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An English rose blooming in the untamed jungles of South America, Eden Farraday lives a life of independence–unheard of for a lady–with her doctor-turned-scientist father. But Eden misses England desperately. When the dangerous and darkly ...
An English rose blooming in the untamed jungles of South America, Eden Farraday lives a life of independence–unheard of for a lady–with her doctor-turned-scientist father. But Eden misses England desperately. When the dangerous and darkly charming Lord Jack Knight sails into her life, she seizes her chance to return to civilization, stowing away aboard his London-bound ship.
Roguish and charismatic, a self-made shipping tycoon with a shadowy past and a well-guarded heart, Jack is sailing on a vital secret mission. When the redheaded temptress is discovered aboard his vessel, he reacts with fury–and undeniable lust. Forced to protect her from his rough crew, the devilish Lord Jack demands a scandalous price in exchange for Eden’s safe passage across the sea. As his wicked kiss ignites an unforgettable blaze of passion between them, Jack and Eden confront a soul-searing love that cannot be denied.
She wanted to dance.
Her toes in silken slippers tapped beneath the hem of her white--no, blue--no, her green silk gown, in time with the elegant strains from the orchestra.
Innumerable twinkling candles on the crystal chandeliers cast a golden haze over the ballroom, where pairs of gliding dancers whirled through the steps of the new, daring waltz: ladies in rich, pale, luminous silks, gentlemen in stately black and white.
Suddenly, through the crowd, she sensed someone staring at her. Peeking over her painted fan, she caught only a glimpse of a tall, imposing figure before the swirling motion of the dancers hid him from her view again.
Her pulse leaped. A thrill rushed through her, for she could sense him, feel him coming to ask her to stand up with him for the next quadrille.
Wide-eyed, her heart pounding, she waited, yearning for a clearer look at the face of her mystery man, her destined hero--
At that moment, a prickle of instinctual warning on her nape summoned Eden Farraday back from her lovely reverie.
Her rapt gaze focused slowly as reality pressed back in on her reluctant senses, bringing with it all the ceaseless sounds and pungent smells of another black, humid night in the tropical forest.
Instead of crystal chandeliers, a lone, rusty lanterngleamed on the bamboo table beside her hammock, which was draped beneath a cloud of filmy white mosquito netting. In place of lords and ladies, pale moths danced and flittered against the lantern's glass, and beyond the palm-thatched roof of the naturalists' jungle stilt-house, the darkness throbbed with teeming life.
Insects sang in deafening cadence. Monkeys bickered for the most comfortable branches to sleep on in the trees, but at least the raucous parrots had quit their noisy squabbling. Far off in the distance, a jaguar roared to warn a rival off its territory, for the great stealthy beasts' hunting hour had come.
Its fierce echo chased away her shining vision of London glamour, leaving nothing but the artifact that had inspired it--a yellowed, crinkled, year-old copy of a fashion magazine, La Belle Assemblee, sent by her dear cousin Amelia all the way from England.
The sense of danger, however, still remained.
She glanced around uneasily, her jungle-honed instincts on alert; her hand crept toward the pistol that was always by her side.
And then she heard it. A faint and subtle hiss from much too close overhead.
Lifting her gaze, she found herself eye to cold, beady eye with a monstrous eight-foot fer-de-lance. Fangs gleaming, the deadly serpent flicked its forked tongue in her direction. She shrank back slowly, not daring to move too fast.
Seeking warm-blooded prey, the big snake seemed to sense the vibrations of her pounding heart. The species invaded many a human dwelling in the torrid zone: humans left crumbs; crumbs brought mice; and the mice brought the fer-de-lance, a notoriously ill-tempered viper with a reputation for attacking with the slightest provocation.
Its bite spelled doom.
Slim and sinuous, it had slithered up into the weathered crossbeams of their shelter. It must have gone silently exploring then in search of a plump rodent entree, for at present it was coiled around the post from which her hammock hung, and was studying her like it wondered how she'd taste.
To her amazement, it had sliced through the mosquito netting with those daggered fangs that dispensed a venom capable of killing a large man in under half an hour. Eden had seen it happen, and it was not a pleasant death.
When the fer-de-lance arched its scaly neck into that ominous S shape, she had a fleeting fraction of a second to see the attack coming, then it struck--angry reptile snapping out like a whip, a flash of fangs.
She flung herself onto her back on her hammock, brought up her pistol, and fired.
A disgusted yelp escaped her as the snake's severed head plopped right onto the center of her treasured magazine.
