A Dangerous Love (Swanlea Spinster Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

He was playing a dangerous masquerade...Griff Knighton′s found the perfect way to avoid being trapped into marriage with one of the Earl of Swanlea′s daughters: he′ll swap identities with his man of affairs during their next visit to Swan Park, and be free to pursue his own desires! After all, he′s not about to marry some homely spinster just to claim his rightful title. But Griff didn′t reckon on the brazen, voluptuous Rosalind, who could tempt even a saint into sinning, and Griff is no saint. She was determined...

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A Dangerous Love (Swanlea Spinster Series #1)

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Overview

He was playing a dangerous masquerade...Griff Knighton′s found the perfect way to avoid being trapped into marriage with one of the Earl of Swanlea′s daughters: he′ll swap identities with his man of affairs during their next visit to Swan Park, and be free to pursue his own desires! After all, he′s not about to marry some homely spinster just to claim his rightful title. But Griff didn′t reckon on the brazen, voluptuous Rosalind, who could tempt even a saint into sinning, and Griff is no saint. She was determined to unmask him...

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Setting out to prove his legitimacy and reclaim his stolen title, Griff Knighton, the wealthy owner of Knighton Trading, gives little thought to the innocent people his actions could destroy. But when he ends up falling in love with the outspoken, independent daughter of the man he is about to ruin, he is forced to confront the real reasons for his obsession. An intriguing premise, a hefty dollop of deceit, nicely chosen literary quotations, and well-drawn but occasionally infuriating characters add interest to this lively historical. It is slow in spots but ties up things quickly and satisfactorily--providing a nice lead-in for the next title in the projected trilogy. Although set in 1815, this sexually explicit, occasionally bawdy romp has a definite Georgian and might appeal to fans of Jo Beverley's "Malloren" series or selected works by Christina Dodd. Jeffries (The Dangerous Lord) also writes under the names of Deborah Martin and Deborah Nichols. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061762604
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Series: Swanlea Spinster Series , #1
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 29,865
  • File size: 502 KB

Meet the Author

At the tender age of twelve, Sabrina Jeffries decided she wanted to be a romance writer. It took her eighteen more years and a boring stint in graduate school before she sold her first book, but now her sexy and humorous historical romances routinely land on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists and have won several awards. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and son, where she writes full-time and is working on her next novel.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

London
August 1815

Money speaks sense in a language all nations understand.
Aphra Behn, English playwright
The Rover, Pt. 2, Act 3

“I'll be gone two weeks or more.”

Marsden Griffith Knighton watched from the head of the large table as predictable excitement rippled through his staff. The last time Griff had left Knighton Trading helmless for so long, he'd established an office in Calcutta that tripled the firm's profits'and destroyed two of his competitors.

Even Daniel Brennan, his generally unimpressed man of affairs, straightened in his chair. Daniel rarely attended such meetings now that he managed Griff's substantial private interests, but Griff had a compelling reason to require his presence today.“Are you leaving Mr. Brennan in charge as usual, sir?” a young trader asked.

“No. He's going with me.” When Daniel gaped at him, Griff bit back a smile. Daniel was hard to shock, having been with Knighton Trading since the days when it gained its primary revenue from smuggled goods. “Mr. Harrison will be in charge.”

The senior trader beamed at this evidence of preference. “So where are you off to now, Mr. Knighton? France? India?” Greed brightened his eyes. “China perhaps?”

Griff chuckled. “Warwickshire. This isn't a business trip. I have family there.”

“F-Family?” Harrison stammered.

Griff could guess his thoughts. But he's a bastard. Except for his poor mother, how could he have any family that would acknowledge him?

“Yes. Family,” Griff repeated with fierce satisfaction. “It's a personal matter of some importance.” He paused,then continued in that firm tone his staff knew never to question. “One more thing'none of you is to mention this to anyone, not even my mother. As far as you're concerned, I have sailed to France or China, understand?”

A low chorus of reassurances followed.

“Good. You're dismissed. Daniel, I need a word with you.”

His staff left without lingering, for they well knew he didn't waste time with frivolous chatter. Besides, Griff thought wryly, they probably couldn't wait to speculate upon the shocking news that he had “family.” Years ago it would have angered him, but he'd worn the stigma of bastardy so long it hardly chafed his skin anymore. What it chafed was his purse, but he now intended to remedy that.

