– The Magic of Wor(l)ds is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free.
I’m grateful of receiving a free copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review of this book. –
Today I’m delighted to be on the ‘A Stolen Knight’s Kiss’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I’ll be sharing an extract, but first I have some information
About the Author :
Melissa Oliver is from south-west London where she writes sweeping historical romance and is the winner of The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers 2020 for her debut, The Rebel Heiress and the Knight.
About the Book :
Captured by a knight…
Rescued by his kiss!
When orphan Eva loses the father-figure who’d protected her on the streets of London, she suspects the Knights of Fortitude. But when she steals information from them, she’s caught by brooding knight Nicholas. Learning he might not be the villain after all, she puts her distrust aside to work with him, yet Eva must stay focussed – and not get distracted when they share a stolen kiss!
And now it’s finally time for the
In this scene- Nicholas d’Amberly meets with Eva Siward in a tavern on London Bridge and makes a bargain with her- the return of the pouch that she had stolen from him, for the return of her friend…
Nicholas swallowed down his amusement as the woman mustered all the dignity and poise befitting a lady rather than a conniving thief—his eyes skimmed her from her head down to her toes—albeit an inelegant lady at that. And while he could understand her apprehension at his coming alone, it had been a necessity to protect both himself and the secret work he and The Knights Fortitude did for the Crown. And it had been imperative that the woman had come alone and without any accomplices who might have scuppered his aim to regain the pouch, with not just the important missive it contained but also his mother’s ring.
After all, Eva Siward had gone to great lengths to steal it from him in the first instance so, in truth, it was not outside the realm of possibility for her to use underhand methods to renege on their agreement. Besides, he wanted more from her. He needed answers regarding the men who had hired her. But the only way to achieve his aims was to put his questions to her in a place out of earshot. Somewhere safe.
‘Where are we going?’ she mumbled as he led her through the narrow hall at the back of the tavern.
‘All shall become clear very soon.’
‘I can hardly wait,’ she said wryly.
‘Good, I do aim to please.’ He chuckled softly despite himself as he grabbed a flaming torch from the rusty sconce on the wall. ‘In fact, I had hoped to engage your anticipation.’
‘Indeed, I am all agog, Sir Nicholas.’
He watched her from behind as they made their way down a dozen steps that led to a damp, dark narrow hallway and bit back a smile. Eva Siward was indeed as inelegant and ungainly as he had initially observed, dressed as she was in a long flowing woollen kirtle flapping about her feet and a short cloak draped over the shoulder. Yet it was more than her attire but the way she fidgeted with her veil, the long strides she took when walking and the way the woman had slurped and tossed the ale back in the tavern that amused and surprised him most. Once again, he wagered that it had not been the first time that the young woman had dressed as a boy when he had first encountered her. But then as a London thief it was evidently useful and prudent to disguise herself as she evidently did.
They reached the dead-end of the hallway, moisture skimming the surface of the walls.
‘Where to now, then?’ she muttered, turning to face him.
‘Now we venture below.’ He nodded to the trapdoor beneath the rushes on the floor as he passed her the flaming torch. He knelt and pulled open the square wooden door with the metal ring handle, revealing the River Thames lapping and surging around a waiting skiff far below them. Under London Bridge itself, concealing their descent, this was a highly effective means for The Knights Fortitude to get in and out of the city without arousing any notice. Nicholas could take no chances with this woman, in case she had other accomplices, or even the man who had hired her, ready in wait for him outside the tavern.
She snapped her head around and then shook her head. ‘I am not going down that…that ladder. And I am not going on that thing. Not with you.’
‘It does not seem as though you have much of a choice, mistress,’ he sighed. ‘It’s either that or terminate our agreement here and now.’
‘You are despicable and dishonourable, Sir Nicholas.’
He forced himself to grin, hiding a spark of irritation at being described as such. ‘So I have been told by many a good woman. Not that I would put you in their esteemed company, Mistress Eva.’
Her eyes flashed. ‘I would never expect anything less, sir. We thieves would never dream of being likened to real ladies. After all, we are nothing but the lowest of the low, after all.’
‘Whatever you say, mistress.’ He chuckled. ‘But they’re your words, not mine.’
‘I do not even know whether this is a highly inventive ruse to entrap me for whatever nefarious reason you exalted Knights of the Crown might have.’
‘What an extraordinary imagination you have, mistress.’ He raised a brow, crossing his arms over his chest. ‘And the only entrapment I have in mind is to get you on that skiff, so that we can be away. In fact, the sooner you board it, the sooner you shall be reunited with your friend.’
‘Do you swear to it?’
‘Solemnly. Now, shall we?’
The Magic of Wor(l)ds