"Bloody--!" she started, then stopped herself from uttering the rest, only mouthing the epithet, for refined London ladies did not curse aloud. Still!
That dashed magazine had taken a blasted year to reach her, coming via courier by way of Jamaica. Rolling nimbly out of her hammock, Eden scowled at the wide-mouthed snake head that now marred the elegant publication. She flipped her long plait of auburn hair over her shoulder, brushed the mosquito netting aside and stepped away, shaking off her latest brush with death.
"Everything all right, dear?" her father, Dr. Victor Farraday, called in a casual tone from his work tent across the naturalists' camp, located deep in the heart of Venezuela's green, steaming Orinoco Delta.
She shot a distracted glance in his direction. "Fine, Father!" she yelled back and, with shaking hands, put her gun away. Lord, I can't wait to get out of here.
With a grimace, she picked up the magazine like a tray, balancing the dead snake's head on it, and marched stoically to the rustic railing that overlooked the wide, onyx river. She flung the head into the current without ceremony, and heard it plop down into the Orinoco with a small splash.
Well, no doubt something would eat it in minutes, she thought. That was the law of the jungle: Eat or be eaten. Sending a wary glance out across the inky river, she saw a number of red eyes gleaming by the lantern's glow, and then a large thing submerged with barely a ripple in the silver moonlight.
Eden shook her head. Man-eating crocodiles, poisonous snakes, bloodsucking bats--and Papa said London was dangerous. Patience, she told herself, doing her best to keep her hunger for civilization in check. It wouldn't be much longer now. They would soon be going home to England whether Papa liked it or not.
Turning to gaze in the direction of her father's work tent, her face filled with determination. She gave herself a small nod. Yes. The suspense was torture. She had to hear Papa's decision--now. She tore off the pages of her magazine that could not be saved and put them aside as fuel for the cooking fires, then strode out of their native-style dwelling, known as a palafito. She fixed her sights on the naturalists' main work tent across the camp.
A ring of torches burned around the perimeter of the clearing to keep the beasts at bay, but there was little help for the mosquitoes. She swatted one away as she passed the fire pit in the center of camp, where she greeted their three black servants with affection. Their bright grins flashed in the darkness. Now that the heat of day had passed, the servants, dressed in flowing, light, tropical garb, were cooking dinner for themselves.
Eden exchanged a few teasing remarks with them and forged on. The skirts of her cotton walking dress swirled around her legs and her thick leather boots sunk firmly into the soft turf with every stride. Her forward stare was confident, but in truth, her heart was pounding as she waited for the verdict.
Ahead, beneath the three-sided military-style tent, Dr. Victor Farraday and his brawny Australian assistant, Connor O'Keefe, bent their heads together in close discussion, poring over a weathered map. The field table was strewn with the latest specimens they had collected today on their trek, led by the local Waroa shaman to where the medicine plants grew. For now, however, their new finds were forgotten. Their faces were tense and serious by the dim orange glow of the lantern.
It was no wonder why. Her treasured magazine was not the only item the courier had brought today from the outer world, smuggling their mail and a few supplies in past the Spanish fleet trolling the coast.
There had also been a letter, equally out of date, from the solicitor representing Papa's aristocratic patron back in England. The letter announced the sad tidings that the old, philanthropic fourth Earl of Pembrooke, alas, had gone on to his eternal reward some months ago.
His Lordship's heir, the fifth earl, was young and dashing, rumored to be quite handsome and, if the Society pages of La Belle Assemblee could be believed, he was also known as a gambler and a bit of a rakehell. The new Lord Pembrooke was building himself a fine new country house, and as far as he was concerned, all the artists and scholars, musicians and sculptors and scientists that his grandfather had for so long commissioned could go hang. So he had instructed his solicitor to say.
In short, the famed Dr. Farraday had lost the funding for his research, and Eden had nearly cheered aloud to hear it.
She had bitten her tongue, however, and suppressed her joy, for Papa had turned pale at the news, committed as any obsessed genius to his work. Oh, but it wasn't as though they would starve once they reached England, she reasoned with a hardheaded practicality that usually balanced out her dreamy side.
A trained physician and now a prestigious author as well, Dr. Farraday had a standing offer of a highly respectable teaching post at the Royal College of Medicine in London. When he accepted it, as he surely must, it wouldn't be long before she and Cousin Amelia would be promenading in Hyde Park among the other elegantes, causing the young bucks to wreck their stylish phaetons for turning to stare at them.
Soon--who could say?--she might actually have a normal life.
Clasping her hands behind her back, Eden cleared her throat politely to get the gentlemen's attention.
