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Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas Read Online (FREE)

Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas Read online

Read Hello Stranger (The Ravenels, #4) by Lisa Kleypas full novel online for free here.

About the author

Lisa Kleypas is the author of a number of historical and contemporary romance novels that have been published in fourteen languages. In 1985, she was named Miss Massachusetts and competed in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City. After graduating from Wellesley College with a political science degree, she published her first novel at age twenty-one. Her books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller lists. Lisa is married and has two children.

Visit Lisa Kleypas online:

www.lisakleypas.com

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Chapter 1

 

London

Summer, 1876

 

Someone was following her.

The uneasy awareness crept along the nape of Garrett’s neck until the fine hairs stood on end. Lately she had the feeling of being watched whenever she went on her weekly visit to the workhouse infirmary. So far there had been no evidence to justify her unease—no glimpse of a person behind her, no sound of footsteps—but she could feel him somewhere close.

Carrying her leather doctor’s bag in her right hand and a hickory cane with the other, Garrett continued to walk at a brisk pace. Her gaze took in every detail of the environment. The East London parish of Clerkenwell was not a place to be careless. Fortunately, she was only two blocks away from the new main road, where there would be a hansom cab for hire.

As she passed the grates that covered Fleet Ditch, noxious fumes wafted upward and made her eyes water. She would have liked to cover her mouth and nose with a scented handkerchief, but that wasn’t something a resident of the parish would do, and she wanted to blend in.

The soot-blackened tenements, built as close as a row of teeth, were eerily quiet. Most of the dilapidated buildings had been condemned and closed in preparation for a new development site. The glow from the lamps on either end of the street strained through the fog that had settled in the recent summer calms, nearly obscuring the bloodshot moon. Soon the usual assortment of hucksters, pickpockets, drunkards, and prostitutes would emerge to crowd the area. Garrett intended to be long gone by then.

But her pace faltered as a few figures emerged from the reek and gloom. It was a trio of soldiers dressed in off-duty uniforms, laughing raucously as they advanced in her direction. Garrett crossed to the other side of the street, keeping to the shadows. Too late: one of them had caught sight of her and was swerving in her direction.

“Here’s luck,” he exclaimed to his companions. “A handy lightskirt for our evening sport.”

Garrett surveyed them coolly, while her grip tightened on the crook handle of her cane. The men were obviously the worse for drink. No doubt they’d been loitering at a tavern all day. There were few amusements to occupy common soldiers during their off-duty hours.

As they approached, Garrett’s heartbeat escalated. “Allow me to pass, gentlemen,” she said crisply, crossing the street once again.