Lady in Red

Lady in Red

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by Karen Hawkins
     
 

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When a priceless treasure brings together . . .

W ealthy and powerful Marcus St. John, the Marquis of Treymount, must recover a lost family heirloom that is in the possession of Miss Honoria Baker-Sneed. All he needs to do is convince her to relinquish his treasure for a reasonable sum. But when he meets Honoria, he's surprised to discover she is as

Overview

When a priceless treasure brings together . . .

W ealthy and powerful Marcus St. John, the Marquis of Treymount, must recover a lost family heirloom that is in the possession of Miss Honoria Baker-Sneed. All he needs to do is convince her to relinquish his treasure for a reasonable sum. But when he meets Honoria, he's surprised to discover she is as headstrong as she is beautiful.

Two unlikely hearts . . .

Honoria is astounded when Marcus shows up on her doorstep and arrogantly demands a ring that is rightfully hers. She agrees to return the heirloom, but on one condition: He must sponsor her sister into society—an idea Marcus considers absolutely preposterous.

Only love can decide the outcome.

W hen a heated argument ensues, they find themselves in a compromising position and are forced to marry. What starts out as a marriage in name only soon becomes much more as Marcus realizes Honoria has stolen his heart. But can he prove to his wife that he is worthy of her love?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this delightful Regency romance from bestseller Hawkins (And the Bride Wore Plaid), two high-born antiques experts each believe they care for their own opinions too much to ever marry happily. But when touched by the helping hand of an ancient curse-or blessing-even strong opinions can be rethought. Marcus St. John, the marquis of Treymount, has finally discovered that the St. John talisman ring, a family heirloom rumored to find its bearer his own true love, has made its way into the possession of his antique auction nemesis, Miss Honoria Baker-Sneed. Desperate for funds after a bad investment has left her and her younger siblings in difficult straits, Honoria offers to sell Marcus the ring for an outrageous sum, sparking a series of tense negotiations complicated by a swelling attraction. A too-public kiss sends the couple to the altar, but while the talisman ring can find a St. John his bride, it takes Marcus himself to keep her. Lively, fast-paced and liberal with humor, Hawkins's final book on the St. John brothers comes to the perfect conclusion. Agent, Karen Solem of Spencerhill and Associates. (Mar.) FYI: Hawkins contributed stories to the anthologies The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown and Lady Whistledown Strikes Back, both spearheaded by romance powerhouse Julia Quinn. She was also a double RWA Rita Award finalist in 2003. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060584061
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/29/2005
Series:
Talisman Ring Series , #5
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
723,143
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.92(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Lady in Red

Chapter One

My grandfather was an unpleasant old man. After he died, I frequently heard my grandmother say she missed him like a wooden leg. Though she'd grown used to his bark over the years, she didn't miss a single splinter and limped along just fine without him.

Mrs. Welterby to the Countess of Firth,
while waiting for the Prince to make an appearance
in the drawing room of Carlton House

Devon St. John paced before the fireplace, his hands clasped behind his back, his brow furrowed. His abrupt footfalls, silenced by the thick rug that stretched the length of the huge chamber, were overshadowed by the crackle of burning logs.

Suddenly, he halted before a large wing-back chair turned toward the warming flames. "I know. You can tell him."

"Me?" His brother, Brandon, shook his head, the firelight casting blue shadows through his black hair. "The last time I delivered bad news to Marcus, he sent me to oversee the holdings in northern Scotland for a month. I nearly froze to death."

Chase glanced up from where he slouched on the settee opposite. "I was once sent to the wilds of Yorkshire in the middle of the season for an equally inane reason. And that was back during the time when our brother was tolerable."

"Which has not been of late," Brandon said.

Chase nodded morosely. "Lately, he has been nothing but a seething mass of ill temper. God knows where he'd order us now if he had a true reason to be upset."

Devon sighed heavily. "I must apologize to all of you; this is my fault."

The last and quietest member of the gathering finally stirred tolife. Devon's half brother, Anthony Elliot, the Earl of Greyley, stretched his legs toward the fire from the depths of a huge red velvet chair. He surveyed Devon with a sleepy air. "Nonsense. The ring was lost by accident and nothing more."

"I should have made more of an effort to find it. But somehow, I thought it would be humorous to send Marcus chasing about for the blasted thing."

"It was amusing," Brandon said, "until Marcus could not find it. You sent Marcus the guest list for the ball where the ring disappeared, and we were all certain that ring would be in the hands of one of those guests."

Chase nodded. "Indeed, had the guests not brought guests of their own -- that is where we caught cold. And now Marcus's humor wears more thin as the days pass and the ring is not found. He's like a great bear denied his food."

