the islands. The Owl and the Pussycat is my latest release and features a heroine who has a Caribbean from Grenada and a sexy debonair duke who will take part in the cat and mouse game that they play.
Now if you are even in Barbados, visit the caves, both Harrisons and The Animal Flower Cave, sample all the foods and the best rum punch in the world and relax on the beaches that will ease all the stress from your shoulders. If I’m around, we’ll visit and share a cuppa tea and the sweet breads to match all sweet breads and teach you how to dance our way! Check out The Owl and The Pussy Cat, His Highland Queen and The Scottish Rogue, for a taste of the islands in Victorian England. Cheers!
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