Lady Emily Southwell and her three friends, Priscilla Tate and Daphne and Ariadne Courdebas, are determined that someday the world will speak in reverent tones of the year they made their debuts in London Society. Lady Emily is equally determined to take her rightful place among the famous artists of the Royal Society for the Beaux Arts. That is, until her longtime betrothed Lord Robert Townsend declares his intent to marry her and whisk her off into the countryside, immediately. What can the fellow be thinking! And why is handsome Bow Street Runner Jamie Cropper dogging Lord Robert’s steps, and Emily’s? It’s up to Lady Emily to use her art to uncover artifice and discover whether Lord Robert has something more up his sleeve than a nicely muscled arm. Along the way, a duke’s daughter might just form a perilous passion for a most unlikely suitor. This clean romantic mystery set in the Regency period features kisses only.
Here’s what others are saying about a previous version of the story:
“A charming, expertly crafted traditional Regency romance.”—The Chicago Tribune
“I really just cannot get over how good this book is! I urge you all to scurry to your closest book provider and pick up a copy as it is . . . AMAZING!!!” Awarded the site’s Gold Star for Excellence and a place in the Hall of Fame!--Teens Read Too
“I loved the mystery and romance in this novel! I was hooked from the first page to the last, and the best part was, this book was not overly obvious, so I was right there with Emily and her friends as they tried to solve the mystery surrounding Lord Robert!” Awarded 9.92 out of 10—The Book Vault
“Who are you?” Emily demanded, striding into the room. “What are you doing here?”
He offered her a bow, cap squashed in one hand. “Good evening, Lady Emily.”
He knew her name? She was certain she’d never met him before. She’d have remembered those broad shoulders, that confident air. His hair was the color of the sunset on a stormy day -- red and gold and brown blending in wild disarray, and his eyes were the gray of the storm. But his smile, well, his smile was positively wicked.
“Answer the question, if you please,” Emily said, forcing her mind to the moment. “What are you doing in my home? Who let you in?”
He shrugged, a ripple of muscle under his brown coat. “Your footmen are far too busy to attend to me.”
Emily gasped. “You sneaked in! Thief!” Small wonder she hadn’t recognized him. She did not make a habit of associating with thieves. Nor did she fear them. One shout, one cry, and a small army would attend her.
“Oh, there are thieves in London, all right,” he agreed, as if singularly unconcerned about capture. He waved a hand to encompass the room. “You’d better watch out, or you’ll lose one of these fine paintings.”
What fine paintings? His Grace had any number of wonderful pieces from ages past, as well as some truly horrid portraits of their ancestors. She wasn’t sure which he had ordered brought to London to decorate the townhouse.
But as she looked around the room, she recognized each painting as hers. The Battle of Salamanca hung over the fire, The Battle of Hastings was against the far wall, and The Battle of the Nile was to her right. It had been one of her first, when she hadn’t quite mastered perspective. The British and French ships were all jumbled. He could not be much of a thief if he thought it fine art.
So who exactly was he?