Esce 'Not Quite a Husband', il nuovo romanzo di SHERRY THOMAS

SHERRY THOMAS (http://sherrythomas.com/) è la mia autrice di historical romance preferita del 2008 con Private Arrangements,( vedi qui), romanzo attualmente in lizza ai RITA Awards 2009 per ben due categorie! Come Migliore Opera Prima e Miglior Romanzo Storico e tutte le volte che l'ho contattata, si è sempre mostrata disponibile, simpatica e gentilissima. ( Ah,fra gli altri, Sherry con PA ha anche vinto il Premio 2009 delle Lettrici di All About Romance come Migliore Autrice Esordiente.Vedi qui.)
Segno della sua gentilezza è anche avermi spedito una copia firmata con dedica del suo nuovo romanzo, Not Quite a Husband, che esce in questi giorni negli USA. Va da sè che non vedo l'ora di leggerlo e sapendo già d'anticipo che, come al solito, mi piacerà, perchè adoro il suo stile, non posso che consigliarlo a tutte le amanti del genere a cui piace leggere in inglese.

E sarebbe anche ora che si decidessero a tradurre questa splendida autrice anche in italiano!

Ecco il messaggio di Sherry ...

... la sua dedica...

...ma soprattutto ecco il romanzo !!!

Their marriage lasted only slightly longer than the honeymoon—to no one’s surprise, not even Bryony Asquith's. A man as talented, handsome, and sought after by society as Leo Marsden couldn't possibly want to spend his entire life with a woman who rebelled against propriety by becoming a doctor. Why, then, three years after their annulment and half a world away, does he track her down at her clinic in the remotest corner of India?

Leo has no reason to think Bryony could ever forgive him for the way he treated her, but he won't rest until he’s delivered an urgent message from her sister—and fulfilled his duty by escorting her safely back to England. But as they risk their lives for each other on the journey home, will the biggest danger be the treacherous war around them—or their rekindling passion?

Come inizia...
PROLOGUE

In the course of her long and illustrious career, Bryony Asquith was the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, almost all of which described her appearance as "distinguished and unique, characterized by a dramatic streak of white in her midnight-dark hair."

The more inquisitive reporters often demanded to know how the white streak came about. She always smiled and briefly recounted a period of criminal overwork in her twenties. "It was the result of not sleeping for days on end. My poor maid, she was quite shocked."

Bryony Asquith had indeed been in her twenties when it happened. She had indeed been working too much. And her maid had indeed been quite shocked. But as with any substantial lie, there was an important omission: in this case, a man.

His name was Quentin Leonidas Marsden. She'd known him all of her life but never gave him a thought before he returned to London in the spring of 1893. Within seven weeks of meeting him again, she proposed. Another three months and they were married.

From the very beginning they were considered an unlikely pair. He was the handsomest, wildest, and most accomplished of the five handsome, wild, and accomplished Marsden brothers. By the time of their wedding, at age twenty-four, he'd had a paper read at the London Mathematical Society, a play staged at St. James's Theatre, and a Greenland expedition under his belt.

He was witty, he was popular, he was universally admired. She, on the other hand, spoke very little, was not in demand, and was admired only in very limited circles. In fact, most of Society disapproved of her occupation—and the fact that she had an occupation at all. For a gentleman's daughter to pursue a medical training and then to go to work every day—every day, as if she were some common clerk—was it really necessary?

There were other unlikely marriages that defied all naysayers and prospered. Theirs, however, failed miserably. For her, that was; she'd been the miserable one. He seemed scarcely affected. He had a second paper read at the mathematical society; he was more lauded than ever.

By their first anniversary things had quite deteriorated. She'd barred the door to her bedchamber and he, well, he did not wallow in celibacy. They no longer dined together. They no longer even spoke when they occasionally came upon each other.

They might have carried on in that state for decades but for something he said—and not to her.

It was a summer evening, some four months after she first denied him his marital rights. She'd returned home rather earlier than usual, before the stroke of midnight, because she'd been awake for seventy hours—a small-scale outbreak of dysentery and a spate of strange rashes had her at her microscope in the laboratory when she wasn't seeing to patients.

She paid the cabbie and stood a moment outside her house, head up, the palm of her free hand held out to feel for raindrops. The night air smelled of the tang of electricity. Already thunder rumbled. The periphery of the sky lit every few seconds, truant angels playing with matches.

When she lowered her face Leo was there, regarding her coolly.

