Triumph–and a tryst…
For a moment she thought her eyes were deceiving her, that fatigue and excitement were making her hallucinate. Because the man coming towards her, his face formal and unsmiling, was the last one she’d expected to see tonight. Or any other night, for that matter.
Robin Pendarvis. Here. In London.
Like one in a trance, she watched him approach, cutting through the crowd with the swift, purposeful stride she had loved in him. A few of the fashionably dressed throng glanced at him in mingled curiosity and irritation, but none attempted to deter him. And then he was before her, close enough to touch if she stretched out her hand… as she must not do, lest she lose herself once more. Someone of her own, a voice half-wry, half-mocking, whispered in her head. Except that he hadn’t been–or only for a little while.
His voice was the same, deep and resonant, its slight Cornish burr more of an intonation than an accent and much fainter than her own when she’d first come to London as a wide-eyed debutante. Nor did he look so different from the way he had four years ago. Thirty-one now, and so no longer in his first youth: perhaps a little leaner, with some faint lines about his eyes and mouth. But his dark-brown hair was still thick, his eyes still blue and piercing. A visionary’s eyes, that saw how things might be and strove to transmute them into reality.
And how she’d loved that in him.
The only thing he hadn’t been able to envision, at the last, was a future for them, together. But that had been her decision as much as his. No rancor between them, ever–she’d been determined on that score–but regrets enough to last a lifetime, aching continually, like an old wound in inclement weather.
She was still staring, tongue-tied and transfixed. Remember who you are, Sophie told herself. If not a diva, she was still a professional singer of some note, no longer a schoolroom miss to be thrown into confusion by a chance encounter. Shaking off the paralysis, she swallowed dryly and managed to summon a response. “Mr. Pendarvis. Good evening–you are looking very well.”
The angular planes of his face seemed to relax at her words. “As are you, Miss Tresilian, and sounding even better. Magnificent, in fact–I congratulate you.”
Sophie found she could smile, though the expression felt strange and unfamiliar on her face. “Thank you.”
His eyes warmed, their cool blue brightening to a hue that reminded her of a sunlit summer sky. “I can’t say that I’m surprised, however. I knew you were destined for a great future, from the moment I first heard you sing.”
Memory stirred, seductive and dangerous as a siren’s song. “Thank you again,” Sophie said hurriedly, “but I still have so much to learn. I am–glad to see you here tonight. It’s always good to see a familiar face. What brings you to London?”
His face grew remote again. “Some business, of a personal nature.”
“I see.” Sophie tried to sound neutral. “Well, I am honored that you found the time to attend this concert.”
A smile softened his features. “I would not have missed it for the world.” He paused, his eyes intent on her face. “Miss Tresilian, I wondered if we might have a private word.”
Sophie felt her pulse quicken, along with a strange flutter of what was either excitement or apprehension just behind her midriff. “A private word?” she echoed faintly.
Robin nodded. “About something that may concern us both–”
He broke off, glancing over his shoulder as the hum of conversation around them suddenly intensified. Following the direction of his gaze, Sophie saw more visitors coming in. Soon it would be impossible for that private word, if it weren’t already. And from the look she saw on Robin’s face, he’d come to the same realization.
Turning back to her, he asked almost abruptly, “Miss Tresilian, do you still ride in the mornings?”
She moistened her lips. “I do. When I can, that is.”
“In Hyde Park?”
She nodded confirmation, aware of the press of people around them, the escalating buzz of countless voices praising, exclaiming, criticizing . . .
He leaned in, his voice pitched for her ears alone. “The Rotten Row, then? Between the hours of nine and ten o’clock?”
“Yes.” The lone syllable emerged more as a breath than as a word, but he appeared to have no difficulty hearing it.
He drew back, spoke in the same low tone. “Until then, Miss Tresilian.”
A sketch of a bow, then he was gone, threading his way through the crowd. Hemmed in by the throng, Sophie could only watch as he attained the doorway and disappeared through it.
As completely as he’d disappeared from her life four years ago.
“Written with a lyrical grace reminiscent of Rosamunde Pilcher, Pamela Sherwood’s A Song at Twilight spins a powerfully romantic tale of two honorable, star-crossed lovers trying to find their way back to each other’s arms.” – Mary Jo Putney, New York Times bestselling author of Sometimes a Rogue
“Rich with drama and mystery, Robin and Sophie’s love story is a sweeping tale filled with the drama of the Cornish landscape and lyrical yearning of the music Sophie sings.” – Teresa Grant, author of The Paris Affair
“Moving, lyrically written, and superbly inventive, this late Victorian tale has a dash of mystery and more than one startling plot twist to put a refreshing spin on the typical tender reunion story. A delightful way to spend an afternoon.”–Library Journal, Starred review
“A SONG AT TWILIGHT by Pamela Sherwood hits all the right notes. Even with the varying tempo and key changes, it crescendos nicely and resolves in a happy fermata.”—Victoria Lane, The Romance Reviews, 4 stars
“One of those romance novels that you savor all the way through and know you will sample again. It’s “a keeper” . . . featuring two rich, complex characters”—Night Owl Reviews, Top Pick, 4.5 stars
“A love story to savor”—Long and Short Reviews, 5 stars
Available from Sourcebooks Casablanca