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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 ...like 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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Indiscretion 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1899 Devonshire, England, Texas millionaire Sam Cody missed his own wedding, which means his own family wants to kill him and his now ex-fiancee¿s family will kill him. Though a bit drunk, Sam takes the coach across the Dartmoors. The only other passenger is Lady Lydia Bedford-Browne, who travels alone for the first time in her twenty-four years of life.

The trek across the thirty miles of mostly barren landscape turns dangerous when their drunken driver falls off the wagon and consequently the driver-less coach crashes into a bog. Lydia and Sam begin the journey to safety, but as they cover common ground, an attraction springs up between them. However, a Yankee, though quite wealthy, cannot be good enough for an aristocrat¿s daughter even if they are falling in love.

THE INDISCRETION is an outstanding historical romance that centers on the role of women during a period when rights were few and men owned all of them. The story line is fast-paced and loaded with a sense of the era through the relative eyes of the cast, which allows for a diversity of beliefs. Lydia demonstrates her courage throughout the novel even as she struggles with the social straitjacket that binds her tight. Initially Sam appears more as an irresponsible relic of the west, but time proves his worth through Lydia. Judith Ivory strikes platinum by painting a fabulous tale that should send the audience seeking her previous novels.

Harriet Klausner

Stacey913 More than 1 year ago
My first romance novel & I absolutly couldn't put it down! I'm hooked. It was beautifully written.
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SuzieLB More than 1 year ago
I really like all of Judith Ivory's books, but this particular story is one of my all time favorites. I love Lydia and Sam.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Short and sweet? Loved this book! It's the third Judith Ivory novel I've read, having only recently discovered her. After reading in three years nearly 400 romance novels, encompassing different time periods and settings, in my opinion she is one of the best. My only regret is that there aren't more of her books out there waiting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lydia Bedford-Browne is a rather uncoventional daughter of a Viscount. After attending her maid's wedding, unbeknownst to her parents, she sets out on a journey across the Dartmoor, a desolate uninhabited stretch of land, to visit her cousin. The only other passenger on the coach is a drunken, disheveled cowboy who spends much of the journey sleeping under his hat. That is, until he discovers that the driver is nowhere to be found, and he must try to get the coach under control. The coach becomes mired in a bog, and Sam Cody, the drunken cowboy, frees the horses and saves Lydia. Stranded on the moor, Sam and Lydia are forced to spend several days with only each other for company.

At first they are uneasy around each other as Sam is sure that Lydia isn't the lady's maid she claims to be , and Lydia senses that Sam isn't just the sloppy cowboy who just jilted his bride. Gradually, these two protagonists develop a truce as they progress from sleeping close together to keep warm to making love when Lydia seduces Sam.

Though Lydia finally admits that she is the daughter of a Viscount, Sam is somewhat taken back, when just prior to their rescue, Lydia refuses to allow Sam to see her upon their return to London. Lydia thinks that Sam could never be the person her family would want her to consider for a husband. Sam surprises Lydia, though, when he shows up at her home, having been invited to a party given by her father, the Viscount Wendt. While Sam had admitted to Lydia that he was rich, he never admitted that he was being considered for the position of U.S. Ambassador to Britain.

Lydia tries to avoid Sam at all costs even when her father invites him to stay on at his home in an effort to further some treaty negotiations. Tempers flare between Lydia and Sam as they engage in a quirky archery contest, and Lydia consistently insults Sam thinking that she just wants him to disappear because he coudn't possibly fit into her world. When Lydia discovers that she is pregnant, Sam must do his best to convice her that he wants to marry her not only out of duty, but out of love.

Judith Ivory cleverly delves into the characters of these two main players. They aren't just merely hero and heroine who fall in love, but two people who must come to terms, not only with their preconceived notions of one another, but each other's imperfections. Their dialogue is witty without being contrived as they constantly spar with one another. A hint at the conclusion suggests Sam's half-brother as a hero for a coming book. For those who love a great romance, Judith Ivory's possible sequal to THE INDISCRETION cannot come too soon.