August 21st, 2017
Home | Log in! or Register

Fresh Fiction
Fresh Pick
Todays_Pick
ZERO DAY

Schedule Call

Reviewer Application


August 'hot' reads!

Slideshow image


Since your web browser does not support JavaScript, here is a non-JavaScript version of the image slideshow:

slideshow image
Two obsessed alpha cowboys give the woman of their dreams exactly what she desires.


slideshow image
‘Til Death Do Us Bark…


slideshow image
First rule of surveillance--don't kiss the mark.


slideshow image
Once a desire this wild is loose, no one will ever control it...


slideshow image
Twice he has been close to the altar and still no duchess.


slideshow image
You always hurt the ones you love.


From London with Love

From London with Love, February 2017
Rebellious Brides #3
by Diana Quincy

Loveswept
Featuring: Emilia St. George; Hamilton Sparrow
ISBN: 0399177892
EAN: 9780399177897
Kindle: B01GYPPMLG
e-Book
Add to Wish List


Purchase



"Ruining her wedding is only the start of this man's misdeeds"

Fresh Fiction Review

From London with Love
Diana Quincy

Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted February 12, 2017

Romance Historical

I previously enjoyed 'Spy Fall' a historical romance about a pioneering lady parachutist, by Diana Quincy, so I was glad to read another of her works. Third in her series called 'Rebellious Brides' is FROM LONDON WITH LOVE. Emilia St. George's wedding day is not proceeding as planned; the man who jilted her five years previously appears on the steps of the church in Hanover Square and throws her over his shoulder. Emilia thinks he's either gone mad, or wants to elope with her himself; Hamilton Sparrow has recognised a hired killer and is trying to save the lady, but has no time to explain.

From this lively start we progress through an unlikely escapade. Rather than delivering Emilia to the safe hands of her family, and calling the Bow Street Runners, Hamilton rides off with her and takes her to the seaside town of Hastings. A nemesis follows, so luckily at twenty-four Emilia is strong enough to do some fighting. When matters are resolved temporarily, the society's favourite church is booked for a few weeks, so Emilia will have to wait for her wedding, which will give her the chance to travel and see art. Her intended, Edmund Worsely, is a diplomat. As she waits Hamilton talks to his boss at the Home Office, for he is secretly a Crown agent. He regretted not marrying Emilia but could not expose her to danger. Now the danger has found her anyway - perhaps due to the money she will inherit? Hamilton decides to stay close.

Be prepared for rather more allusion to and indulgence in sexual activity than found in most Regency tales. The point is well made that women could see male nude statues and paintings at the British Museum. Some women even sit and copy them. While well-off ladies could not work, they were encouraged to take up art as a hobby, and Emilia reveals a stronger backbone when defending her right to draw and paint. I also like her quick-thinking French maid, Sophie. Nice little details like Belgian lace adorn the tale but don't distract from the suspense.

Diana Quincy is a former television journalist. Her historical romances move along briskly, combining a rake with a skilled artist in this case, using danger to force them into each other's company. FROM LONDON WITH LOVE is an unusual adult romance with settings which have not been over-used. If you have read the earlier books in this series you will probably enjoy it right from the start, but it can stand on its own merits. Even if Hamilton Sparrow takes a while to grow on you. Really, ruining a girl's wedding!

Learn more about From London with Love

SUMMARY

With wedding bells ringing and a killer stalking from the shadows, a former British spy makes up for lost time with the one that got away in this thrilling Regency romance from the author of Spy Fall and License to Wed.

Emilia St. George is moments away from marrying the admired grandson of a duke when the man who once jilted her decides to kidnap her at the altar. It’s the second time in five years Hamilton Sparrow has ruined her wedding day, and Emilia isn’t about to forgive him. The mere sight of her ex-fiancé revives painful memories—and, most regrettably, aching desires that refuse to be ignored.

Scanning the guests at Emilia’s wedding, Sparrow spots a familiar face: an assassin he recognizes from his days as a spy in France. Whisking Emilia away, he’s pleasantly surprised by her newly formed curves. Could this be the same flame-haired slip of a girl once promised to Sparrow? And does the fop she still insists on marrying realize what a prize she is? True, Sparrow left Emilia at the altar. But he’s afraid that the only way to right that particular wrong is to risk the one thing he’s always guarded: his heart.

Excerpt

For the second time in five years, Hamilton Sparrow ruined Emilia St. George’s wedding day.

