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Love's Usuries   By:

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In Love's Usuries, Louis Creswicke delivers an intricately crafted historical novel set against a backdrop of war, cunning politics, and passionate love stories. As a reader, you are transported to the 17th century, a time when the old world's powers clashed with emerging empires, and lives were shaped by the pursuit of love, power, and survival.

The story revolves around a diverse cast of characters, each with their own motivations and desires. Creswicke's attention to detail and meticulous research are evident as he brings to life figures such as King Louis XIV, the Sun King, and his infamous mistress Madame de Montespan. Their complex and often tumultuous relationship serves as the central thread, woven amidst a web of intertwining storylines that crisscross continents.

One of the novel's strengths lies in Creswicke's ability to beautifully capture the essence of the time period, depicting not only the opulence of the French court but also the grittiness of battlefields and the claustrophobic tension of political intrigue. The author successfully transports readers to different locations, from Versailles to colonial North America, allowing us to immerse ourselves fully in the world he has crafted.

Moreover, the emotional depth of the characters is commendable. Creswicke skillfully explores the intricacies of love in all its forms, delving into the consequences of forbidden passions, unrequited affections, and heartbreaking betrayals. The dialogue between characters feels authentic, and the internal struggles they face are relatable, even to modern readers.

While Love's Usuries is undeniably a captivating read, it may not appeal to those seeking a faster pace. Creswicke's attention to detail often means that the narrative slows down at times, focusing on the complexities of the historical context rather than driving the plot forward. However, for readers who relish in historical accuracy and rich, descriptive prose, this meticulous style will be a definite asset.

In conclusion, Love's Usuries is an impressive work of historical fiction, demonstrating Louis Creswicke's deep knowledge of the era and his ability to breathe life into long-forgotten characters. With a keen sense of storytelling and an eye for historical detail, Creswicke weaves together a tapestry of love, power, and intrigue that will leave readers both satisfied and longing for more.

First Page:

Love's Usuries

BY

LOUIS CRESWICKE Author of "Magnetism and Mystery"

London HENRY J. DRANE SALISBURY HOUSE SALISBURY SQUARE, FLEET STREET, E.C.

[ Several of the following stories are reprinted by kind permission of the Editor of "BLACK AND WHITE," in which journal they originally appeared. "On the Eve of the Regatta" is reprinted by kind permission of the Editor of "THE GENTLEWOMAN."]

TO

H. F. PREVOST BATTERSBY,

IN APPRECIATION OF MUCH GOOD FELLOWSHIP.

Is happiness courted in vain? A will o' the wisp nothing more? A bubble? a dream? a refrain? Is happiness courted in vain A certain begetter of pain A fruit with an asp at the core? Is happiness courted in vain A will o' the wisp Nothing more!

CONTENTS

PAGE LOVE'S USURIES 7 A QUAINT ELOPEMENT 25 TROOPER JONES OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE 53 THE "CELIBATE" CLUB (DIALOGUE) 70 IN THE CRADLE OF THE DEEP 78 SOME CRAZY PATCHWORK 94 "THE SOUL OF ME" 112 IN A CORNFIELD (DIALOGUE) 131 ON THE EVE OF THE REGATTA 136 PEACH BLOOM 151 TWIN SOULS (DIALOGUE) 176 PAIN'S PENSIONERS 182 FOR LOVE OR SCIENCE? 201 ROMANCE OF THE COULISSES 228

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