As soon as the office cleared, Daniel arched one blond eyebrow and lowered his massive frame onto the expensive chair before Griff's desk. “A personal matter?”“It really is personal this time, believe it or not.”

Gone were the days when he and Daniel engaged in whatever machinations, illegal or no, were necessary to make Knighton Trading succeed. The future of the company lay in respectability. And ironically enough, respectability lay buried in Griff's past.

Griff took his own seat behind the desk. “I've been invited to visit my distant cousin'the Earl of Swanlea. He's dying, and his estate, Swan Park, is entailed on me.”

Daniel looked perplexed. “But how could it be entailed on you if you're'”

“A bastard? I'm not. Not in the legal sense, anyway.”

Daniel scowled, his disappointment evident. Their bastardy was the one thing they had in common, since they were opposites in looks, manner, and education. The fair-haired Daniel had been brought up in the workhouse and then in a smuggler's gang. Griff, dark-haired and lean, had been raised and educated as a gentleman.

Griff forced a smile, and added, “Although my legitimacy isn't yet established.”

“Either you're a bastard or you ain't,” Daniel grumbled.

“Aren't,” Griff corrected. “I'm not a bastard, though I can't prove it. That's why I accepted Swanlea's invitation.”

Daniel's eyes narrowed. “Isn't Swanlea the chap you had me investigate? The widower whose three daughters are called the Swanlea Spinsters?”

“That's him.” Griff handed Daniel a letter over the desk. “I received this last week, which is what prompted the investigation. You may find it interesting.”

As Daniel scanned the clumsy script, Griff surveyed his office. Summer sunlight crept in through high windows that cost him a fortune in taxes. It danced across marble sills and an Aubusson carpet before disappearing beneath mahogany chairs. This was his third office in ten years, each better situated and more richly furnished. It lay in the heart of the City near the Bank of England, loudly proclaiming his success.

Yet it wasn't enough. He wanted Knighton Trading to rival even the East India Company. Thanks to his distant cousin's timely offer, it might soon do just that.

Daniel finished the letter and regarded Griff with surprise. “So if you meet your cousin's terms, you'll be the next Earl of Swanlea?”

“Yes. He'll give me the proof of my legitimacy that I need to inherit his title and lands, which I assume is my parents' missing marriage certificate. In exchange, I'm to marry one of his daughters so they may remain at Swan Park.”

Daniel's eyes narrowed. “Don't you find it a mite suspicious that the earl should ‘stumble across the proof in his family papers' after so many years?”

Griff snorted. “Of course I do.” Indeed, he suspected the fifth earl of far worse crimes against his family. But only a fool acted on past resentments. And his purpose transcended any idle dreams of revenge. “I don't care how he found the proof'I want it.

Once I establish my legitimacy, I can gain a position on that trade delegation to China.”

“So you actually intend to marry one of these spinsters?”

“Give in to his blackmail? Never! That's why I need you to come with me. I intend to get the proof' there. And while I'm searching Swan Park for it, I want you to distract the daughters. Entertain them, court them, do whatever you must. Just keep them out of my way.”

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 49 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(19)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    the jury's out on this one

    I adore Sabrina Jefferies and I normally go through one of her books within a day. However, this one was not the best. The characters were a pill to swallow. The plot was slow and tedious. There was too much repetition and going back and forth. The lead male wasn't as strong as most of Ms. Jefferies other characters in her other books. I thought that this one may have been one of her first novels becuase it seemed as if everything was so underdeveloped. I'm hoping that the second one will be better.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2013

    Could not even finish it!

