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Gone by Nightfall


On the eve of revolution, Charlotte has to protect her family and flee Russia before it’s too late.

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Full Description

It’s 1917, and Charlotte Mason is determined to make a life for herself in czarist Russia. When her mother dies, Charlotte is forced to put her plans to go to medical school aside to care for her unruly siblings. Then a handsome new tutor arrives. Charlotte has high hopes that he’ll stay, freeing her up to follow her dreams of becoming a doctor. But there’s more to Dmitri that meets the eye.

Just when she thinks she can get her life back, Russia descends into revolution and chaos. Now, not only does Charlotte need to leave Russia, she needs to get her siblings out too--and fast.

Can Charlotte flee Russia, keep her siblings safe, and uncover Dmitri’s many secrets before she runs out of time?


Before I could reach for it, another hand appeared and picked it up. I looked up to see a young man in the dazzling white dress uniform of the Imperial Horse Guards standing in front of me. His image wavered and the room grew hotter. I closed my eyes and when I opened them again, I realized I was not seeing a ghost. Pavel would never come back, not even as a spirit, since he was buried a long way away in an unknown grave on a battle field.

This young man was not quite as tall as Pavel had been, though he had the same blondish hair and dark eyes. The line of his jaw wasn’t quite as square and there was something about him that made him look out of place in the uniform, though I couldn’t pinpoint what that was.

He held out the paper. I snatched it out of his hand and squeezed my own tight around it as if it was going to somehow jump out and open up by itself.

I saw a shudder pass through him and I noticed he had a cane gripped in his other hand. His fingers were very long and white against the ebony black of cane and he wore a gold ring with some sort of bird on it. It was only then I noticed what could only be a bulky bandage around one knee that showed where he was injured.

“Where did you come from?” I blurted out. I wanted to know if he’d heard the conversation.

“I’ve been sitting over there.” He pointed to behind me and I twisted around to see a small table nearly hidden by some of the potted plants. He motioned to his leg. “Dancing does not agree with me at the moment.”

The table wasn’t close enough so that he could have overheard the baron and I, which was a relief. Nevertheless, I wished this young man would go away.

“You managed to get a chocolate mouse,” he said, motioning to my plate. “Lucky you. Those were my sister’s favorites.” His stared down at the plate of chocolates, as if transfixed by them.

I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t just snap my fingers to get his attention or get up and leave. “Would you like one?”

He gave a start and turned his gaze back to me, then his eyes flicked to the paper. So he’d seen the baron give it to me.

I felt the dampness in my palms again.

He shifted his weight, another shudder passing through him. When he spoke, I could tell it was taking some effort for him to get the words out. “I see you are acquainted with Baron Eristov. Have you heard the old saying 'Be friends with the wolf but keep one hand on the axe'? In the baron’s case, I’d make that two hands and I’d also make sure the axe was very sharp.”

In another circumstance I might have been interested to see what he knew about the baron. With a piece of treason in my hand, I didn’t want to say anything that would encourage him to continue talking.

I stood up and picked up the plate with my other hand. “I have to be going now.”

“Wait, if you could give me just a moment,” he said. “I wanted to meet you earlier but I couldn’t find anyone to do a proper introduction and I couldn’t ask you to dance. I’d like to talk to you.”

As I walked away, I called back over my shoulder. “I’m sorry, I really have to be going. Perhaps next time.” I knew I was being very rude but I didn’t need to know any more handsome young soldiers who would disappear within weeks. I couldn’t play the game of pretending everything was fine and I’d write them cheerful letters waiting for them to return in triumph and then my heart would be ripped out and crushed when news came of their death. No more. One had been enough.


"Will be well loved by historical fiction fans; still action-packed and intriguing for reluctant readers." —School Library Journal

"One of a kind. ... Once I started to read it I couldn’t put it down, I wanted to know more about these amazing characters and their journey to something better." —Book Nerd Becky

"Perfect for fans of Russian history! ... An enjoyable read that is perfect for a snowy day snuggled up with a warm cup of tea!" —Treestand Book Reviews

All Is Fair:

A Junior Library Guild Selection

"Amid spy intrigue, coded messages, fairly improbable escapes, a budding romance, and bold derring-do, our quick-thinking, thoroughly engaging protagonist triumphs and the plot never slows. Garretson reaches beyond adventure, too, providing a haunting nuance to the horrors of war through her heroine’s eyes. ... An action-packed, yet sobering journey into the war to end all wars." —Booklist

"This is the sort of book you want to hide in your closet and read so that no one disturbs you until you're completely finished." —Samantha Hastings, author of The Last Word