Today’s snippet comes, of course, from today’s re-release, To Love a Traitor,
Our hero George – under his real name of Roger – has just started a new job and is getting to know his colleagues. He’s already been thrown off balance by having one of them recognise him as a fellow conscientious objector who did time in the same prison, and now this:
“I’m only glad,” Miss Smith said thoughtfully and with odd deliberation, “that my son was too young to fight. I shouldn’t have liked him to go through what your generation did.”
Roger started. “I’m so sorry—I’ve been addressing you incorrectly all morning. I thought you said your name was Miss Smith.”
“It is,” she said coolly, looking him straight in the eye.
Good God, Roger thought a touch hysterically. A brace of conchies and an unmarried mother—what next? Would the tea lady turn out to be a former brothel madame fallen upon hard times, and the messenger boys, Piccadilly renters? He took a deep breath. “And what does your son do now?”
“Mr. Forrester was kind enough to give him a job here,” she said with a smile. “As a messenger boy.”
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Wounds of the heart are the hardest to heal
Solicitor’s clerk George Johnson has a secret goal when he moves into a London boarding house in the winter of 1920: to find out if his fellow lodger, Matthew Connaught, was the wartime traitor who cost George’s adored older brother Hugh his life.
Yet the more he gets to know his quarry, the more George loses sight of his mission—and his heart. Blessed with boyish good looks and charm in abundance, ad man Matthew is irrepressibly cheerful despite having lost an arm in the Great War—and soon makes plain his attraction to George.
Matthew’s advances become ever harder to resist, and George tries to tell himself his brother’s death was just the luck of the draw, and to forget he’s hiding secrets of his own—including who he really is.
But as George’s feelings for Matthew grow, so does his desperation to know the truth about what happened that day in Ypres. Even if it means he’ll lose the man he’s come to love.