Again the Magic

Again the Magic

4.3 179
by Lisa Kleypas
     
 

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She gave him her innocence . . .

Lady Aline Marsden was brought up to marry a man of her own class, but from the moment she meets John McKenna, she risks everything to be with him.

He gave her his heart

Although their love is forbidden, McKenna's passion for the beautiful Aline is too compelling to deny.

When their secret

Overview

She gave him her innocence . . .

Lady Aline Marsden was brought up to marry a man of her own class, but from the moment she meets John McKenna, she risks everything to be with him.

He gave her his heart

Although their love is forbidden, McKenna's passion for the beautiful Aline is too compelling to deny.

When their secret is discovered, their world is shattered. McKenna is forced to leave forever, unaware that the only reason Aline has given him up is to save him.

Now McKenna has returned, a powerful man determined to take revenge against the woman who broke his heart. But the magic between them burns as fiercely as ever . . . and as McKenna uncovers Aline's deepest secret, together they discover a love that will defy Fate itself.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kleypas (Worth Any Price, etc.) has made a name for herself with her darkly sensual historical romances and her willingness to treat the social issues of the Victorian era with the same intensity she brings to the relationships in her novels. Her latest book follows the romance between childhood friends Lady Aline Marsden and stable boy John McKenna. When the budding romance between Aline and McKenna is discovered, McKenna is banished from the estate. In order to protect him from her father's wrath, Aline makes McKenna believe that she's rejecting him because of his lowly status. Now a real estate tycoon in New York City, McKenna returns with a plan-to seduce and abandon Aline as punishment for her earlier rejection. However, McKenna is unaware of the secrets Aline has kept all this time, and he's unprepared for the passion that he and Aline still share. Although the conflict between hero and heroine could be resolved with one honest conversation, the author creates a believable reason for their continued silence. Kleypas also explores some intriguing issues, particularly in a subplot involving Aline's sister and a charming alcoholic who accompanies McKenna. All in all, this is another solid effort from an author who has established herself as one of the premier names in the genre. (Feb.) Forecast: Keep this book well stocked because it's bound to be a bestseller. This Avon Megaleader has a large and loyal following, and each of her books tends to outdo her last (Worth Any Price reached #6 on PW's mass market bestseller list). Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061793479
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
11,994
File size:
831 KB

Read an Excerpt

Again The Magic

Chapter One

Hampshire, 1832

A stable boy wasn't supposed to speak to an earl's daughter, much less climb up to her bedroom window. God knew what would happen to him if he was caught. He would probably be whipped before being booted off the estate.

McKenna climbed up a support column, curled his long fingers around the ironwork of the second-floor balcony, and hung suspended for a moment before swinging his legs up with a grunt of effort. Catching the edge of the balcony with one heel, he pulled himself onto the balcony and eased over the railing.

He crouched in front of the French doors and cupped his hands on either side of his eyes as he peered into the bedroom, where a single lamp was burning. A girl stood before the dressing table, pulling a brush through her long dark hair. The sight filled McKenna with a rush of pleasure.

Lady Aline Marsden ... the older daughter of the Earl of Westcliff. She was warm, high-spirited, and beautiful in all ways. Having been allowed too much freedom by her inattentive parents, Aline had spent most of her short life roaming about her family's lavish Hampshire estate. Lord and Lady Westcliff were too caught up in their own social affairs to give any real consideration to the supervision of their three children. The situation was not uncommon for families who in-habited country houses like the one at Stony Cross Park. Their lives were stratified by the sheer size of the estate, as children ate, slept, and played far away from their parents. Moreover, the notion of parental responsibility did not constitute any kind of bond between the earl and countess. Neither of them was particularly inclined to worry over a child who was the product of a practical and loveless union.

Since the day that McKenna had been brought to the estate at the age of eight, he and Aline had been constant companions for ten years, climbing trees, swimming in the river, and running about barefoot. Their friendship had been overlooked because they were children. But eventually things had begun to change between them. No healthy young man could fail to be stirred and set off-kilter by Aline, who, at the age of seventeen, had become the loveliest girl on God's green earth.