By all outward appearances, the occasion was proceeding as expected. St. George’s Church Hanover Square was filled almost to the galleries with spectators eager to witness the grand society wedding of an untitled heiress to the much-admired grandson of a duke, a promising diplomat who charmed everyone he met from the boulevards of Paris to the bazaars of Casablanca.

Emilia stared down the long church aisle, past the grand Corinthian columns, until her gaze found the elegant man to whom she would soon be bound for the rest of her natural life. Her intended, the Honorable Edmund Worsely, stood upright by the altar, his lithe form framed by the soaring stained-glass windows behind him.

But it was the image of another man that flashed before her, of another groom, with laughing blue eyes and sharp- edged features, who always made her insides feel like a warm Christmas pudding. The old pain throbbed in her chest again. I’m sorry, Emilia, he’d said the morning they were to be wed, but I cannot marry you. And she’d pretended to understand even as her heart shrank, withering until it was nothing but a shriveled black currant inside her chest.

Blast Hamilton Sparrow! He wasn’t even present, and yet he was still managing to ruin her wedding all over again. The specter of the man seemed to hover above, a lone devilish presence among the angelic spirits floating high up in the church rafters.

She exhaled, loud and sharp, determined to shove Sparrow’s memory out of her mind and into the past so she could truly focus on her husband-to-be. Edmund looked fearsomely dignified in pearl gray topped with a navy tailcoat, posture impeccable as always, his expression suitably serious for the auspicious occasion.

Her stomach turned over.

You can do this. The affirming chant repeated over and over in her head. She told herself the uneasiness slithering through her gut was due to normal wedding-day nerves and nothing more. All brides must have them. It was true that, at times, Edmund did seem to forget that she existed, not willfully or maliciously, of course, but almost as though she was an afterthought. But in other instances, he gave her his full focus, regaling her with stories of travel and discovery, mesmerizing her with the promise of the adventures they would soon share.

Emilia might not love Edmund, but she was enchanted by the life he could offer her. This alliance would give her everything she wanted: the chance to escape her humdrum country existence, to keep her promise to Grandpapa, to study and copy the greatest artworks ever created. To avoid the prospect of a long and lonely spinsterhood.

She stretched her neck from side to side, attempting to be discreet as she tried to ease the tension knotted there. She ran a hand along the décolletage of the white satin gown her mother had selected for her. The fine Belgian lace trim was itchy, the irritation causing her fair skin to become splotchy and uneven. To make matters worse, the lace lining of her matching oversized bonnetwhich was intended to hide the ridiculous shade of her hair—rubbed uncomfortably against the nape of her neck.

Edmund and the guests had yet to note her arrival, because she stood alone in the shadows of the vestibule. Her excited mother and chattering cousins had just left her to slip inside and take their seats before the ceremony began.

It was time.

She drew a fortifying breath and stepped forward on the black-and-white marble floor toward where her father stood a few feet away, waiting to escort her down the aisle to her future as Mrs. Edmund Worsely, to life as a woman married to man she respected and admired, but did not love.

“Pssst.”

She paused.

“Emilia.” The tone was low, masculine.

Chills shot down her back. She knew that voice. It had invaded her dreams for the past five years. But it couldn’t be. Sparrow wasn’t even in London. Last she’d heard, he was in Paris romancing his tarty mistress.

She peered into the shadows, fearful that wedding-day nerves had morphed into hallucinations. “Sparrow?”

“Come here.” The urgent words vibrated through her. “Now.”

It was him. Her temper flashed. Who was he to order her about? “In case you hadn’t noticed,” she snapped, “I’m a bit occupied at the moment.”

He stepped forward, emerging from the shadows. When the light illuminated his face, her heart dropped, and then soared, all at the same time. He was as beautiful as she remembered. His coal black hair highlighted an impossibly blue gaze and emphasized the precise cut of his cheekbones. A perfectly tailored deep blue tailcoat brought out the compelling shade of those eyes.

“What are you doing here?” she asked.

“You mustn’t go through with it.” His gaze was hard and intense, absent the humor that usually sparkled there. “I cannot allow it.”

Fool that she was, hope—warm and radiant—welled in her chest like a rose flowering in the sun. He meant to stop her wedding. Did he intend to finally claim her for himself?

“Whatever do you mean?” She held her breath and her heart beat faster as she waited for his answer.

“This is no time to talk.” He spoke brusquely. “Come.”

