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The Indiscretion

The Indiscretion

4.8 10
by Judith Ivory

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The elegance, warmth, wit, and emotional intensity of award-winning author Judith Ivory's superbly romantic tales are unsurpassed. Now, in her most dazzling novel yet, she transports the reader to the ruged moors of England to celebrate a love that is daring, passionate....and most indiscreet.

Daring to love

Lady Lydia


The elegance, warmth, wit, and emotional intensity of award-winning author Judith Ivory's superbly romantic tales are unsurpassed. Now, in her most dazzling novel yet, she transports the reader to the ruged moors of England to celebrate a love that is daring, passionate....and most indiscreet.

Daring to love

Lady Lydia Bedford-Browne's small rebellion becomes the adventure of her life, when her coach crashes and leaves her stranded on the treacherous Dartmoor with the only other passenger: a rugged, disarmingly attractive Texan named Sam Cody. Sam's slow, melodic drawl and dark, hypnotic eyes tempt Lydia in ways she never thought possible. But dare the lord's daughter loosen her proper English restraints any further?

Foul luck has caused the dashing American millionaire to miss his own wedding to an unforgiving bride...for the second time! Worse still,he's stuck in the middle of nowhere with a straight-laced noble beauty. But there is an unmistakable spark of courage, sensuality, and wild passion beneath Liddy's prim exterior, daring Sam to pursue even further what his heart and his soul now desperately desire -- even though both the Texan's and the lady's vastly different worlds will be rocked if thay dare surrender to...The Indiscretion

Editorial Reviews

Amanda Quick
Lush, lyrical romance that seethes with passionate intensity.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Judith Ivory is irresistible.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set at the turn of the 19th century, Ivory's (The Proposition) powerfully evoked romance will satisfy readers with its subtle wit and rich characterizations. Lydia Bedford-Browne, the delicate daughter of an English viscount, decides to travel alone across Dartmoor, a vast expanse of barren flatlands, bogs and rocks. Her sole companion in the coach is a bruised and drunken Texas rancher named Sam Cody, who just missed his own wedding. When their inebriated driver falls off the coach, sending it careening into a bog, Lydia is more than thankful for the cowboy's presence. Stranded with few supplies and little sense of direction, the two set out to find a road and, in the process, discover that they share an affection for Buffalo Bill novels and each other. Despite the knowledge that her family and society would consider a relationship between a westerner and one of "England's daughters" deplorable, Lydia and Sam engage in an affair that ends abruptly when they are rescued. Through Lydia's struggles to reconcile her affection with her sense of family duty, Ivory gently emphasizes the plight of the powerless female and imbues her heroine with an admirable strength. The seamless narrative winds down to a rather pat conclusion, but readers will be charmed by Ivory's graceful descriptions and sympathetic characters. (Apr. 3) Forecast: A washed-out cover will do little to enhance this novel's sales, but critical praise (Ivory's last two books received stars from PW) may be sufficient to propel it into the limelight. If booksellers shelve Ivory (a.k.a Judy Cuevas) among authors like O'Day-Flannery and Julia Quinn, more readers are likely to take an interest in this rising star. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Chapter One

Any woman who can make you happy has all the information she needs to make you miserable if she wants to.
-- Samuel Jeremiah Cody

A Texan in Massachusetts
Lataille, Brace, & Co., Boston, 1884
Devonshire, England, 1899

Sam Cody wasn't usually a hard-drinking man, but today was an exception. His ribs were sore. His mouth was cut. His eye was swollen. The woman he loved hasn't speaking to him. Her family, if they got hold of him, was fit to hanghim, and his own friends and relatives were so riled they'd probably hie the horse out from under him to help. So here he was, in a godforsaken coach station in the middle of nowhere'whatever it took to avoid the pack of angryfriends and family'while he sulked, as irritated with himself as they were: But there was no way to avoid himself. Or almost no way. He tipped back his flask, gingerly putting its lip to his, and knocked back another sour mouthful of what passed for whiskey in England. He drew in air over the liquor as it ran down his throat'a little trick he'd learned today, since he had to breathe through his mouth, because breathing through his nose made it burn so badly his eyes watered. The whiskey settled hotly in his belly. Oh, he was working up a dandy drunk. Once he was on the coach, if the doggone thing ever came, he intended to drink himself unconscious The only company in the little wooden room was an over-sized trunk someone had deposited here before he'd arrived.It sat in a halo of dust motes, blocking most of the light from the only window, a big box container that looked nonetheless clean and freshly packed, so he thought maybe he'd behaving company on the ride to Exeter -- though whoever it was must know something he didn't, because the other passenger was as late as the coach. Sam could only guess as to which way to walk, up the road or down, if the coach didn't come. He was a stranger here -- and pretty much felt like the proverbial fish, its gills sucking air.