At the moment Aline was already dressed for bed, wearing a nightgown made of intricately tucked and ruffled white cotton. As she moved across the room, the lamplight silhouetted the generous curves of her breasts and hips through the thin fabric, and slid over the shining sable locks of her hair. Aline's looks were the kind that caused the heart to stop and the breath to catch. Her coloring alone would have given even a homely woman the appearance of great beauty. But her features were fine and perfect, and perpetually lit with the radiance of unchecked emotion. And as if all that hadn't been quite enough, nature had added one last flourish, a tiny black mark that flirted with the corner of her mouth. McKenna had fantasized endlessly about kissing that tantalizing spot, and following it to the lush curves of her lips. Kissing and kissing her, until she was weak and shivering in his arms.

On more than one occasion McKenna had pondered the question of how a man of the earl's unremarkable looks, paired with a woman of the countess's average attractiveness, could have produced a daughter like Aline. By some quirk of fate, she had inherited just the right combination of features from each. Their son, Marcus, had been somewhat less fortunate, resembling the earl with his broad and harsh-planed face, and his bull-like physical build. Little Livia -- rumored to be the result of one of the countess's extramarital affairs -- was pretty but not extraordinarily so, lacking her sister's radiant dark magic.

As he watched Aline, McKenna reflected that the time was fast approaching when they could have nothing more to do with each other. The familiarity between them would soon become dangerous, if it had not already. Collecting himself, McKenna tapped gently on a glass pane of the French doors. Aline turned toward the sound and saw him without apparent surprise. McKenna rose to his feet, watching her intently.

Folding her arms across her chest, Aline regarded him with a scowl. Go away, she mouthed silently through the window.

McKenna was both amused and consternated as he wondered what the hell he had done now. To his knowledge, he hadn't been involved in any pranks or mischief making, and he hadn't picked any arguments with her. And as a reward, he had been left waiting alone by the river for two hours this afternoon.

Shaking his head stubbornly, McKenna remained where he was. He reached down to rattle the door handle in subtle warning. They both knew that if he was discovered on her balcony, he would bear the brunt of the consequences, not she. And it was for that reason -- to preserve his hide -- that she reluctantly unlocked the door and opened it. He couldn't help grinning at the success of his ploy, even as she continued to frown.

"Did you forget that we were to meet this after-noon?" McKenna asked without preamble, grasping the edge of the door in one hand. He leaned his shoulder against the narrow wood frame and smiled into her dark brown eyes. Even when he slouched, Aline was forced to crane her neck upward to meet his gaze.

"No, I didn't forget." Her voice, usually so light and sweet, was edged with surliness.

"Then where were you?"

"Does it really matter?"

McKenna tilted his head as he briefly pondered why girls liked to put a fellow through a guessing game when he was in trouble ...

Again The Magic. Copyright © by Lisa Kleypas. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She’s a RITA award-winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women’s fiction. She lives in Washington State with her husband Gregory and their two children.

