The Belle of London by Nicola Italia [BLITZ]


On the English stage, the Belle of London is born… During the late Victorian era, Amelia Westcott is without family and few friends and is f...

On the English stage, the Belle of London is born…

During the late Victorian era, Amelia Westcott is without family and few friends and is forced to make her way in the world. Talented and beautiful, she takes to the London stage and attracts the attention of numerous powerful and wealthy men including the Prince of Wales.

But a close friend of the Prince’s is little impressed with the lovely actress. Christopher “Kit” Beaumont is not taken in by Amelia’s charms and believes she is a gold digger set to sink her claws into any man who will give her a comfortable life.
Kit knows nothing about the strong and independent Amelia who gains a powerful patron in the Prince of Wales even as she is given the moniker The Belle of London.
As her star rises, she vows to have nothing to do with the arrogant, handsome Kit.

From the London stage to New York’s Broadway, Amelia and Kit are thrown together and a battle of wills and passionate personalities ensues as Kit suddenly realizes he wants Amelia as his own.
Though Kit has decided that no other woman but Amelia will do, someone else is plotting to make certain the two are never together.

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Adult | Historical | Romance | Victorian
Published: January 30, 2024
Length: 307
Tour Provided by Xpresso Book Tours

 The Excerpt⇚ 

She surveyed the man before her. He was sinfully good-looking with brown, almost-black hair and brown eyes warm upon her. He was dressed impeccably, and the cut of his coat and pants bespoke wealth and privilege. His shoes were polished. She knew instinctively he was a man used to getting his way.

“How can I help you, Mr. …?” she sought out his name.

“Call me Christopher.”

She didn’t call him by his name. “How can I help you?”

“You can do me a great service.” As he spoke, he pulled out a small rectangular book and a fountain pen. “All you need do is name your price.”

Amelia frowned. “My price? I don’t understand.”

Kit smiled at her as he opened up the checkbook. “I know you aren’t in love. You’ve just met. And I’m sure, as a woman, you dream of finer things, jewels, and frocks. Name your price. You can have them tomorrow. But not Patrick. He’s not for you.” His eyes were as cold as stone.

“Patrick,” she breathed out, her heart sinking. She had badly misjudged him. Amelia took off her gloves and faced the man in the low gaslights. “Patrick wants me gone.”

The man frowned. “Patrick doesn’t know I’m here.”

“He doesn’t know you’re here?” She looked again at his clothes and considered his voice, so used to giving orders and being obeyed, and she knew. He was here to buy her off. She almost laughed at the thought. “Am I such a danger to him?” she whispered. “To you? And aren’t you placing the cart before the horse? Nothing has happened. One supper. What are you afraid of?”

Kit looked her up and down. “You must be very used to using your attributes as a way to make men do what you want. I’m sure you’ve had men tell you so. I’m sure you’ve been offered protection from older men. Look at it this way. In my bargain, Miss Westcott, you get the money, and you don’t have to take off a stitch of clothing.”

“How dare you.” Amelia was breathless at his degrading words. An intense rage swept through her. Taking three steps, she stood before him, her cheeks flushed and her breath coming quickly.

Kit was on his feet in an instant. He stared down into her face. “Is the truth so unpleasing to you, Miss Westcott?”

She met his eyes, and her chin notched up. “You think because you associate with a certain kind of woman, all women must be like that. Because I’ve fallen on hard times, my soul and heart can be bought for the price of a few shillings and pence.”

“Be careful.” Kit contemplated her oval-shaped face, auburn hair, and light blue eyes. “What I offer you is far more than shilling and pence. It would be more than you could make in a year.” 

“You are so used to buying and selling people?” she asked him coldly.

“I’m not separating Tristan and Iseult,” he responded. “You have fallen on hard times. I can make those hard times easier. Name your price.”

She looked away from him. “I have no price.”

“Two hundred pounds.”

Amelia gasped. An Army officer would make that amount in a year. “I care for Patrick. I do,” she confessed. “And my care for him is genuine and honest. That you chose to come here and insult me when you know nothing about me, I cannot forgive. But because I know a part of you must care greatly for him as well, I will forget this night. But know this, you have judged me wrongly and falsely. And though I am not the type of woman you think I am, you seem to be the exact kind of man I think you to be,” she threw at him.

Kit’s jaw clenched as he stared down at her. “And what kind of man is that?”

Amelia narrowed her eyes at him. “You are a master. You are a man used to being obeyed and his orders followed. But you’re a coward.” She spat the words at him. “Instead of coming to me and asking me questions in a straightforward manner about Patrick, you made false assumptions and attempted to buy me!”

Kit almost sneered. “So, you do not have it in mind to marry Patrick for position and money?”

Amelia cocked her head. “Women can do little in society. Most of our worth is in being mothers and wives, is it not? So, if I were to say I was not interested in marrying, that would be a lie. But as Patrick has neither asked me nor mentioned it, I don’t see the relevance.”

Kit was about to respond, but she interrupted.

“And how is it your duty to confront me so? You are not his brother, I know he has little family. Would he appreciate you being here now? Behind his back. Offering me money to disappear? This is hardly the behavior of a gentleman, which I know you to be,” she demanded.

He raised an eyebrow. “How do you know I’m a gentleman?” 

Amelia made a sound of disbelief. “Though you seem intent to make me seem like some unintelligent, money-grabbing slag, I am not. I see the cut of your clothes, the polished expensive shoes, your authoritarian voice—”

Kit surveyed her then and was struck by the beauty of her clean skin, luminous blue eyes, and mass of auburn hair that was pinned up. “I won’t apologize for protecting my friend,” he said suddenly.

She rolled her eyes. “The last thing on earth I expect from you, sir, would be a warranted apology for your bad behavior. That would mean you realize you acted poorly. We can’t have that.”

Kit took a moment to study her again and then nodded. “Very well. Perhaps I misjudged the situation. But remember this. Patrick is an educated man and has a law practice. I’m certain a music hall dancer will not fit into that lifestyle. You’ll at least admit that?” He raised an eyebrow.

“You know nothing about me, sir,” she said quietly.

Nicola is a Los Angeles native. Early in elementary school, Nicola had a great fondness for reading and began to write creatively. She graduated from university with a degree in communications and has held a variety of positions in journalism, education, government and non profit.

Nicola has traveled extensively throughout Europe, China, Central America and Egypt and loves all things historical.

She has nineteen historical romance and mystery novels on Amazon.

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TBR Addictions: The Belle of London by Nicola Italia [BLITZ]
The Belle of London by Nicola Italia [BLITZ]
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