Gossamer in the Darkness – Fantasyland Read Online Kristen Ashley

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Dark, Fantasy/Sci-fi, Paranormal, Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 89
Estimated words: 90426 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 452(@200wpm)___ 362(@250wpm)___ 301(@300wpm)

No neckcloth, so I could see his tan, corded throat, and it made my mouth water.

I’d been in that world three weeks. It all seemed like a sick joke in the beginning (and still did), including the clothes.

But although I would perhaps commit murder to see this guy in jeans, I was suddenly getting the clothes.

He had his arms crossed on his wide chest, his boots crossed at the ankles, and his lazy brown eyes with their lush lashes trained on me.

We stopped at the foot of the four steps that led to the front door.

A sudden wind swept through, taking wisteria petals with it, and they floated with the glitter in the air between us.

I’d already fallen in lust, but being that close to him, for the first time thinking this was a different kind of Disney, the adult kind, but it wasn’t from hell in the slightest, I fell a whole lot deeper.

Loren’s eyes moved down my length and then up, without showing even a smidgeon of real interest, and it was then I became uncomfortably mindful of the fact that I was on display.

A ware.

He was a dukeling.


And in this moment, he could take me.

Or pass.

“She’ll do,” he murmured.

My lips parted in shock.

They did this not only at his words.

They stayed this way when he turned and strolled into the house, disappearing in the shadows, not uttering another sound.

Chapter Three

Scarlett O’Hara



Pinkwick House

The Parallel

I stood, staring out the window at the gathering clouds, the same, figuratively, forming in my head.

Prior to his most recent betrayal, I hadn’t seen my father in over a year. Mom hadn’t seen him in a lot longer. Life was good. Healthy. She was dating that nice Keith. I had a decent job I liked that paid okay, and I loved our residents at the over-fifties community I managed.

We were steady.


Why did we both run to him when he called (or, as it was, texted)?

Yes, he said it was urgent.

Yes, he said he was terribly ill.

But he was a conman with a charlatan’s heart and a grifter’s soul, and his gut instinct was always to fend best for himself even if doing so meant he lay devastation in his wake.

We’d learned that time and again.

When did you stop hoping your father would become a worthwhile human being?

The answer to that question for me, apparently, was…on his deathbed.

Except, he hadn’t been on his deathbed.

He’d made another deal with another devil.

And anyway, why would someone text to say they were on their deathbed?

Then again, why did Ed Dawes do anything?

More importantly, why did I believe Ed Dawes when he did something?

Thunder rent the air and I jumped.

“That came on quickly,” Dad-not-Dad mumbled from where he was seated in the duke’s pretty yellow, cream and green sitting room, reading a paper behind me.

Loren had not shown his face again.

Ansley (he told me to call him Ansley, and not what Dad-not-Dad ordered me never to fail to call him: your grace, Lord Dalton, or Lord Copeland) had served us tea with scones and jam and cream (Lord, heavenly, I ate two, even if Dad-not-Dad stared daggers at me while I did, and the seams of my tight dress threatened to burst).

Ansley had then said he had a few things to see to, asked us if we would be all right on our own for half an hour, and when Dad-not-Dad fell all over himself to say yes (I kinda wanted to be shown to my room so I could unbutton a few buttons after tea), he left.

In that time, the storm had come in.

And I had found that standing made it easier for my dress to make room for the scones and cream.

“The carriages are still out there,” I announced.

These would be plural, seeing as Dad-not-Dad’s valet, and my lady’s maid, Idina, had been in a carriage behind us.

Our trunks had been brought in.

But the horses, who had been dragging those carriages for three days, were still hooked to them in what was becoming a rather whipping wind.

“The grooms will be having their own tea,” Dad-not-Dad muttered.

I turned to him. “The horses need tea too.”

His head came up and his brows knitted. “Horses don’t drink tea.”

“No, but they’ve been doing a hell of a lot more work than you, me, or the groomsmen have the last three days. So they should be somewhere warm, sheltered, with water, oats and maybe a few apples or carrots.”

I was talking out my ass, since I was a city girl and didn’t know anything about horses, but people were always feeding them apples and carrots and oats in movies.

“They’ll be seen to,” Dad-not-Dad dismissed.

“A storm is coming, they should be seen to now.”

“They’ll be seen to when they’re seen to, Maxine, it’s not your issue.”

“It is when I’m standing right here”—I swung an arm to the windows—“and I can see them.”