Her Officer and Gentleman

Her Officer and Gentleman

4.4 16
by Karen Hawkins
     
 

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No ordinary highwayman...

A mere whisper of the name "Gentleman James" sends chills throughout the ton (and thrills the ladies who have heard rumors of his amorous exploits). But the dashing brigand never dreamed that the passing of the father he never knew would leave him with a title, a fortune...and a mission.

No predictable lady...

Considered

Overview

No ordinary highwayman...

A mere whisper of the name "Gentleman James" sends chills throughout the ton (and thrills the ladies who have heard rumors of his amorous exploits). But the dashing brigand never dreamed that the passing of the father he never knew would leave him with a title, a fortune...and a mission.

No predictable lady...

Considered unmarriageable at twenty-five, Lady Elizabeth has the perfect life, happily snuggled among her beloved books while caring for her curmudgeonly grandfather. Or so she thinks until she meets Christian Llevanth, the dark and mysterious Viscount Westerville, and discovers the delicious ache of desire. Elizabeth finds herself longing for more -- more romance, more excitement, and definitely more passion. But when does "more" become "too much"?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hawkins concludes her sensual Just Ask Reeves Regency series (following Her Master and Commander) with a hint of mystery. Former highwayman Christian Llevanth, Viscount Westerville, is determined to discover who falsely reported his mother as a traitor, leading to her imprisonment and untimely death. Convinced that the duke of Massingale was his mother's betrayer, Westerville plans his revenge, deciding to gain entry into the duke's household by romancing the duke's granddaughter, Lady Elizabeth. But Lady Elizabeth is an enigmatic woman, a forward thinker who doesn't wish to marry and even affects a stutter to discourage would-be suitors. Neither Westerville nor Lady Elizabeth expect emotions to become involved during their saucy, witty flirtation, but as they join forces to unearth the mystery behind the fate of Westerville's mother, excitement and passion bring them closer together. While the novel lacks the emotional intensity and taut romantic tension found in the best of this genre, the protagonists' frank, intelligent dialogue and a twist of suspense carry the novel through to a well-plotted conclusion. (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786290864
Publisher:
Gale Group
Publication date:
11/28/2006
Series:
Just Ask Reeves Series , #2
Pages:
447
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Her Officer and Gentleman


By Karen Hawkins

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Karen Hawkins
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060584149

Chapter One

Good manners do not necessarily prove good breeding. Oddly enough, this is true of both gentlemen and horses.

A Compleat Guide for
Being a Most Proper Butler
by Richard Robert Reeves

It all started with Lady Findercombe's rather impressive bosom.

Born of rather common parents and less than passable beauty, Miss Lucilla Trent was delighted when, at the tender age of sixteen, she developed what can only be described as "a woman's figure."

Lucilla, never a romantic sort, was overjoyed when her womanly figure caught old Lord Findercombe's rather jaundiced eye. The jaded bachelor was entranced enough to toss caution to the winds and beg for Lucilla's hand in marriage without regard for either her lack of dowry or the fact that her left eye had a rather disturbing tendency to wander.

Naturally, Mr. and Mrs. Trent were enthused. Though Lucilla found Lord Findercombe both old and dull, he was well connected, was invited everywhere, and was willing to set her up with an indulgent amount of pin money. They were, many said, a perfect match.

Once married, Lord Findercombe bestowed a wealth of heavy decorative brooches and necklaces on his wife that drew attention to her finest features. The combinationof bountiful bosom and jaunty jewels soon became an accepted sight in society.

All was well and good until the night of the Hearsts' Grand Ball. The ball was held every year two weeks prior to the beginning of the season. Located only a half day's ride from town, the event was a stopping place for all the best of the best on their annual move to their London town houses.

It had become something of a tradition; the large sitting rooms and the impressive ballroom crowded to the fullest. Every year, Lady Hearst flitted from guest to guest, gathering and passing on gossip like a bee pollinating a colorful garden.

Normally, the Hearsts' Grand Ball was held up as an example of a well-thought-out and unique entertainment, a fact that delighted Lady Hearst no small amount. However, this year things were not going as planned. Within an hour of beginning, the ball was, in fact, in dire danger of falling apart.

The wonderful orchestra Lady Hearst had hired had come down with the ague. At the last minute, she'd been forced to replace them with a smallish local quartet, which was hardly the thing for a large, crowded ballroom. Then she discovered that the long sheers she'd ordered draped around the ballroom to add an air of gaiety had an odd smell -- rather musty and barn-like -- a fact she did not discover until too late to order their removal. But the worst disaster was the ices.

A spate of unusually mild weather had caused the front hallway to be far warmer than usual, and all the lovely ices she'd ordered specially from London had begun to melt before the first guest had arrived. She'd been so excited about those ices, too. They had been shaped to look like Admiral Nelson on board the Victory to commemorate the glorious Battle of Trafalgar, a topic much on the minds and tongues of the ton.

As the ices melted, hundreds of small Admiral Nelsons began to shrink. Worse, his left arm, extended and holding a sword to the throat of a panicked Frenchman, fell off completely and landed on the upturned face of his vanquished foe, giving the entire scene a rather cannibalistic air.