He took her breath away in the most literal sense: she was too asphyxiated for her lungs to expand and contract properly. He aroused every last ounce of covetousness in her—and there was so much of it in her, hidden in the tenebrous recesses of her heart.

Had they been alone they'd have nodded and walked past each other without a word. But Leo had a friend with him, a loquacious chap named Wessex who liked to practice gallantry on Bryony, even though gallantry had about as much effect on her as vaccine injections on a corpse.

They'd been having excellent luck at the tables, Wessex informed her, while Leo smoothed every finger of his gloves with the fastidiousness of a deranged valet. She stared at his gloved hands, her insides leaden, her heart ruined.

"...awfully clever, the way you phrased it. How exactly did you say it, Marsden?" asked Wessex.

"I said a good gambler approaches the table with a plan," answered Leo, his voice impatient. "And an inferior gambler with a desperate prayer and much blind hope."

It was as if she'd been dropped from a great height. Suddenly she understood her own action all too well. She'd been gambling. And their marriage was the bet on which she'd staked everything. Because if he loved her, it would make her as beautiful, desirable, and adored as he. And it would prove everyone who never loved her definitively wrong.

"Precisely," Wessex exclaimed. "Precisely."

"We should leave Mrs. Marsden to her repose now, Wessex," said Leo. "No doubt she is exhausted after a long day at her noble calling."

She glanced sharply at him. He looked up from his gloves. Even in such poor soggy light, he remained the epitome of magnetism and glamour. The spell he cast over her was complete and unbreakable.

When he returned to London, everyone and her maid had been in love with him.

He should have had the decency to laugh at Bryony, and tell her that an old-maid physician, no matter the size of her inheritance, had no business proposing to Apollo himself. He should not have given her that half smile and said, "Go on. I'm listening."

"Good night, Mr. Wessex," she said. "Good night, Mr. Marsden."

Two hours later, as the storm shook the shutters, she lay in her bed shivering—she'd sat in the bath too long, until the water had chilled to the temperature of the night.

Leo, she thought, as she did every night. Leo. Leo. Leo.

She bolted upright. She'd never realized it before, but this mantra of his name was her desperate prayer, her blind hopes condensed into a single syllable. When had mere covetousness descended into obsession? When had he become her opium, her morphia?

There were many things she could tolerate—the world was full of scorned wives who went about their day with their heads held high. But she could not tolerate such pitiable needs in herself. She would not be as those wretches she'd witnessed at work, wild for the love of their poison, tenderly fueling their addiction even as it robbed them of every last dignity.

He was her poison. He was that for whom she abandoned sense and judgment. For the lack of whom she suffered like a maltreated puppy, shaking and whimpering in the dead of the night. Already her soul withered, diminishing into little more than this vampiric craving.

But how could she free herself from him? They were married—only a year ago, in a lavish affair for which she'd spared no expenses, because she wanted the whole world to know that she was the one he'd chosen, above all others.

Thunder boomed as if an artillery battle raged in the streets outside. Inside the house everything was silent and still. Not a single creak came from the stairs or the chamber that adjoined hers—she never heard any sounds from him anymore. The darkness smothered her.

She shook her head. If she didn't think about it—if she worked until she was exhausted every day—she could pretend that her marriage wasn't a complete disaster.

But it was. A complete disaster.

One small lie—This marriage has never been consummated—would free them both.

Then she could walk away from him, from the wreckage of the greatest and only gamble of her life. Then she could forget that she'd been mired in an unrequited love as unwholesome as any malarial swamp on the Subcontinent. Then she could breathe again.

No, she couldn't. She could never leave him. When he smiled at her, she walked on rose petals. The one time she'd allowed him to kiss her, for days afterward everything had tasted of milk and honey.

If she asked for and received an annulment, he would marry someone else, and she would be his wife and the mother of his children, not Bryony, forgotten and unlamented.

She did not want him to forget her. She would endure anything to hold on to him.

She could not stand this desperate, sniveling creature she'd become.

She loved him.

She hated both him and herself.

She hugged her shoulders tight, rocked back and forth, and stared into shadows that would not dispel...


Vai alla pagina dedicata a Not Quite a Husband sul sito dell'autrice e leggi cosa le ha ispirato questa storia...vi anticipo che c'entra un film che amo molto : The Painted Veil !

Naturalmente non vedo l'ora di leggerlo...
THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SHERRY !


1 commento:

  1. l'INCIPIT MI SEMBRA MOOOOLTO PROMETTENTE. Non vedo l'ora di leggerlo!
    Ary

    RispondiElimina

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