Cover image for I thee wed
Title:
I thee wed
Author:
Quick, Amanda.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Bantam Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
341 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780553100846
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Take one independent lady's companion. Add an enigmatic financier. Then mix in a volume of ancient lore and a ruthless killer--and you have the recipe for Amanda Quick's fifteenth irresistible novel. Regency England has never been more abuzz with scandal and peril than in this tantalizing tale, one that may end in matrimony...or murder. It isn't easy making a living as a lady's companion when one possesses a sharp tongue and an original mind. That's why Emma Greyson has gone through three such positions in six months. But penning her own reference and hiding her spirited nature behind a pair of spectacles won't keep her out of trouble for long. Her latest post requires her presence at a tiresome country house party, where the cream of London society has assembled, and where it's downright impossible to avoid the advances of lecherous gentlemen. On one particular night, Emma has no choice but to duck inside a wardrobe to hide. Shockingly, the space is already occupied--by none other than the legendary Edison Stokes! Stokes may rule his business empire with a steely hand, but he doesn't have the heart to deny the desperate request of an old friend. That plea has sent him on the trail of an anonymous thief who has stolen an ancient book of arcane potions. He suspects his quarry is among the party's guests--and he knows the villain is on the lookout for a highly intuitive woman on whom to test a certain elixir. A woman like Emma. Aware that she's in danger, Edison resolves to keep an eye on her by employing her as his "assistant." But he soon discovers what several previous employers have learned the hard way. Hiring Emma is one thing, getting her to follow orders is quite another! For Emma, the new post brings exciting challenges, including unexpected passion and chilling danger. But when murder strikes, she realizes the awful truth. Unless she and Edison devise a scheme to outwit the merciless killer, she could forever lose the man of her dreams--and even her very life....


Author Notes

Jayne Ann Krentz was born in Borrego Springs, California on March 28, 1948. She received a B.A. in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master's degree in library science from San Jose State University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a librarian.

She has written under seven different names: Jayne Bentley, Amanda Glass, Stephanie James, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz. Her first book, Gentle Pirate, was published in 1980 under the name Jayne Castle. She currently uses only three personas to represent her three specialties. She uses the name Jayne Ann Krentz for her contemporary pieces, Amanda Quick for her historical fiction pieces, and Jayne Castle for her futuristic pieces. She has written numerous books under the pseudonym Amanda Quick including Surrender, Scandal, Seduction, Affair, With This Ring, I Thee Wed, Garden of Lies, Burning Lamp, and Quicksilver.

She has received numerous awards for her work including the 1995 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Trust Me, the 2004 Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Falling Awake, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, the Romantic Times Jane Austen Award, and the Susan Koppelman Award for Feminist Studies for Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance. She made the New York Times Best Seller List in 2017 with her title, The Girl Who Knew Too Much.

(Bowker Author Biography) Amanda Quick, who also writes under her real name, Jayne Ann Krentz, is the author of contemporary & historical romances. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Frank.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Emma Greyson is a bright, sharp-tongued lady's companion, who is currently working her third position in six months. Lord Edison Stokes makes her acquaintance when she ducks into the wardrobe he is already hiding in. By mutual pact, they agree to tell no one of the adventure--Emma because she doesn't want to get sacked again, and Edison because he doesn't want his peers to know he was searching a lady's bedchamber. Edison offers Emma a deal--she will work for him in secret to discover which lady may have killed a shopkeeper in London and stolen a rare and valuable book of ancient mysticism. Emma agrees to the risky scheme because she is in dire financial straits. As they investigate, a man from Emma's past appears, and when he ends up murdered, Edison claims she was with him, which leads to yet another form of complication: matrimony. And then the adventure begins in earnest. Quick, aka Jayne Ann Krentz and Jayne Castle, offers an unusual twist on her standard Regencies in this sensual, stylish, and suspenseful tale, maintaining her spot as a premier writer in any genre, under any name. --Melanie Duncan


Publisher's Weekly Review

Strong-willed, and with a redhead's combustible temper, paid companion Emma Greyson finds herself embroiled in a dangerous adventure with the dashing Edison Stokes. A wealthy member of Regency England's "Polite World," Stokes follows the clue in a dying man's last words to arrive at Ware Castle, where he suspects a dark plot is underway. At the castle he encounters Emma, who stands out among the era's decadent and depraved society as a woman of sharp intelligence. From their awkward introduction‘in a wardrobe where Emma has gone to seek refuge from the unwelcome attentions of a lecher and Edison is searching for clues‘the two develop an alliance often made precarious by their smoldering attraction. When Emma's life is threatened by a thief at large among Ware Castle's guests, Edison's courage and his loyalty to Emma are put to the test. A veteran in the army of steamy historical amour, Quick (With This Ring; other novels as Jayne Ann Krentz) tosses off her 15th such romance with ease. Attractive protagonists, loose bodices, thwarted love and odds overcome prove themselves once again the ingredients for success in this genre. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