He was new to England by two weeks, and so far he didn't have much use for the country or anyone in it. Today especially. Today he hated every goshdamn Brit right up to their prissy, raised eyebrows. He hated every one of their little pasty-faced children. He hated their yappy dogs, their fat cats, their tiny carriages, their windowless walls and narrow alleys. He hated the way they didn't say what they thought -- if one more slick-eared, stall-fed Brit answered him one more time with the word indeed, he'd rip the fellow's tongue out'

Oh, what did it matter? He was headed home. In that spirit, he ambled over to the only furniture in the room, a wood bench, and sat on it, drawing one long leg up to hook his boot heel on the edge. He lay his arm over his knee, his metal flask dangling in his fingers.

You idiot, Gwyn. His now former fiancée. Oh, he hated her. He loved her. He missed her. How dare she be so mean to him? He had another quick mental argument with her. He'd been arguing with her all afternoon even though she was present only in his imagination. Once more, he ex-plained carefully and convincingly exactly what had happened today. It made perfect sense. Over and over, his explanations made everything all right again. A shame the real woman wouldn't be hearing his fancy speeches.

He raised his flask again'light, hollow, near-empty -- and polished off the last of the whiskey. He was just wondering what the limit was before the rest of his body interpreted English whiskey the way his taste buds did -- as poison -- when his vision jumped. It was a new variation to the swimming of his head. He leaned back on one arm to make the movement stop, which it didn't. He closed his eyes. Oh, how his body hurt. Closed, his swollen eye felt the size of a peach; the lid didn't unfold right.

Sam bent his elbow, shifting around to lower himself backward onto the bench.Hard as the surface was, meeting it seemed a relief, almost comfortable. He let his shoulders, then head, drop the last inch, a clonk onto wood. Fullyhorizontal, he knew a dicey moment as to whether he could stay in this position or whether he'd have to heave his sorry self up so as not to choke on all the liquor and coffee keeping his breakfast eggs company, all of it considering a return trip.

Exhaustion won. He sank past queasiness ...falling, a plummet, into sleep a U.S. silver dollar dropped, blinking then disappearing, down, down, out of sight, into the deepest part of a choppy Channel sea.

“Penis,” suggested Lydia Bedford-Browne. She and her lady's maid sat side by side on a one-horse farm cart as it pulled to a stop. “Ask him to tell you about his penis. That's what anatomy books call it.”

Rose, round-cheeked, round-bosomed, and a head shorter than her mistress, tied the reins as she giggled nervously. “Oh, I couldn't possibly say that,” she answered and set the brake.

Married this afternoon, Rose had just stammeringly admitted that she hadn't the foggiest notion about “that part”

of a man. Not a clue what it looked like, what it did exactly when it came to a woman, or even what to call it so as to open a discussion about it with her new groom.

Alas, back in Yorkshire, Lydia's father's library at Castle Wiles contained numerous representations. She even knew where her brother kept his forbidden copy of the Beardsley drawings to Lysistrata with their amazing exaggerations of the fanciful item under discussion.

Of course, she could have found Rose pictures of fairies and werewolves, too. They were roughly as real to Lydia. And as relevant to the life of the Viscount Wendt's daughter. She laughed. “Beyond recommending anatomy books, I can't help. I'm sorry.”

Rose nodded. “I just thought you might know a good word. You always knowwords.”

The Indiscretion. Copyright © by Judith Ivory. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Judith Ivory's work has won many honors, including the Romance Writers of America's RITA and Top Ten Favorite Books of the Year awards and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award.

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