With love from London by Sarah Gio

Table of contents:

With love from London by Sarah Gio
With love from London by Sarah Gio

About the book

The librarian Valentina unexpectedly inherits from her mother Eloise a bookstore in one of the most picturesque London districts. When she arrives in the English capital, the young woman faces the biggest challenge of her life: to find out who her mother really was, who abandoned her as a child.

In her lifetime, Eloise created a note-taking game for her daughter to learn about and love the city. Valentina embarks on an adventure, and although she has no intention of settling in London, she is soon won over by the neighborhood's charms.

She stumbles upon a copy of her favorite book filled with comments that pique her curiosity. The name of the owner of the novel is written on the inside of the cover. Will he not turn out to be her soul mate? But as he searches for it, the future of the bookstore hangs in the balance.

To prevent her from going bankrupt, Val must rely on the support of the community and dig deep into Eloise's past. A past filled with daring dreams, the scent of books and a beautiful but doomed love.


In front of the Royal Automobile Club, a porter helped me out of the car.

– Good evening, miss, he said, balancing an umbrella over my head as if it was his primeval duty not to let a single raindrop fall on my dress. I felt like he could even stretch out his jacket to prevent the dainty lady's foot from stepping into a puddle.

– Will you have dinner with us? he asked cheerfully, immediately revealing his East End accent – the one I'd been working so hard to hide.

Before I could answer, the driver waved from the front seat and I couldn't help but wonder how often they had had this conversation about the other ladies Roger had dated.

– She has a date with Mr. Williams.

The porter nodded in understanding, his smile instantly fading.

– Yes… of course sir.

Inside, an attendant took my coat while I stared at the exquisite chandelier that consisted of hundreds of crystals. I wondered how such a massive structure was secured, but forced myself to look away for fear of looking like a child in front of a candy store window.

– This way miss – a man in a white tuxedo led me up the stairs to a hall with gilded light fixtures, ornate furniture and elaborately painted ceiling frescoes. Those present were elegantly dressed – the men in tailcoats, the women in long white gloves and furs slung over their shoulders. I had left my only pair of worn gloves at home, and how I wished I had a fur cloak to hide my bare hands when I felt the collective gaze of those present. I wondered if they knew it was my first time here. Can they smell it?

– Here is your table, said my attendant, pulling out my chair. This was not just any table, but clearly the best one - raised on a podium, it looked out over the entire hall. And I was sitting there, alone.

– Shall I get you something before Mr. Williams comes? he asked. – Tea, champagne?

– Yes, I said, looking at an elegant woman in the distance holding a glass of bubbly. – Champagne, please.

I generally didn't drink, but I was in desperate need of something - anything - to calm my nerves. And like magic, after a few moments a waiter in white gloves placed a glass of sparkling elixir in front of me before it seemed to evaporate.

I painfully felt the gazes of the other diners and played with the starched, gold-studded napkin, examining the polished cutlery, worrying which fork matched which dish. Was it left to right or right to left? My heart beat faster when laughter broke out at the next table. One of the women, in a much nicer dress than mine, and gloves of course, gave me a sympathetic smile. Does she feel sorry for me? Is everyone feeling sorry for me?

When I finished my champagne – three gulps – the waiter poured me another, and then another. I watched the huge gold clock on the opposite wall count twenty minutes, then forty-five. With each passing minute, my heart sank more and more. where is roger I began to lose track of time and the number of glasses I had drunk.

When the jazz band played, I felt light and floating. I wondered what had caused Roger's delay. Had his mother been sick and he had gone to see her? Or was it a longer important business meeting? Hadn't he stopped to help a stranded driver? One day, I told myself, years from now, we'll fondly tell the unfortunate story of our first date to our family and friends, laughing at Roger's tardiness and how he got back at me afterward.

But while the version I made up was adorable and excusable, the same couldn't be said for his actual appearance a few minutes later. A whisper drifted through the hall as he entered - with a woman on his arm.

– Excuse me. Roger turned to the nearby waiter, ignoring me. He was close enough that I could smell the alcohol on his breath. – Why is my table taken?

I coughed nervously. How could this be happening? Didn't you ask me out tonight?

“Roger, I'm Eloise,” I said meekly, hoping it was a misunderstanding that would be easily ironed out. – Don't you remember?

– Who is she? – asked the woman on the left, looking at me long and displeased.

– Your cousin from the countryside? – giggled the other.

My cheeks burned.

“I'm Eloise Wilkins,” I said. - I was invited to a meeting by him. My embarrassment turned to rage. "Roger, surely you remember that you sent your car to pick me up?"

Both women looked at him sullenly as he deftly slipped out of the two pairs of arms wrapped around his.

– Well, yes, of course – he began. – Eloise. You will have to forgive me. I ran into some… old friends.

I got up and reached for my bag and my napkin fell to the floor. Millie was right, why didn't I listen to her?

– I won't hold you back, I said. – You obviously have a lot of catching up to do.

Everyone was looking at us. And why not? A circus show with three women in the arena was better than anything on TV - and it was all happening right before their eyes. This was Roger Williams at his best. A find for the gossip columns. There was even a poor girl from East London! (Cut on the laughter.)

Then a sudden and strong urge to run came over me. My eyes darted to the right, then to the left until I found the nearest exit. I couldn't imagine walking the entire distance to the main entrance, so I chose the nearby double doors, which appeared to open onto an adjacent balcony. If I was lucky, there would be a staircase leading outside.

I rushed forward heading for the exit, but then the heel of my left shoe caught on the carpet and I flew forward, bumping into a waiter carrying a tray of appetizers under polished silver covers, and steaks and sides went flying in the air.

With a piece of broccoli in my hair and béarnaise sauce up my sleeve, I rushed through the double doors and onto the balcony. To my great disappointment there was neither a staircase nor an exit. I'm trapped.

I felt the cold air on my skin and shivered, wrapping my arms around my body as I leaned against the railing and looked up at the night sky. What a fool I was to think I could fit into this world.

I plopped down on the ground, pulled the dress over my knees to keep me warm – unbecoming of a lady, but I didn't care. But after a few minutes, when the balcony door creaked open, I quickly stood up. I had company. Cigar smoke obscured his face and top hat.

– Honey, what on earth are you doing here? It's cold enough to snow,” he exclaimed, the smoke clearing to reveal his tall figure and noble face. He was older than me, probably about ten years or more.

Popular topic