A paid woman's companion teams with the formidable Edison Stokes to recover a sacred book that's been stolen. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

YA-A glimpse of Regency English society, cloaked in an amusing romp. Edison, a young financier, hires Emma, a ladies' companion, to help him locate a stolen ancient manuscript. Then, in order to save her from a false accusation of murder, he announces their engagement, and her days as companion are over. However, more murders occur and their lives are in danger as Emma helps Edison search for clues. Fast-paced action, witty dialogue, and entertaining characters keep this plot moving. Humorous situations occur as the lead characters can be stubborn and don't always want the same thing. A light, entertaining love story.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

The Bastard was here at Ware Castle. Damn the man. Emma Greyson clenched one gloved hand into a fist on the balcony railing. Of all the thoroughly rotten luck. Then again, it was all of a piece, she thought. Her luck had been rotten for some time now, culminating in complete financial disaster two months ago. Nevertheless, discovering that she would have to spend the next week trying to avoid Chilton Crane was really too much. She drummed her fingers on the ancient stone. She should not have been so startled to see Crane arrive that afternoon. After all, the Polite World was a relatively small one. There was nothing odd about The Bastard being among the many guests who had been invited to the large house party. She could not afford to lose this post, Emma thought. Crane might not remember her, but the only sensible thing to do was to stay out of his path for the duration of the house party. With so many people about, it should be a simple matter to disappear into the woodwork, she assured herself. Few took any notice of paid companions. A slight whisper of movement in the darkness below the balcony jerked her out of her glum reverie. She frowned and peered more closely into the deep shadows cast by a high hedge. One of the shadows shifted. It moved out of the darkness and glided across a moonlit patch of lawn. She leaned forward and caught a glimpse of the figure who moved like a ghost through the silver light. Tall, lean, dark haired, dressed entirely in black clothing. She did not need the brief glint of moonlight on his austere, ascetic cheekbones to recognize the man below. Edison Stokes. By chance she had been returning from a walk yesterday afternoon when he arrived at the castle. She had seen him drive his gleaming phaeton into the courtyard. The sleek carriage had been drawn by perfectly matched, well-trained bays. The huge creatures had responded to Stokes's hands on the ribbons with calm precision. Their willing obedience indicated that their master relied on technique and skill rather than whips and savage bits for control. Later Emma had noticed that the other guests watched Stokes with sidelong glances whenever he was in the room. She knew their ferretlike interest meant that he was very likely both extremely wealthy and extremely powerful. Quite possibly extremely dangerous. All of which made him extremely fascinating in the minds of the bored and thoroughly jaded elite. The shadows shifted again. Emma leaned a little farther out over the balcony. She saw that Stokes had one leg over the sill of an open window. How very odd. He was, after all, a guest in the castle. There was no need for him to skulk about this way. There was only one reason why Stokes would choose such a clandestine approach. He was either returning from a tryst with the wife of one of the other guests or he was about to conduct one. She did not know why, but she had expected better of Stokes. Her employer, Lady Mayfield, had introduced them last night. When he had inclined his head very formally over her hand, her intuition had sparked briefly. This was not another Chilton Crane, she had told herself. Edison Stokes was more than just another debauched rake in a world that already teemed with an overabundance of the species. Obviously she had been wrong. And not for the first time lately. A burst of raucous laughter spilled from one of the open windows farther along the east wing of the castle. The men in the billiard room sounded quite drunk. Music poured forth from the ballroom. Down below her balcony, Edison Stokes vanished into a darkened chamber that was not his own. After a while Emma turned and walked slowly back into a dimly lit stone passage. She could safely retire to her bedchamber, she decided. Lady Mayfield would be in her altitudes by now. Letty was extremely fond of champagne. She would never notice that her paid companion had disappeared for the evening. The sound of muffled voices on the little-used back stairs brought Emma to an abrupt halt midway along the corridor. She paused and listened intently. Soft laughter echoed. A couple. The man sounded disgustingly cup-shot. "Your maid will be waiting up for you, I assume?" Chilton Crane mumbled with ill-concealed eagerness. Emma froze. So much for her hopes that her luck would improve. The glow of a candle appeared on the wall of the staircase. In another moment Crane and his companion would emerge into the hall where she stood. She was trapped. Even if she whirled and ran as fast as she could, she would not be able to make it all the way back down the corridor to the main staircase. "Don't be silly," Miranda, Lady Ames, murmured. "I dismissed the girl before I went downstairs this evening. I certainly did not want her in the way when I returned." "There was no need to get rid of her," Chilton said quickly. "I'm