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Again the Magic 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 179 reviews.
BBandReveries More than 1 year ago
When Aline and McKenna's feelings are discovered by her father, he threatens McKenna's very existence if Aline ever sees him again. In order to protect him, Aline convinces McKenna that she does not love him, hoping he will never return to Stony Cross. After he leaves, Aline descends into a depression that is followed by a terrible accident that leaves Aline with scars on her legs. Twelve years later, McKenna returns to Stony Cross from America, where he became one of the nouveaux riches, to take his revenge on Aline for all the pain and heartache he caused her. Aline realizing his intentions decides to ride it out until he goes back to New York. This plan fails however when both McKenna and Aline start to fall for each other again. But Aline can never be with him, for she is not only a spinster, but also damaged. I don't think I've ever cried, or even teared up while reading a romance novel, before reading Again the Magic. Here we have two characters who are obviously in love with each other, but refuse to acknowledge it, and instead spend almost 400 pages fighting it. The book begins with Aline and McKenna in their late teens, already in love. Life is good. Well, except for the fact that Aline is the daughter of the cold and malevolent Lord Westcliff, and that McKenna is only a footman. After years of resenting, no that is not strong enough, hating is a better word; after spending years hating Aline, he starts to unwind when he realizes that Aline never married or slept with anyone. This sends his plan to "break her" out the window. Aline on the other hand, doesn't mind McKenna's efforts at hurting her. In fact, she welcomes them because they allow her to feel after years of being numb. This entire book had me screaming "Just say it!" It was like McKenna and Aline decided to be stubborn and thick-headed at the exact same time. And this is what created the tension throughout the novel. All of these scenes led up to an amazing tear-filled ending that any fan of romance will LOVE. This novel deals mostly with Aline and McKenna's story but it also includes Livia, Aline's sister, and Mr. Shaw's, McKenna's business partner, story. This one was also cute. Of course, not as much drama as the main love story, but still a bit dramatic. For a historical romance, this was fantastic. It is an emotional, film-worthy story that will have you rushing to the bookstore wanting more of this series.
Historicalromancefan More than 1 year ago
Lisa Kleypas is by far one of the best historical romance authors I have ever had the pleasure of reading. This book in particular, was so very poignant in that true love will survive no matter how far away one goes or how long they're gone, the characters and the plot were extremely well written. I actually read this book twice and I literally sobbed and sobbed, both times. I don't usually cry when I read historical romance novels but this one in particular was so utterly beautiful and well written. I just couldn't help myself. I fully intend to read it many more times and I'll make sure I keep a box of Kleenex by my side when I do!
curlyloulou More than 1 year ago
This was another re-read before my vacation. I think that this is my favorite Lisa Kleypas book. I love books that start out when the main characters are children and then meet again as adults. This book kept me interested and I liked all of the supporting characters as well. A+
jdh2690 More than 1 year ago
The title of this book is so apropos for me because Ms. Kleypas’ magical writing sent me into transports…again, as I started this series at the beginning and read the first book in the series. There were actually two romances fomenting in this book, two sisters who thought they were doomed to spinsterhood and magically found second chances in love. Lady Aline grows up with and falls in love with a stable boy called McKenna but later denounces him supposedly because of class differences—and McKenna shows up years later and the magic begins again. And her sister, Lady Livia, mourns her dead lover for years only to meet and fall in love with a rich wastrel called Gideon at a house party who stirs up Livia’s magic again. I can’t wait to read the second book in this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sooo sweet and romantic! One of my favorite books. Great read couldn't put it down.
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
I have a confession – I am a Lisa Kleypas addict and it all started with this book right here. Since I decided to try out historical romance (and fell in love with it), nearly every HR fan I know has recommended Lisa's books as the best of the best and the absolute must reads. I totally get it now. Not that I doubted it (or them) for even a minute. But DANG. This is great stuff. I'm not always one who enjoys novellas but I'm so glad I looked at the Goodreads reviews for this book before I cast it aside. I knew after a single chapter that I would love this book. I loved Lisa's writing and I was already hopelessly in love with the characters. Now, I'll admit I was a little nervous when I was in tears early on in the book. I wasn't sure what exactly I was going to be in for, but I couldn't wait to find out. I loved Aline and McKenna's story. I mean, yeah, it broke my heart when they were separated the first time. I adored them together. Seeing them reunited brought out all kinds of emotions because of the changes to both of them in the time they were separated. On the surface, McKenna was a scoundrel and a rake (god I love the language of HR). I was a little concerned what that would mean to a future between him and Aline. Thankfully I didn't really have to worry. Underneath it all – and regardless of the plans he made before arriving back at Stony Cross Park – he was still totally smitten with her. And, naturally, I with him. Aline was a great character, even though I wanted to wring her neck a fair few times as she let her self-consciousness get in the way of her attraction to McKenna and the things developing between them. McKenna was just freaking gold. He's definitely on the favorites list when it comes to book boyfriends. Livia and Gideon's story was a pleasant bonus! I didn't know I would be getting a two for one when it came to romance. The two of them were so well-suited and, honestly, who doesn't love to watch