Scoundrel (The Blades of the Rose)
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London Harcourt's father is bent on subjugating the world's magic to British rule. But since London is a mere female, he hasn't bothered to tell her so. He's said only that he's leading a voyage to the Greek isles. No matter, after a smothering marriage and three years of straitlaced widowhood, London jumps at the opportunity - unfortunately, right into the arms of Bennett Day. Bennett is a ladies' man, when he's not dodging lethal attacks to protect the powers of the ancients from men like London's father. Sometimes, he's a ladies' man even when he is dodging them. But the minute he sees London he knows she will require his full attention. The woman is lovely, brilliant, and the only known speaker of a dialect of ancient Greek that holds the key to calling down the wrath of the gods. Bennett will be risking his life again - but around London, what really worries him is the danger to his heart...
shattered. London never knew the Aegean could possess so many mysteries. Before setting off on her voyage to Greece, she had extensively studied maps, read accounts, in Greek and other languages. The sea itself was not so large. It surrounded where civilizations had been born, where learning and thought had reached their apotheosis. Sailors such as Kallas had navigated the deep azure waters for millennia. Everything there was to be known about the Aegean had been set down in writing and song.
he patted her on the head and told her to play with her dolls in the nursery, for such things were not the polite affairs of young ladies. For years, that was all she knew of her father and brother’s work—that they, and the men of their circle, did valuable work on behalf of their nation’s government. Father refused to tell her more, and Jonas was a dutiful son, keeping silent on that point, at least. Mother was no help, either, insisting that she was just as uninformed as London in the matter,
sagely. “The restless sleep, it is the body demanding more.” It wasn’t only London’s body that wanted more. Having shared such intimacy with Bennett, it felt wrong and painful to separate. She thought of all the ancient love poetry she had read. Those antique words had planted needs within her. Those needs were never met by Lawrence, and she had shut them away into a locked cabinet within her, believing she was to endure a lifetime of cold solitude. But now, with Bennett, those needs broke the
Athena completely still, like a flame shrinking before extinguishing completely. Stathis went to Athena, pressing his ear to her chest. His thick, knotty fingers lightly touched the witch’s face before he picked up her hand and turned it over so he could examine her palm. He grunted, then gently set Athena’s hand back down beside her. Kallas, frowning with worry, searched the old fisherman’s face for some expression, some indication of anxiety or relief, but Stathis kept himself removed. From
magic something?” Kallas asked. “Because it sounds like a sailor giving directions.” Athena frowned, but did not scoff. “What do you mean?” “There’s a stretch of the sea to the northeast of here, a few days’ sail,” Kallas explained. “A chain of islands, more rocks in the sea than islands, in groups. The first of seven, then three, and then nine. Once past those, there are two islands that face each other with a narrow strait between them—maybe three times the width of this boat. A difficult