The White Swan Affair

The White Swan Affair

4.0 1
by Elyse Mady
     
 

London, 1810

After the tragic death of her beloved, Hester Aspinall vowed never to be ruled by her passions again. Still, she is drawn to her landlord, handsome adventurer Thomas Ramsay—but she doesn't fool herself that a man of his station would look twice at a poor tailor's sister.

With the sea for a mistress, Thomas has no intention of

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Overview

London, 1810

After the tragic death of her beloved, Hester Aspinall vowed never to be ruled by her passions again. Still, she is drawn to her landlord, handsome adventurer Thomas Ramsay—but she doesn't fool herself that a man of his station would look twice at a poor tailor's sister.

With the sea for a mistress, Thomas has no intention of entering into matrimony. And yet, he can't get the plain-spoken and desirable Hester out of his mind, even though she's never tried to secure his attentions as other women do.

Everything changes the night Hester's brother is arrested during a raid on a gay brothel, the infamous White Swan. With no one else to turn to, and terrified Robert will hang for his crime, Hester accepts Thomas's offer to bear the cost of the defense. A true gentleman, Thomas expects nothing in return—but Hester can no longer deny her own desires...

She may offer her body eagerly, but can she protect her heart?

96,000 words

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mady (Something So Right) explores a dark side of history in this sympathetic romance set in 1810 London. Robert Aspinall is caught in a police raid on the White Swan, an infamous public house, and arrested for sodomy. As Robert languishes in the inhumane conditions of Newgate prison, awaiting trial and a probable sentence of hanging, his sister, Hester, tries unsuccessfully to gather money for his defense, only to be tossed into the street after her brother’s business is raided and ruined. Her sole remaining friend is their handsome landlord, Thomas Ramsay, who persuades her to stay at his home even though living with him would ruin her reputation. As Thomas and Hester work to free her brother, their hidden passion for each other can no longer be denied, despite Thomas’s roaming past and Hester’s tragic romantic history. Mady balances grim facts with sizzling romance in this well-researched tale. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426893797
Publisher:
Carina Press
Publication date:
05/21/2012
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
510,060
File size:
825 KB

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Read an Excerpt


Hester Aspinall knew something was wrong the moment Robert failed to appear at the breakfast table Monday morning.

Her brother was a creature of unshakeable habit. Only a calamity of the worst sort would dislodge him from his routine.

He'd gone out last night a little past six o'clock, to celebrate his forthcoming nuptials to Miss Charlotte Stroud, the very pretty, very well-jointured daughter of a London wool merchant.

In between freshening his cravat and washing his hands and face, he'd told her his destination—The White Deer? The White Hart?—and, quite emphatically, not to wait up, for he expected to be a great deal later than usual.

But Robert had not come home, late or otherwise.

Now, the tea had grown cold and the porridge had begun to congeal into a thick grey mass. With a sigh, Hester cleared the table. The kitchen of their third floor lodgings was even more oppressive than the front room, the bricks still radiating heat, as she filled the dishpan and set to washing up.

Since their removal to London three years previously, she could count on one hand the number of times her brother had deviated from his usual practices, for he was a young man with an uncommonly developed need to succeed.

During the week, he rose at six, washed and dressed, then ate his breakfast, insisting on grace before every meal. At seven o'clock, he would leave their small set of rooms on the third floor of number one Brewer's Court, stop briefly to bid their landlady, Mrs. Hannaford, good-day, then walked the three quarters of a mile to his shop, located in High Holborne, unlocking the doors at half past the hour and picking up from his tailor's bench the work he had left in readiness the day before.

Such was his practice every day from Monday to Saturday. From time to time, when he had an excess of jobs, Hester joined him, keeping his accounts and waiting on the clients who came to order new suits, jackets, waistcoats and breeches, helping them select cloth and buttons. But most days, she busied herself domestically, doing the marketing and mending, preparing their meals and keeping their rooms in order, and visiting among their small circle of acquaintances.

It grated at times. The only day that was ever different was the Sabbath and even that alteration was as regular as clockwork, for Robert made it a practice never to miss a sermon at the local parish church. Hester would have been satisfied with a little less evangelical zeal, but knowing how much she owed to her brother after their parents' deaths and all that he had done for her during her…misfortunes…she submitted with as much grace as she could summon to the minister's long-winded exhortations to goodness.

Through the open windows of the front room came the sounds of the busy city street outside, the disgruntled lowing of oxen and the heavy clatter of wooden casks being delivered to a nearby alehouse reminding Hester that the morning was progressing apace and that dawdling would not locate her brother. Quickly collecting the kettle from its metal hook, she poured scalding water over the dishes and left them to dry.

A thought occurred. Perhaps he had left a clue to his whereabouts in his room. Hurrying down the narrow hallway to her brother's bedroom, she stepped inside.

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The White Swan Affair 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DComfort More than 1 year ago
ABOUT THE BOOK: London, 1810 After the tragic death of her beloved, Hester Aspinall vowed never to be ruled by her passions again. Still, she is drawn to her landlord, handsome adventurer Thomas Ramsay—but she doesn't fool herself that a man of his station would look twice at a poor tailor's sister. With the sea for a mistress, Thomas has no intention of entering into matrimony. And yet, he can't get the plain-spoken and desirable Hester out of his mind, even though she's never tried to secure his attentions as other women do. Everything changes the night Hester's brother is arrested during a raid on a gay brothel, the infamous White Swan. With no one else to turn to, and terrified Robert will hang for his crime, Hester accepts Thomas's offer to bear the cost of the defense. A true gentleman, Thomas expects nothing in return—but Hester can no longer deny her own desires... She may offer her body eagerly, but can she protect her heart? REVIEW: Oh, what an intriguing read. Ms. Elyse Mady (author) knows how to build up the drama! This historical is unlike any other I have read as of yet – and many of you know, I LIKE TO READ! This piece started off with a punch and just kept going throughout. I found the characters a delight to follow and was able to relate to them all on different levels. The questionable aspects Ms. Mady brought up in the historical era were very well played. I found myself wishing the book didn’t end and can’t wait to read more from this lovely author. If you are looking for a different type of historical romance, want a chance at seeing something different, and yet still crave that spice, the sweet sigh, then definitely pick up this piece! Four and a half stars out of five for a job well done!