The two scientists had been so absorbed in their discussion they had not noticed her standing there. At once, they fell silent, halting their low-toned discussion.
"Well, boys," she said with a jaunty smile, trying with a touch of humor to lighten some of the tension they all were feeling about the sudden change in their situation. "When are we finally going to leave?"
Alas, her jest fell flat. The pair exchanged a guarded glance. Belatedly, Connor stood in the presence of a lady, knowing how she loved these small gestures of civility.
Connor O'Keefe was a tanned, blond, towering Australian, over six feet tall and twice as broad as the tribal warriors of the Delta. He was a strong man of few words and a specialist in zoology; his sensitivity to the forest animals was endearing to Eden, but more and more frequently of late, his unbroken stares made her uneasy.
"Everything all right?" he asked, resting his hands on his waist with a concerned frown. "Why did you fire?"
"A fer-de-lance got into the house. Sorry, Con. It was either your snaky friend or me."
"Good God, are you all right?" her father exclaimed, whipping off his spectacles and starting forward in his chair.
"I'm fine, Father," she assured him. "I wondered if Connor would take the vile thing away. Most of it's still stuck in the rafters," she said with a wince.
The Australian nodded firmly, then glanced at her father. "I'll be right back, sir."
"Yes, er, give us a moment, my boy. I should like to have a word with my daughter."
"Of course." Connor paused to give Eden's shoulder a gentle squeeze. "You're sure you're all right?" he murmured.
Excerpted from His Wicked Kiss by Gaelen Foley Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted December 16, 2006
Gaelen Foley saved the best for last in her Knight Series with this final story about Jack Knight. In all of the other books the reader is teased with brief mentions of Jack, so it is fitting that he is larger than life when we at last meet him. A handsome beast like him needs the perfect beautiful woman. Eden Farrady is in the jungle assisting her father in the discovery of rain forest medicines. She literally drops out of a tree in the jungle upon seeing Jack and his crew on their way to his ship. Eden has dreamed for years to get out of the jungles of South America and return to England for a season and hopes Jack will want to take her back. Jack is immediately drawn to her and From His First Wicked Kiss until the very end the reader is captivated by the love and passion. Eden stows away on Jack's ship. It is here the seduction begins and their love grows. They marry on the ship of Jack's uncle Lord Arthur Knight. At sea their love is uncomplicated, but there is real life to face off the idyllic setting of Jack's ship at sea. The story becomes complicated as Jack needs to return to South America to help in the war effort against the Spanish. Jack, estranged from his family and the ton does not want to expose Eden to the falseness and cruelty of the ton. He mistakenly plans to keep her at his castle in Ireland. Eden is crushed and sees that as a betrayal to her and her dream. Jack is as unhappy with England as she is with the jungle. I disagree with other reviewers that this story fell flat. What happens is that the story becomes emotionally complicated as both of these very strong characters struggle with the issues of their individual wants and needs to come to terms at working out a blend between the two to create a life together. I was one of those readers that wanted to savor this book and was disappointed when the story was over. Great ending to the series. Time to re-read them in order from the beginning!
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Posted April 9, 2009
Okay to give my review a justice.... i just want to say I LOVED the book at least the first 3/4 of the book. I do admit that it started really nicely. i like how strong both the characters.I liked the fact that the female protagonist is very smart and can take care of her own[she's an outdoorsy type-- shooting, climbing, knife etc...] The first 3/4 were just beautiful. Loved their rationality and interaction but as soon as they arrived to civilization the i started to hate HATE HATE the female protagonist!!! she became part of the ton--she forgot herself. She started to act and think like them. If the male protagonist first met her as part of the ton, i don't think he would have cared for her. It was her difference to the rest of the other female made him fall madly in love for her. She makes mistakes one after the other resulting emotional pain to the other one. Seriously, how many times should one screw up until she realizes that she's the f**king moronic one and she keeps hurting the person she supposedly love one screw up after another?!? Sorry-- i'm simply extremely irritated because its the first book that i have ever read that could not finish. I have read a serious amount of book before but i strive to finish them no matter how horrible they are but this one is just too much. It's even more disappointing because i love the beginning. i was soooo irritated i even threw the book by reflex. my hand just threw it and i was shocked.
