Another Monday but not without little something to make it a little sweeter! It's A Duchess Monday here on Bookin' It Reviews and I've chosen a book that I haven't read, but as usual, have on my to-be-read pile as of yet untouched.
So let's all take a break from our Mondays and sneak in a little reading from Caroline Linden's One Night in London. I know I'm a bad influence but it can't all be about work right? ;)
If you've read this book please share your thoughts in the comment section. I love to hear what you all think of the books you guys read.
One Night in London
The Truth About the Duke
Back of the Book
A bargain that was all business . . . and pure passion.Neither wealth nor beauty will help Lady Francesca Gordon win custody of her young niece Georgina, saving the girl from a cruel stepmother; she needs London’s top solicitor for that. But when Edward de Lacey, son of the powerful Duke of Durham, hires away the one man who can do the job, Francesca decides Edward himself must champion her case . . . if only she can melt the dashing lord’s stony heart.Edward has reason to be guarded, though. London’s tabloids have just exposed a secret that could ruin his entire family. When Francesca offers a unique chance to undo the damage, Edward is forced to agree to a partnership . . . and now, each moment together feeds the flames of his scandalous longing for the passionate widow. But when Georgina disappears, fate will test them both . . . and leave their love hanging in the balance.
Francesca was quickly discovering that she wasn’t quite as prepared for this evening as she had thought.
She wasn’t worried about Sloan. He had replied to her note with a great deal of warmth and alacrity. He might not be anticipating the same evening she was, but he would be here, and she refused to consider the chance that she might fail to persuade him. If nothing else, Sloan appreciated the value of having people in his debt, and this would put her—and Lord Edward—very much in his debt.
But inviting Lord Edward to her house, and seeing him there, was more jarring than expected. From the moment he first stepped into the house, darkly somber in his evening clothes, he seemed to take in everything in a glance before fastening his attention on her, and now he sat and watched her over his brandy glass with those inscrutable gray eyes. Francesca felt on edge. He looked taller here in her bright, cozy parlor than in the chilly blue salon in Berkeley Square, where the high ceiling dwarfed them both. She had dressed very carefully for tonight, in one of her favorite gowns that made her feel strong and beautiful. Female beauty was a form of power, and tonight she needed every advantage she could find. It was meant much more to beguile Gregory Sloan than Edward de Lacey, but the longer she sat under Lord Edward’s regard, the more aware she felt of every whisper of the silk against her body. She could almost tell when he was looking at her; her skin seemed to tingle. There was nothing offensive or importunate in his gaze. He just watched her with a directness she wasn’t used to, as if she were of immense interest to him. Not even Alconbury fixed his attention on her so completely.
And strangely, she didn’t find it bothersome, just unsettling. As if someone who should have taken no notice of her had suddenly become deeply interested. She didn’t know how to respond to his interest. Of course, he was interested in what she could do for him, and perhaps in what he would be required to do for her. She was a little surprised when he asked about Georgina, but she could hear the sincerity in his voice when he spoke of family. Of course, his family had been threatened as well, so perhaps he understood, in a way, how she felt and why she acted as she had.
She was glad when he accepted more brandy. It gave her something to do, and at the same time another excuse to look at him. Even as he was, at ease with a brandy in hand, he looked controlled and reserved. She hoped he would remain so, at least as long as it took her to convince Gregory Sloan to print a retraction. If he were to lash out at Gregory and begin an argument, her whole plan could end in disaster.
Fortunately, the guest of honor arrived then, a good quarter hour before she had specified. Francesca rose to her feet at the sound of the door knocker, smoothing her hands over her skirt and composing herself for the following performance, as Lord Edward had called it. He rose as well. Without a word he moved to the fireplace and leaned one elbow against the mantel, as if he were a welcome and frequent guest in her home. She gave him a nod of approval, then turned as Mrs. Hotchkiss opened the door for Sloan.
He strode in with a look of victory about him, but stopped abruptly as he saw Lord Edward.
Francesca went toward him, hands outstretched. “Mr. Sloan,” she said warmly, “how lovely of you to come by.”
He raised her hand to his lips. “As if I would refuse any invitation from you.”
She laughed lightly, ignoring his implied meaning. “A lady must never presume these things. But here—there is someone I particularly wish you to meet. May I introduce you to my friend?” At his curt nod, she turned to the other man. “Edward, this is Mr. Gregory Sloan. Gregory, may I present Lord Edward de Lacey?”
His expression stiffened at the name, but Sloan bowed every bit as politely as Lord Edward did.
“May I pour you a drink?” Francesca asked her new guest.
Sloan said nothing for a moment, his eyes on Lord Edward. “My dear Francesca—” he began softly.
“Oh, yes, you know I had an ulterior motive in inviting you tonight.” She poured a generous brandy and pressed the glass into his hand before seating herself. “But really, Gregory, how could you print such things and not expect to stir up a tempest?”
What reviewers are saying about One Night In London...
"[V]ividly drawn characters, engaging plot and wonderful chemistry between the leads."
"[S]eductive and compelling, with an air of mystery to round things out quite nicely… Be sure to pack One Night in London in your beach tote this summer—you won't want to miss this one."
—Eye on Romance
"[A] wonderfully entertaining historical romance."
Your Turn! What did you think about the snippet? Author? Talk historical romance with me! Who is your favorite historical romance author and why?