Again the Magic

( 168 )

Overview

She gave him her innocence . . .Lady Aline Marsden was brought up for one reason: to make an advantageous marriage to a member of her own class. Instead, she willingly gave her innocence to John McKenna, a servant on her father's estate. Their passionate transgression was unforgivable -- John was sent away, and Aline was left to live in the countryside . . . an exile from London society . . .and he took her love.

Now McKenna has made his fortune, and he has returned -- more ...

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Again the Magic

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Overview

She gave him her innocence . . .Lady Aline Marsden was brought up for one reason: to make an advantageous marriage to a member of her own class. Instead, she willingly gave her innocence to John McKenna, a servant on her father's estate. Their passionate transgression was unforgivable -- John was sent away, and Aline was left to live in the countryside . . . an exile from London society . . .and he took her love.

Now McKenna has made his fortune, and he has returned -- more boldly handsome and more mesmerizing than before. His ruthless plan is to take revenge on the woman who shattered his dreams of love. But the magic between them burns as bright as ever. And now he must decide whether to let vengeance take its toll . . . or risk everything for his first, and only, love.

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380811083
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/27/2004
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 228,386
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Kleypas is the author of nineteen historical romance novels that have been published in twelve languages. In 1985, she was named Miss Massachusetts and competed in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City. After graduating from Wellesley College with a political science degree, she published her first novel at age twenty-one. Her books have appeared on bestseller lists such as the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and WaldenBooks. Lisa is married and has two children.

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First Chapter

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.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 168 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(88)

4 Star

(55)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 170 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Film-Worthy Romance

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 9, 2010

    One of the best books I have ever read!

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    YAY Kleypas!

    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+

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2014

    Review originally posted on Reader's Edyn (blogspot) I discover

    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)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    Pleasantly Surprised

    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!

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  • Posted August 1, 2013

    Beautiful story

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

    Again the magic

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Awesome

    Wonderful wonderful romance

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  • Posted April 5, 2013

    One of my favorites from Lisa! I cried and was so emotionally at

    One of my favorites from Lisa! I cried and was so emotionally attached to this beautiful story. read it!!

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  • Posted February 22, 2013

    Highly Recommended !!!

    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!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    One of my favs

    One of my favorites from LK

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    Vmvbm

    Yi uo .b,ybm iyiyohkyobmtugji b, yyhk .u

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2012

    This book started out great. I totally fall for Aline and Mckenn

    This book started out great. I totally fall for Aline and Mckenna's teenage romance. When the book shifts to twelve years later...it just didn't have the same feel. I wanted to love this book, but just couldn't.

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  • Posted February 22, 2012

    Highly recommended historical romance!!!

    An extremely heart wrenching story that I’ve read three times and still love! Aline is a self-sacrificing heroine who endured a tragic accident that leaves her feeling less than adequate to be with the man she loves, while John is a self-made man who believed he could seek revenge against his first love. This is a book about an enduring love and second chances. Absolutely a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Great read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

    FANTASTIC!

    i have read all of lisa kleypas' books and this is my favorite. the story line has your heart clenching and the characters are so lovable. i would recommend all of her books especially the hathaway series. she is a very special and talented author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2011

    Highly recommended

    one of the best of her writings. couldn't put it down.

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  • Posted November 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    love it

    mass media escape!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2010

    Gideon and Olivia

    Well, what can one say about Lisa Kleypas except that she knows how to tell a story where you care about the characters. Her "Suddenly You" is one of the best romances I have ever read and was sad to see that book as a stand alone as I wanted to see Amanda Briars and Jack Devlin again (hint hint to Ms. Kleypas). No exception here. If you just read the back of the book for a quick run down you would think this book was just about McKenna and Lady Aline. They have a wonderful story which is what most of the book is about. Then half way through another story line is appears which deals with Gideon Shaw and Olivia (Aline's sister). This is the one that I became more interested in as I read. Yes, I wanted McKenna and Aline to finally live happily but I was drawn more to Gideon and Olivia. I felt that their story could EASILY be turned into a book and to be honest they both deserve to have their story told in full. Both Gideon and Olivia have such sad and tragic pasts and they really deserve happiness. I am hoping that Ms. Kleypas can give these two their own book. That is the story I want to see.

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  • Posted July 4, 2010

    Beautiful Love Story

    I loved this book! I couldn't put it down for 1 minute. Great romance! Loved it!!!!

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