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Posted January 29, 2012
Ok...Wow! I am definately starting this series from the beginning and devouring it book by book! From the first chapter, I was pulled into a world from which I didn't want to escape. This smoldering tale of love between the rake, Lord Jack and the innocent but sensual Eden had me turning pages at 2a.m. and at 2p.m. and hours in between! This is my first, but definately NOT my last visit with this talented author, whose form and phrasing stood toe-to-toe with the best writers of romance out there. BRAVO, my dear for making my heart race and for allowing me the joy of a truly fabulous read! Highly recommended for sure!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 22, 2011
Posted July 27, 2010
I Also Recommend:
I really liked the storyline of this book and was happy to see vulnerability in both the lead characters. Of course, having a "to die for" man like Captain Jack peaked my female wiles to begin with, but I was also excitedly inpressed by Eden, a spirited spitfire, who was a perfect match for our leading man. This one is a true romance with lots of adventure and very wicked love scenes, of which I loved to no end. I look forward to more of Gaelen Foley's romances!!!
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Posted September 6, 2009
Posted March 8, 2009
Posted January 24, 2009
I loved this story,both Jack and Eden were so sensative in so many ways.He was a proper knight.So sorry this series has come to an end.I will be re reading them all again from the first book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 16, 2008
I write this review with a tear in my eye. HIS WICKED KISS signifies the end of Gaelen Foley's Knight Miscellany. I have loved and treasured each of these books. I was incredibly hesitant to even start this book, knowing that it would mark the definitive end to an absolutely phenomenal series. That being said I'll actually get to the point. Is this book any good? The correct answer is YES! (although you could arguably say that I am a bit biased as I adored each Knight book) This book starts off with our believably tough/hardcore/ball-busting but equally vulnerable and compassionate heroine, Eden, plotting her escape from the Orinoco jungle in Venezuela where her father kept her cloistered away for years while he researched the medicinal qualities of certain native plants. Her way out comes in the form of Jack Knight, a self-made shipping tycoon, who is heading for London. On a whim she recklessly steals aboard his ship and stows away in the cargo hold. She successfully avoids detection for the first few weeks of the journey but inevitably she is discovered. The romance that ensues is as just as touching as it is steamy. The sexual aspect of this book never overshadows the romance or any of the beautifully crafted characters. As in all of Foley's novels there is an adventurous plot dealing with Eden's father's assistant, Connor, as he is completely obsessed with Eden. This could have easily become a failing in the novel but it never once confuses the plot. Instead Connor's delirious fixation on Eden only makes Jack realize just how much he needs her. I really loved this book. I really loved this series. I already miss it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 3, 2008
I loved this book SO much I wanted to read again and again. Gaelen Foley -in my opinion- is one of the greatest historical romance writers I have ever read. I have read all of Foley's books and this one is one of her best. I especially loved the part where Eden has to hand over her machette, and she throws it sailing centimetres past his head and thwacking into the mast!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 16, 2007
No offense to Gaelen Foley but this is not one of her best books. I loved the first 300 pages or more but then it started to go downhill. One part that I disliked was when he kissed her to make his old lover jealous and was really rude to her. The way Jack treated Eden wasn't very nice. Not the best book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 8, 2007
This was such a great book! It was a great way to end the Knight series...sort of, since now there are now three Knight cousins to read about. Foley is such a great romance writer - and writer in general - that her books are impossible to put down, and this one is no exception. It makes me want to go back and read the entire series over again, but I'll have to wait until this summer when I have more time. I agree with another reviewer in that this particular book's last 100 pages or so were a little disappointing, but the rest of the book more than makes up for it. Enjoy!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 13, 2007
I loved this book!!! From the beginning to the end it was just delightful to read. I fell in love with Eden and Jack. I really liked the fact that Jack showed his vulnerability and they both admitted when they were wrong. This is a must read!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 20, 2006
Gaelen Foley is fast becoming one of my favourite romance authors. She writes very well, with just the right amount of romance and adventure, and her characters possess a lot of depth. 'His Wicked Kiss' is no exception. I love the unique story line and the exotic locale. Eden Farraday and Jack Black are the perfect imperfect couple, and it was fantastic to follow them as they exchanged witty dialogues and ultimately fall in love. A must-have for any romantic's personal library =)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 30, 2006
This is one the best books Gaelen Foley has written. It has perfect amount of romance and action. I love the fact that both hero and the heroine make mistakes and come around to realize it. I was kind of sad to see this book finish since it's the last of series. I hope she writes more books on Knight family.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 6, 2006