The real Admiral Nelson had indeed lost an arm in battle, and Lady Hearst feared her guests would think her insensitive or, worse, unpatriotic. Her fears were quite justified when she caught not one but three spiteful women whispering just such a thing to one another during the evening.

All in all, the ball was filled, which made it acceptable, but the rooms languished with yawns and desultory small talk. The guests were bored, which was the worst thing that could happen to a society hostess, even over the advent of a fire or a fatality of some sort. At least that would have been interesting.

Into this listless event came the noisy entrance of Lord and Lady Findercombe. It was well past midnight, and Lady Hearst had long since abandoned her post by the door, but at the suddenly animated bustle, she and her husband hurried to see who had just arrived and in such an excitable state. Lady Hearst reached the entryway first and found the Findercombes standing amid a rapidly growing crowd.

"We," Lord Findercombe said, his voice trembling in outrage, "were robbed!"

In a flash, the ennui that had held the company at bay for the past four hours disappeared.

"Good God," said Lord Hearst over the noise of the now-buzzing crowd. "Lord Findercombe, how did this come to happen?"

His Lordship turned to his wife. "Lucilla, show them!"

Lucilla untied the bow at her neck, tossed open her cloak, and exposed her low-cut gown. Her magnificent decolletage was framed for viewing, the object of all attention.

For a moment, the busy hum of voices abated.

Lady Hearst's cheeks heated, while a rather inebriated gentleman by the door leaned forward and squinted. After a moment, he said, "They look just fine to me! Both of 'em!"

A wave of laughter arose from the crowd.

Lord Findercombe glared at the young buck. "Not her bosom, you fool! Her jewels! Gone, all of them! A highwayman stopped our carriage and stole everything!"

"You don't say!" Lord Hearst exclaimed.

"Yes, and the ruffian had the audacity to tell Lucilla that she might keep one of her brooches did she give him a kiss!"

Lady Hearst gazed anxiously at Lucilla. But the younger lady did not appear at all outraged. A faint, very secretive smile touched her lips. For a moment, Lucilla's rather plain features assumed a very attractive and somewhat sensual look.

The gathering swarmed with excited whispers. More people tried to crowd into the narrow entryway, many craning their necks to . . .

Continues...


Excerpted from Her Officer and Gentleman by Karen Hawkins Copyright © 2006 by Karen Hawkins. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Karen Hawkins was raised in Tennessee, a member of a huge extended family that included her brother and sister, an adopted sister, numerous foster siblings, and various exchange students. In order to escape the chaos (and while hiding when it was her turn to do the dishes), she would huddle under the comforter on her bed with a flashlight and a book, a habit she still embraces to this day.

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Her Officer and Gentleman 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Former highwayman Viscount Christian Llevanth, Viscount Westerville needs to know who claimed his late mother was a traitor, as those lies led to her incarceration and death. Christian lives for revenge and believes his target should be the Duke of Massingale. --- He sets his plan in motion starting with gaining access into the Massingale home by courting his enemy¿s granddaughter, Lady Elizabeth. However, she is nothing like he expected from a descendent of a duke. Instead Lady Elizabeth uses a fake stutter to keep beaus away as she has no plans to ever marry. Westerville ignores her efforts to cool his ardor as he reminds himself of his mother¿s plight caused he firmly believes by her grandfather. Still he finds Lady Elizabeth exciting and feeling like a traitor because he desires her. She persuades him to tell the truth and soon they begin a search for what happened to his mother while journeying on a path of love encouraged by the matchmaking butler Reeves. --- HER OFFICER AND GENTLEMAN is a terrific Just Ask Reeves Regency romance that sub-genre fans will fully appreciate. The amateur sleuth story line is filled with twists and turns including a fabulous final spin. The lead couple is a delightful pairing as he feels like he is betraying his deceased mother while she ponders whether her values are meaningful all because of love. Reeves is Reeves as fans of Karen Hawkins will understand (see HER MASTER AND COMMANDER). --- Harriet Klausner
julieford More than 1 year ago
Karen Hawkins is a writing genius who creates a story within a story. This is the story of Elizabeth, an heiress who just wants to remain in the country with her grandfather and Christian, a former highwayman turned Viscount. Christian is trying to prove Elizabeth's father had something to do with his mother's incarceration and subsequent death. Elizabeth agrees to help while trying to prove her grandfather innocent. As they work together, feelings unknown to both of them start emerging. The second story within is of Reeves, Christian's butler, who while guiding Christian in society is also writing a book for proper butlers. This is a fabulous book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I went back and forth on this book. Every time I became frustrated with the inaccuracy of some of the histical elements, the characters would acknowledge and explain away the inaccuracies in an amusing way and I could accept it and move on. However, eventually the pedictability of the story just became too much & I had to give up. Just not enough to keep me interested. Too bad. I wanted to like it.
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75703lw More than 1 year ago
excellent story
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Loved the story and the hero and heroine!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must say, this was my first Karen Hawkins novel and I truly enjoyed it. It was a good story and keeps you entertained. Reeves, the butler was priceless. His wit and sense of humor compliments Christian well.