Told from the present-day perspective of a British antiques dealer who specializes in helping families sell the contents of estates, The Light Over London transports readers to World War II London through forgotten treasures. Please enjoy this early look at this entrancing, heartbreaking novel, reminiscent of Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls.
"You must think me horribly rude, not asking if you’d like a drink.”
Louise looked up. “I don’t mind.”
“Let me find you something. Or you can steal sips of mine.”
Paul lifted his glass toward her, but she shook her head. “My mother says ladies don’t drink pints.”
He leaned across the gap and nudged her shoulder with his. “Then we won’t tell your mother, will we? Go on, Louise Keene. Be just a little daring.”
“That won’t work, you know. My mother claims there’s never been a more stubborn girl than me,” she said.
“Your mother says quite a lot of things.”
“She has many opinions.”
“Do you always do what she says?” he asked.
Setting her jaw, she stuck her hand out. A flicker of something crossed Paul’s face when he handed her the glass. She raised it, wondering for a brief moment if her lips would touch where his had been, and drank. More than a sip. Less than a gulp. A perfectly respectable amount of a drink that respectable young women don’t drink.
She handed him the glass back and licked her lips, the bite of bitterness and a touch of caramel lingering on her tongue.
“First ale, then what? Life outside of Haybourne?”
“You’re teasing me again.” She wrapped her arms around her waist, wishing she’d thought to pull on a cardigan over her dress.
“I’m not.” But he grinned when he said it.
“I’m going back inside,” she announced, pushing off the wall.
His hand shot out to stop her. “Louise, wait.”
She looked down at where his fingers had fallen, gently pressing her forearm. “What is it?”
“I couldn’t let you go without asking something,” he murmured. He gave her arm a little tug, and she took a step forward, her body moving of its own accord.
She swallowed down the rising mix of anticipation and fear and lust that surged up in her. This was the closest she’d been to a man since she’d let Gary kiss her just to see what it felt like. It hadn’t felt much like anything.
“What do you want to ask me, Flight Lieutenant Bolton?”
Rather than answer, he dipped his head and kissed her. And oh, now she understood what her first kiss had been missing. Paul lips were soft but full, playing over hers as though he had all the time in the world, just for her. His free hand slipped into her hair, combing through her curls and twining them around his fingers. She gripped the lapels of his uniform, trying with all of her might to hold onto this moment so tightly that it might never slip away.