I was dying for Jack's story. After learning snippets of him in the previous awesome books, I couldn't wait for the 'Black Sheep' to fall in love. I loved the original storyline for Eden and the new locale. She was so fresh and unique. I loved how bit by bit, she changed Jack. Oh, and terrific rescue scene when Jack rescued Eden from the water. I was on the edge of my seat! The reason I didn't give this story 5 stars is that the last 100 pages seriously disappointed me. Eden changed SO much when she got to London, and the story ended before she was able to redeem herself. I couldn't stand their fighting over sex, and how he began to contemplate 'tupping' the maid if she kept shutting him out. I was like, what happened to their beautiful love??? I would have liked to have had more with my old, favorite characters, but maybe in the next books!!! Keep 'em coming, Gaelen!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 30, 2006
Gaelen Foley has to be my favorite romance novelist. Her historical romances are by FAR the best of any other historical writer, or romance writer in general. HIS WICKED KISS did not dissapoint. I suppose, however, that I expected Jack to be more tortured. But He is nevertheless a fantastic hero. Eden is a strong willed and intelligent young lady, with a mind of her own. These two create a wonderful mix and make for a truly compelling and wonderful story. I would definately reccomend The Ascension Trilogy and the earlier Knight Miscellany. Princess and Lord of Fire happen to be my favorites, so check them out. :). But if you are looking for an amazing read and an even greater author check out HIS WICKED KISS and ALL of Gaelen Foley's books. You will love them as much as I do.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 28, 2006
As a long awaited historical by Ms. Foley, ¿His Wicked Kiss¿ was more than worth the wait. The pinnacle of this wonderful series takes readers on a spectacular voyage of oceanic proportions. Make way for the story of Black-Jack Knight, scourge of the Knight family¿or is he? Eden faraday is tired of her rugged existence in the wilds of Venezuela. Her father, brilliant though he is, has finally gone round the bend. He wants to take them even further into the untamed lands, into the very heart of the forbidden Amazon! Craving a life amongst London society, Eden is determined to escape her mad father. When the infamous Jack Knight floats downriver to their settlement, Eden hatches a plan to stow away. Her plan becomes reality when he refuses aid, forcing her to hide on his ship. Jack discovers the untamed beauty, and finding the close quarters of ship and berth too much to resist, the two embark on a journey of survival and discovery¿of the heart. Someone pursues Eden though, a dangerous man not of mind to give her up. Enemies lurk as Jack further involves himself in the war between Venezuela and Spain. Can their differences be set aside and most important¿can Jack learn to trust in love? Many readers wondered as they savored Ms Foley¿s Knight series¿will we ever read about the elusive Jack? Jack¿s story is the best of the series to date and this reader couldn¿t have come away more pleased. Appearances are not always what they seem, something Jack proves in his vulnerabilities. His reputation precedes him, but it does not define him. Eden is a rare lady one raised without the negative and twisted attitudes of society. Her fresh approach to life is the catalyst for Jack¿s healing. Foley uses rich dialogue and plotting to engage the reader from start to finish. A superb example of a writer that improves more with every book. But is this the end of our beloved Knights? Why, no! Stay tuned for three more Knights, cousins, Georgina, Gabriel and Derek. K. Montgomery Official Reviewer for The Mystic CastleWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 1, 2006
I've read all of her books. all except once i have started it during the day then stayed up till the next morning in order to read it all in one sitting. This one did not disappoint. I thought it was going to be hard to get into this book because we never really met Jack in the previous books in these series, but i loved Eden and Jack together. The only complaints i have is that they fall for each other a little too quickly and i feel Eden is a bit too selfish at times. Otherwise i was very content with the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
In 1818 deep in the Venezuelan jungles, British native Eden Farraday lives with her scientist father, Dr. Victor Farraday. While she wants to have a season in London with 'normal people' maybe even find a husband, he obsesses over elixirs ever since his wife died and says she can marry his assistant Connor O¿Keefe. --- When Victor breaks his promise to escort Eden to England, she decides she must find her own way. Opportunity arises when Lord Jack Knight and his devilish crew sail nearby following a meeting with Bolivar's rebels in which he offers them retired British veterans to fight alongside their peasants and farmers. Eden asks Black Jack to take her to London, but he refuses. An independent, Eden sneaks onto his vessel where Jack finds his pretty feisty stowaway when it is too late to turn back. Figuring her payment would be her, he places her in his cabin, but soon the rogue and the eccentric fall in love. --- The keys to this superb regency romance are the relationship between the lead couple that Gaelen Foley deftly maneuvers and the need to know what turned Jack from an aristocrat to a scoundrel (with a conscience). The fast-paced story line is character driven as Jack begins to change due to his falling in love (though in fairness his ¿goodness¿ is part of him as he supports the rebel cause in South America for more than just silver). Sub-genre fans will want to read this fine tale for to not would be fool¿s folly. --- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.