As she stared at his ungloved hand—powerful and long fingered with square blunt nails—long-simmering outrage, first kindled on their disastrous wedding day five years before, began to burn in her lungs. “Go away. I’m not about to let you ruin another wedding for me.”

A shadow passed over his eyes. “Emilia.”

The church organ began to play, its majestic strains reverberating off the church’s plastered walls. She didn’t recognize the musical piece. Edmund had chosen it. “There isn’t much time.” His probing gaze landed on the space behind her as if assessing something. “We have to get you out of here.”

She adjusted her giant bonnet. “The only place I am going is down the aisle to marry my betrothed.”

He did not reply. At least not with words. He simply stepped forward, scooped her off her feet, and tossed her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

Sparrow hadn’t meant to ruin her wedding day.

He’d come as a guest, invited by her father. But there was nothing to be done for it. The moment he spied Pierce Graves among the eager spectators outside the church waiting for a glimpse of the wedding couple, he’d known something was amiss. He could think of no good reason for the hired killer to attend a Mayfair society wedding.

A cheer had gone up within the crowd when Emilia emerged from her carriage minutes earlier, a mammoth bonnet shielding her face. The way Graves’s unwavering gaze tracked the bride until she entered St. George’s made Sparrow’s blood ice. He’d worked with Graves before, in another life, and recognized all of the signs of a professional planning his next kill. But why Emilia? He’d ponder that later, after he got her to safety.

“Put me down, you cretin!” Hanging upside down over his shoulder, Emilia wiggled her bottom, the slippery satin of her gown making it deuced difficult to keep a firm grasp on her.

Walking in long, purposeful strides, he slapped her bum and hissed, “Be still before I drop you on your head.”

“Ouch!” she yelped. “One of us has clearly already been dropped on his head.” She squirmed and kicked even more vigorously. To keep from losing his grip on her, he clamped a hand hard over her hips, which were fuller and far more womanly than he would have thought. The Emilia he remembered had been a narrow slip of a girl. “I swear, if you don’t put me down I shall bite you.”

Considering the hot outrage vibrating from her, he wouldn’t put it past her to take a chunk out of his arse, especially given that her face wasn’t far removed from his nether regions.

“What happened to you?” he asked her, at the same time sensing Graves coming up behind them. “You used to be quiet and biddable.” As he spoke, he swung around to plant Graves a facer. Caught unawares, the other man collapsed with a grunt, but Sparrow knew Graves well enough to know he wouldn’t stay down for long.

“What did you do?” Emilia shrieked, twisting her body for a glimpse of the injured man. “You hit him!”

“Indeed I did.” To make sure Graves would stay down, Sparrow slammed the point of his shiny Hoby boot into the man’s gut. Graves crumpled on the stone floor.

“What is wrong with you?” Emilia’s voice rose in alarm as she struggled to get down, kicking her legs below where his forearm gripped her across the knees. “Why are you accosting my guests?”

“I doubt you would have appreciated the gift he had in mind.” He scanned the vestibule for the quickest escape. Going out the front with the bride slung over his shoulder wouldn’t do. Spotting a door at the west end of the corridor, he ran toward it, his heart laboring hard under the burden he carried. Emilia had more meat on her than he recalled.

He reached the door and tried the latch, breathing a sigh of relief to find it unlocked. Pushing it open, he stepped inside, closing and bolting the door behind him before scanning the space. It was a meeting room of sorts, containing an oak table flanked by several ladder- backed chairs. Sparrow eyed the lone stained-glass window on the opposite wall.

“Put me down, you oaf.” Emilia stiffened her body in an attempt to get him to lose his grip.

With a stifled curse, he bent forward and set her down on her feet. “Don’t move,” he warned.

She stared at him with big, incredulous green eyes, their shade as intense as the brilliant jade necklace he’d bought Marie from Russia. The unwelcome memory of his former mistress burned through his innards like acid. Emilia pivoted and tried to unbolt the door, prompting recollections of the past to fly out of his mind.

He slammed a palm hard against the wood, preventing her from opening it. “What are you doing?”

“What am I doing?” She spun around, her eyes flashing, her cheeks coloring beneath the faint freckles fanning out from the bridge of her nose. “What am I doing? I’m trying to get married you big fat idiot!”

“There is no call for a lady to use such language,” he said absentmindedly, his real focus on the window.


What do you think about this review?

Comments

No comments posted.

Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!

 

 

 

 

Fresh Fiction contests

© 2003-2017 off-the-edge.net
all rights reserved

Google+ Google+