    Usually I devour regency romance novels like a helpless box if girl scout cookies, but this one was stale. The plot was weak, and made me go "really you are that prideful, really?" a few times, and within a week the characters found themselves in love. Which would have been believable if they had both experienced some type of adventure or some insurmountable odds that bonded them but no they were just baneting and pretending to not like each other for a few days in a mansion in the province. The characters and the plot were caricatures of what good romance components should be, too exagerrated and illogical for me. Maybe on a different day, a different mood I'll find the gumpton to finish this but not today.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    alright book

    much better than two and three in the series

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

    Wish I had skipped this one

    Did Sabrina Jeffries really write this one? It terribly written. Not her usual quality at all. Redundant, histrionoc, purple prose...did not read like her other books.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2003

    very sensual

    I loved the sexual tension and verbal arguments between Griff and Rosalind. The way SJ had them fighting and the scenes in the garden and billiard room were superb. However, after Rosalind finds out about the masquerade, the book somewhat goes downhill. There was no more good interaction between Griff and Rosalind and her running away was just stupid. I wished SJ had found a better way to end the story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2003

    Great

    I bought this book by accident if you can believe that and was so glad i did because it is one of the most memorable romantic books i've ever read simply because of these 2 wonderful characters and their wit, sarcasm and intelligence. I loved rosalind and Griff and have read this book about a million times. I recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    I could have happily missed this one

    This book did not start off well for me, and it didn't really improve. I thought the lead male was completely detestable, and he didn't really improve throughout the book. even when he changed his course in the end of the book, I had disliked him so much already that I found him to be pathetic.
    The lead female was just obnoxious. She did finally become a little tolerable in the middle of the plot, but by then I just couldn't get into her.
    I thought the story had potential, but it just was executed poorly by poorly planned characters. The love was just forced from the get-go. If I were that suspicious of someone and disliked their presence that much, I wouldn't even have let them get close to me enough for me to fall for them. I felt it was very contrived and that's something I've never been able to say about a Sabrina Jeffries's book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2010

    It was ok...

    I love Sabrina Jeffries! This is by far my least favorite book by her, and it was still pretty good. I thought the couples relationship was a bit forced at times, and the dialouge was not quite as witty as other Jeffries books. Still, it's better than most other regencies out there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2007

    Edge of Your Seat Romance & Thriller

    This is only the second novel I've read by the J.M. Jeffies duo and I have to say I was not disappointed. I enjoy the characters (good and bad). I love the closeness of the Jackson family. And the romantic tension between Reardon and Elena heats up and leaps off the pages. Not to mention the edge of your seat suspense the novel keeps you in, with 'Who Done It' and what's going to happen next. Couldn't put it down until I was finished! A Definite MUST Read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2005

    It Had It's Moments...

    This is the fourth novel I have read by Sabrina Jefferies. The other three were ¿The Pirate Lord¿ (very good ¿ fun and spunky), ¿One Night with a Prince¿ (excellent and sensuous story) and ¿After The Abduction¿ (only so-so). I bought this next book ¿A Dangerous Love¿ via B & N, read it and enjoyed it for the most part. Griff, and his man of affairs Daniel, trade roles to then visit the house of the man who stole the marriage certificate proving Griff¿s parents had been married and he was not illegitimate. Although Griff has made it big in trading and is very wealthy, he still wants respectability. In their visit to this house, they meet up with the man¿s three eccentric spinster daughters ¿ Rosalind ¿ strong minded, Helena ¿ stiff upper lip and proper, and Juliet ¿ sweet and naive. The clash of all these personalities kept the book light hearted and moving along well. There were lots of fun scenes once Griff and the heroine, Rosalind ¿ the second oldest daughter - meet and spar (her catching him sneaking through her father¿s study and she draws a sword on him, their touring of the estate and eating a fresh piece of fruit, her wild sense of color when it comes to houses, clothes, etc. and everyone naming their ¿personal parts¿). The ending was a wee bit predictable as everything resolved in such a nice tidy way ¿ the declarations, then the misunderstandings, then the running away, the chasing after and then all is right in the world. I would have liked to see their sexual intimacy take a bit longer to develop ¿ I think the men were there less than two weeks and low and behold ¿ Griff and Rosalind had some serious ¿outings¿ on the lawn, in the house, etc. For two Victorian aged people who were just getting to know one another, it would have been more interesting to draw it out a bit more. When Rosalind experiences intimacy for the first time, her reference to ¿what¿s Griff got in his pockets?¿ was memorable. If you are a Shakespeare fan ¿ you¿ll enjoy this book as lots of references and quotes go on between the characters. I was a little disappointed that Daniel and one of Rosalind¿s sisters didn¿t get together ¿ seemed it might have been nice to happen (maybe in another story later?). I didn¿t like the authors crude use of one word to describe a certain body part all the time ¿ not necessary for me. I prefer a bit softer term. Over-all, the story was a solid romance read ¿ nothing I would classify in my top ten but, still good over-all.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2000