certain we could have found some use for the chit." "Mr. Crane, are you by any chance suggesting that my maid join us under the covers?" Miranda retorted archly. "Sir, I am shocked." "Variety is the spice of life, my dear. And I have always found that females who are dependent upon keeping a post in a household are extremely willing to do as they are told. Eager, in fact." "You will have to indulge your taste for the serving classes some other time. I have no intention of sharing you with my maid tonight." "Perhaps we could look a bit higher for someone to make up a threesome. I noticed that Lady Mayfield brought along a companion. What do you say we arrange to summon her to your bedchamber on a pretext of some sort--" "Lady Mayfield's companion ? Surely you don't mean Miss Greyson?" Miranda sounded genuinely appalled. "Never say that you have a mind to seduce that bland creature in spectacles and caps. And that dreadful red hair. Have you no taste at all in such matters?" "I have often found that drab clothing and spectacles can conceal a surprisingly lively spirit." Chilton paused. "Speaking of Lady Mayfield's companion--" "I'd rather not, if you don't mind." "There is something oddly familiar about her," Chilton said slowly. "I wonder if I have encountered her elsewhere." Panic uncoiled in Emma's stomach. She'd had reason to hope that Crane had not recognized her earlier when, trapped in the music room, she had been forced to walk right past him to escape. He had glanced only casually in her direction. She had told herself that men such as Crane, who enjoyed forcing themselves on their hosts' hapless maids, governesses, and paid ladies' companions, did not commit their victims' features to memory. Furthermore, her hair was now a different color. Fearful that a previous employer, who had dismissed her for insubordination, might have warned her acquaintances about that insolent, red-haired female, she had worn a dark wig during the short period of her employment at Ralston Manor. "Forget Lady Mayfield's companion," Miranda ordered. "She is a boring little thing. I assure you I can entertain you in a much more interesting fashion than she can." "Of course, my dear. Whatever you say." Chilton sounded vaguely disappointed. Emma edged back a step. She had to do something. She could not stand here like a cornered hare and wait for Miranda and Crane to emerge from the stairwell. She glanced over her shoulder. The only light in the darkened hall came from a single wall sconce halfway along the corridor. Heavily timbered doors sunk deep in the stone marked the entrances to the various bedchambers. She whirled, picked up her skirts, and hurried back along the stone corridor. She would have to hide in one of the rooms. The castle was very full, and each room on this floor had been assigned to a guest. But surely they would all be empty at this hour. The night was young. Ware's friends were still downstairs, enjoying the dancing and the flirting. She paused in front of the first door and turned the knob. Locked. Her heart sank. She rushed to the next door. It too refused to budge. Panic ate at her. She went to the third door, seized the knob, twisted. And breathed a ragged sigh of relief when it turned easily in her hand. She slipped quickly into the room and shut the door very quietly behind her. She surveyed her surroundings. The bright moonlight pouring through the window revealed the heavy curtains of a large, canopied bed. There were towels on the washstand. The dressing table was littered with elegant little bottles. A woman's lace-trimmed nightgown lay across the bed. She would wait here until Chilton and Miranda disappeared into one of the other bedchambers. Then she would make her way back to the rear stairs. She turned, put her ear to the door, and listened to the footsteps moving down the hall. They were coming closer. A dreadful premonition seized Emma. What if she had stumbled into Miranda's bedchamber? The footsteps paused in front of the door. "Here we are, Chilton." Miranda's voice was muffled by the heavy door. "Just let me get my key." Emma stepped back from the door as if it had turned red-hot. She had only seconds. Miranda believed her door to be locked. She was no doubt busily rummaging about in her reticule, hunting for the key. Emma searched the moonlit room with desperation. There was no space under the bed. She could see that traveling trunks had been stored there. That left only the massive wardrobe. She ran toward it. Her soft kid evening slippers made no noise on the carpet. Crane's drunken laughter echoed on the other side of the door. Emma heard the soft ting of metal on stone. "There now, see what you made me do?" Miranda said. "I dropped it." "Allow me," Chilton said. Emma yanked open the heavy wardrobe, pushed her way through a forest of frothy gowns, and climbed inside. She reached out and pulled the door closed behind her. She was instantly enfolded in utter darkness. A man's arm wrapped around her waist. She started to scream. A warm palm clamped around her mouth. She was pulled roughly against a strong, rock-hard chest and pinned there. Terror crashed through Emma. The problem of being recognized paled into insignificance compared to her new predicament. No wonder she had found the door of this bedchamber unlocked. Someone else had already sneaked into the room. "Silence, please, Miss Greyson," Edison Stokes whispered directly into her ear. "Or we shall both have a great deal of explaining to do." Excerpted from I Thee Wed by Amanda Quick All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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