a notorious rake fall head over heels? That's half the fun of historical romance after all. Livia was a great, strong female character. I loved how she challenged Gideon to overcome his addition and become a better man. Between Aline and McKenna and Livia and Gideon, I was on a romance high throughout this entire book. It was sweet, swoony and sexy. The writing was fantastic. When I didn't have a big, goofy smile on my face because of the banter and the romance, I had tears in my eyes because of the feels. So, so good. Whether you're new to HR (like me) or an old fan, if you've not read this book and series yet, you must. It's seriously all the things I love about romance – and reading – in one wonderful book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lisa Kleypas does it again. Lady Aline Marsden as a child falls in love with an orphaned servant John McKenna who works at her fathers estate. When the father learns of her attachment to McKenna he sends him away. The twists and turns in this book prevent you from putting it down. I love this book. JM
Kendra_Readers_Edyn More than 1 year ago
Review originally posted on Reader's Edyn (blogspot) I discovered Ms. Kleypas by accident on a camping trip of all things and have never looked back since. When I am lucky enough to come across a book I have not read, I snatch it up immediately. Such was the case when I located this book. While I very much enjoy Ms. Kleypas’s books, I did suffer just a bit with the over-the-top pain and agony the two main characters needlessly put one another through. But I will get to that in just a bit. Aline is a member of elite society; born and bred for nothing more than to find the most advantageous match in marriage. When her heart is captured by none other than the magnificent stable boy, she knows that their love must be kept a secret. Their secret lasts for years from childhood into young adolescence until they are found out. Ordered by her father to end the affair or suffer McKenna’s ruin, Aline chooses to chase McKenna away in a naive effort to protect him. The only way to ensure his departure is to effectively crush his heart with an elaborate portrayal of a snotty heiress who has merely toyed with McKenna’s affections and has tired of him, now ready to cast him aside. Task completed, Aline sinks into a miserable depression, followed by a disfiguring, near-death experience. McKenna, broken-hearted and betrayed in the worst way, sets out to make something of himself. Driven by a need for revenge against Aline, he eventually makes his way back to her life. His focus is to seduce her, force her to fall in love with him, and leave her dejected. Just as she toyed with his emotions, so too will he exact his revenge in the same way. But he notices differences as he carries out his plan. Old feelings begin to kindle. But his hardened heart and need for revenge keep him from seeking out the truth in what lies just beneath his nose. A wonderful companion to the story, is the sub plot provided by Aline’s sister, Livia and McKenna’s business partner, Gideon. These two are nothing short of opposites, but ultimately complement one another in every way. Had we not been provided the story of these two, the endless feud and misdirected anger between McKenna and Aline would well have made the book unbearable. I enjoy the tortured, brooding hero and misunderstood heroine just as much as anyone, but these two could have put an end to a lot of unnecessary torment several chapters prior to the end of the story. While the two connect, they do maintain a stagnant distance between them. The division between the two provided the needed angst in the story, but extends to overkill several times. As a reader, I wanted to feel sorry for the mistreatment of McKenna, as well as the ridiculous requirements that society forces in Aline’s behavior. However, with the supportive family seemingly at Aline’s fingertips, I wondered why the strife had to drag on for so long. That said, the story is still one of enduring love that obviously can overcome all obstacles, even when the hero and heroine are too stubborn to just crash into one another and trust that the other would catch him or her. And ultimately any romance reader would find the story enjoyable. Paired with the fact that you can pretty much never go wrong in choosing Kleypas, I am confident that readers will find this agonizing love story entertaining. My time was well spent and as always, I look forward to the next Kleypas book. (Paperback purchased for private collection)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I read from this author, and I was very happy that I did. The characters were both well rounded, and the story line kept me interested the whole time. Many parts were poignant. Will read other books from this author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
storiesCC More than 1 year ago
This story introduces a few of the characters of the Wallflower series. The forbidden love of Lady Aline Marsden and the stable hand, John McKenna, is beautifully told. I felt the pain the of these two people and the trial they go through when McKenna returns to England as a wealthy man. Once again Lisa Kleypas presents all characters with depth and flaws of real people. When Aline turns down McKenna's proposal I thought the dialogue has heart wrenching, particularly for McKenna. Again the Magic is one of my favorites by Lisa Kleypas. A story to be read again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this is one of the most beautiful love stories that I have read this year. Oh, my God I cried for Aline and Mckenna. This story made me want to believe in love again. Sometimes life makes us so jaded and then "Again the magic" reminds you of all the beauty that love can be. Thank you Lisa Kleypas for making me revisit a time of magic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful wonderful romance
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Seamless More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites from Lisa! I cried and was so emotionally attached to this beautiful story. read it!!
talltee007 More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of Lisa Kkeypas you will love this book!! If you are a fan you will be after you read this book!!! I have read all her books and I am hungry for more!! Lisa, I hope you are writing another series!!! Feed me!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites from LK
Anonymous More than 1 year ago