    Great western romance

    In 1815 London, before he dies, the Earl of Swanlea wants to marry one of his daughters off to his heir Marsden Griffith Knighten. Griff, a man of business with questionable lineage, reluctantly agrees to meet Lady Rosalinde. However, Griff is not currently in the market for a spouse, so he switches identities with his man of affairs, Daniel Brennan. The independent Rosalinde rejects the notion of having a husband ordering her about. <P> However, to her chagrin, Rosalinde finds herself attracted to the intelligent but arrogant servant. Griff, in masquerade, shocks himself with his own desire for the lovely Rosalinde. Still, he keeps his identity hidden because he desperately wants to find proof that his parents married and that he is a legitimate offspring and not a byblow. This proof will also furnish him the Swanlea estate without entailing him with a spouse even if he finds Rosalinde a delight. <P> A DANGEROUS LOVE is an enchanting Regency romance that pays homage to Shakespeare¿s couple Rosalind (or is that Ganymede) and Orlando. The story line is amusing as the feisty female lead struggles with her feelings for the insolent ¿servant¿. Griff is a wonderful character, also struggling with love as well as a lifetime obsession with his identity. Fans will look forward to the stories of Rosalinde¿s two sisters, Juliet and Helena in future novels by talented Sabrina Jeffries. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    Must read!

    book is very well written and takes you on a roller coaster ride!

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  • Posted May 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    fun story

    I love anything Sabrina Jeffries. This was a fun read and I loved the heroine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Destiny

    Sooo hor.ny. she takes bath.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2011

    Good book

    I enjoyed this story and will continue to read the rest of (Swanlea Spinsters Series)

    Thank you Sabrina Jeffries.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2000

    I love this author!

    Phoenix Detective Elena Jackson was half black, half Italian, and all cop! In fact, her entire family was made up of cops! She was transferred to the Cold Case Unit (CCU) with Lieutenant Cher Dawson as her boss. The only others in CCU was a Native American name Greyhorse and the almost rogue named Wyatt Earp Whitaker! The CCU was made up of misfits, just as Dawson wanted it. Elena's father (retired) asked her to make the murder of an old partner's daughter her first case in CCU. She jumped into the case with a vengeance! It seemed pretty open and shut. New husband strangled his wife with her own wedding veil and was too drunk to remember. Reardon North was a retired quarterback with a famous record. Everyone knew him. Wanting to make something of himself, he studied law. He also restored a historic church into a jazz and blues club. It was a labor of pure love for him. He was also trying to get permission (lots of red tape) to restore an old ghost town. Reardon was still unsure as to what his next step would be now that he was officially a lawyer. Then Detective Jackson called. She was after his long time friend, Adam Elliot. He never believed Adam had killed his wife. Adam became Reardon's first case. He would prove Adam innocent with the detective's help and end this once and for all! But when Elena and Reardon met, the attraction was immediate! And they both knew the other was the enemy! She wanted to prove Adam was guilty or locate the real killer. He wanted to prove Adam innocent. As evidence came together, new murders began! *** Romance and action well blended in this spectacular who-dunnit novel! Designed to catch the reader's attention and run away with it until the last page has been turned! A fascinating novel from J.M. Jeffries, a wild talent in t he romance field! ***

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2000

    Edge of Your Seat Reading!

    If you like romance and suspense, do not miss this book! A DANGEROUS LOVE, by the writing team of J. M. Jeffries, is the story of Detective Elena Jackson who hails from a long line of cops, and brand new lawyer Reardon North. Elena suspects Reardon's best friend of killing his wife, while Reardon believes in, and is determined to prove, his friend's innocence. Elena and Reardon grapple with their ethics, sexual attraction and a growing body count. A DANGEROUS LOVE takes several twists that keeps the reader on the edge of their seats, while the sexual tension heats up the pages. These two talented authors show their skill by weaving a powerful story that will keep the reader up until the early morning hours to finish the book. Highly recommneded reading!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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