I have enjoyed several Nicola Italia books and her writing keeps getting better with each book. This time around in The Alchemy of Night, we are introduced to Emmeline (Emme) Bell and the Marham brothers – Everett and Nigel. Everett is next in line to become Lord Marham and run the family estate. Nigel is in love with Emme and asks her to marry him. Emme isn’t sure she wants to marry Nigel and asks for time to think about her answer.
In the meantime, Emme starts to bump into Everett at different events and around town setting off sparks between them, which they both try to ignore. But when they unexpectedly spend several days together at their mutual friend’s house before the winter ball, the attraction can’t be ignored.
As Everett and Emme are falling in love, another woman sets her sights on Everett. Not because Maude Thomas loves him, but because Everett comes with a title and money. Who wouldn’t want to be a countess? But how far will someone go to get said title? And is it worth dying for?
Nicola is a wonderful historical romance author who knows how to draw the reader into the lives of her characters. I found myself losing track of time as I went back in time to London when women wore big flowing dresses and rode around in carriages. A time when women were the “property” of the man they were with whether it was a father or a husband. A time when a woman had money but couldn’t “own” the money because they were too simple minded.
It was also a time when couples had to sneak around and if they got caught together, whether they were doing anything or not, a marriage had to happen to stop any rumors that could ruin the woman’s and the man’s reputation.
I recommend picking up The Alchemy of Night if you are looking for something to read on vacation while relaxing in the sun. It’s even perfect for those times you want to curl up by the fire with a blanket and a warm drink. It’s a perfect time to read anytime and anywhere. Be prepared to be entertained. Then be prepared to add Nicola’s other books to your TBR list.
Emmeline Bell, the only daughter of a well-known London solicitor, is intelligent, beautiful, and well loved by her family and friends.
Nigel Carey, the second son of Lord Marham, is quiet and reserved yet secretly pines to call Emme his own. When Nigel proposes, Emme accepts it without love knowing the match will give her a comfortable life. She is unaware that Nigel’s dark and mysterious older brother, Everett, heir to the earldom, also holds a deep desire for her.
Arriving a week early to a mutual friend’s annual winter house party, Emme and Everett strike up an unexpected friendship, one that quickly leads to romance. As Everett invokes feelings in her she never thought possible, he urges her to break off her engagement to his brother. However, another young woman who has been scheming to force a marriage with the handsome, wealthy, and titled Everett is found dead in the middle of the winter ball. Suddenly everyone has a motive for murder–even Emme.
As the inspector assigned to the case tries to unravel the plot, the list of suspects narrows, and Everett is arrested. Convinced of his innocence, Emme embarks on admission to clear his name. She uncovers overlooked clues and someone suddenly becomes determined to stop her. Emme and Everett must race to unmask the killer before the killer silences Emme forever.
Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat