It Happened in Olde London

Three historical fiction novels set in London, England of olde …..

Mistress of My Fate (M)
by Hallie Rubenhold

Historian Rubenhold exploits her in-depth knowledge of eighteenth-century British society to page-turning advantage in the first installment of a trilogy detailing the often titillating adventures of Henrietta Lightfoot.

Although parentless, Henrietta is raised alongside her aristocratic cousins, the social lines that divide them clearly drawn. When Henrietta unexpectedly eclipses her cousin Catherine in the eyes of dashing Lord Allenham, and her true parentage is revealed, she must marry against her will or be cast aside completely.
Fleeing into the illicit arms of the handsome lord, who harbors secrets of his own, she begins to unravel the mystery of her own past. When her lover disappears, she is forced, as an unconnected woman of her time and place, to rely on both her guile and her feminine charms to survive in the seamy underbelly of respectable society while she continues to search for her missing paramour. Devilry, debauchery, and desire reign supreme in volume one of this colorful Regency romp.- Booklist

Bristol House
by Beverly Swerling

Swerling, best known for her City of Dreams quartet, adds a paranormal dimension to her latest novel, interweaving narratives set in contemporary and Tudor London. Commissioned by the Shalom Foundation to unearth some ancient artifacts from the Holy Land, recovering alcoholic and architectural historian Annie Kendall arrives in London determined to resurrect more than her career. After subletting a flat in Bristol House, Annie begins receiving disturbing visits by the ghost of a Carthusian monk. Initially fearing that she is hallucinating, she eventually joins forces with investigative reporter Geoffrey Harris who coincidentally looks just like the ghost and together they attempt to solve a present-day mystery that is firmly rooted in the past. Elements of romance, religious mythology, cultism, and the supernatural abound as this genre-blending thriller stretches back and forth through time to a suitably dramatic denouement. – Booklist

A Little Folly
by Jude Morgan

Blending the verbal style of Jane Austen and the sly humor of Georgette Heyer, this hardback edition of Morgan’s 2010 paperback follows siblings Valentine and Louisa Carnell after the death of their cruel, despotic father. Both see their sire’s passing as the gateway to a new and better life. They begin slowly with dinners at their Devonshire estate, which has seen no happiness since their mother’s death decades before. At these events, Louisa must quell the advances of the suitor her late father chose for her, the owner of a bordering estate who is cut from her father’s cloth. Fortunately Louisa has a confidant, a widower whose counsel she gravely regards. At the dinners, to which they invite their estranged cousins, Valentine falls for a married woman who runs a faro club in London. When everyone moves from the estate to London to partake of the celebrations after Napoleon’s defeat, Valentine gets embroiled with the fashionable crowd while Louisa tries to discover who she and her brother really are. – Booklist

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