Anthony shrugged. "So let him growl. He is but a man."

"You know what Marcus is," Devon said. "Our brother is a gale wind in a world of gentle breezes."

Brandon sighed and slouched back in his chair. "He defi- nitely has some very odd notions about marriage. I'm in poor case with him this very moment because Verena's father got into some trouble with the Italian authorities and I had to pay the scoundrel's way out of it. Marcus disapproved mightily."

Chase's brows lowered. "What else could you do? It's Verena's father."

"Marcus does not seem to understand that when you marry a woman, to some extent, you also marry her family."

"There's a lot about marriage Marcus doesn't understand," Anthony murmured, reclaiming his glass of port and taking another sip. "He seems to understand the concept of having a mistress far better."

"That he does. But a wife is a different matter altogether." Chase rose from the settee and stretched his arms over his head before crossing to the desk to pour himself a drink from a crystal decanter. "Lately he's been snappish. In fact, Harriet wanted to invite him to our new house for the holidays -- "

"Excellent!" Brandon said, brightening immediately. "Bloody excellent!"

Everyone looked his way.

"Oh uhm, sorry." Brandon smiled uneasily. "Verena had the same idea, though I had no wish to have Marcus growling his way through our holidays. She and I finally agreed that we would invite him only if none of you did. But since Chase and Harriet are going to invite him -- "

"You didn't give me time to finish my sentence," Chase said. "Harriet wanted to invite him, but then reconsidered. There's precious little to entertain Marcus out in the country, and since Harriet's not feeling well ... " Chase grinned a little as he lifted his glass in a seeming toast. "Yet another reason I'm glad my lovely wife is increasing."

Brandon grimaced. "I wish Verena was increasing as well, especially if it would keep Marcus away from us during the holidays. He's become a grump. Only yesterday he said that Christmas was a waste of time and energy and he hated all the fuss."

Devon sighed. "He's impossible. He hasn't spoken a civil word to me since I lost the ring, and that was months ago. I must admit, I thought the blasted thing would be easier to re-cover than this." He rubbed his chin, a frown in his blue eyes. "It's almost as if the ring doesn't wish to be found."

Silence met this. Finally, Chase cleared his throat. "We have never really talked about it, but ... are we all agreed about the ring?" He eyed his brothers carefully. "The legend is true?"

Anthony noted that his other brothers appeared uneasy with that bold question. The silence grew thick and then thicker. He supposed he couldn't fault them; after all, the ring had contributed in some way to each of their marriages. "I don't know about anyone else, but I believe it."

 

Lady in Red. Copyright © by Karen Hawkins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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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Lady in Red 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Yaeger More than 1 year ago
Just you want to read in a romance!  The book his on all points you need for an exciting trip down lovers lane.  A missing heirloom, and two people who need what the others has.  Marcus wants the ring since it's a family heirloom and  Honoria needs to give her sister a season in London.  It is great watching the "dance" that goes on between Marcus and Honoria as their story is told. III really enjoyed the tug of ware between teh two not just over the ring but of their lives.  Although this is the final story in the Tailsman Ring series she wrote, I enjoyed it most.  Highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys romances.
harstan More than 1 year ago
His siblings admit to the oldest brother Marcus that they have failed to find the missing family heirloom, the Talisman Ring that vanished after it worked its last magic leading to another one of them getting married. Only Marcus remains single, a state he plans to remain permanently in. However, he learns that a woman with a streak of white in her hair that made her look unique and an uncanny knowledge of Italian ancient swords might have the ring. This female was a companion to Lady Talbot who has since died and no one knows the female¿s name.--- Marcus does - the bane of his existence - Honoria Baker-Sneed possesses the ring. He offers her money, but she refuses demanding much more. In desperate financial straits with her father and brother overseas and they being without money, Honoria and her sisters need help. Honoria wants Marcus to sponsor her sibling so that they can broker a good marriage. As they argue the ring does its best and soon Marcus and Honoria fall in love, but he remains obstinate that love does exist in spite of his seemingly happy insane siblings and his desire to kiss his antiquities opponent Honoria every time he sees her.--- The final Talisman Ring regency romance is a wonderful finale to a terrific fun series as the most stubborn of the siblings falls to the power of the ring. The story line is driven by the gender war between Marcus and Honoria as they squabble over remittance for buying what he claims he already owns and she insists possession is the law. Karen Hawkins provides a delightful ending to this historical, but perhaps the ring can do some Victorian magic on readers.--- Harriet Klausner
dbrown34001 More than 1 year ago
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samanthajayne13 More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Lady in Red is such a great historical romance book. Such great banter between the characters. Karen Hawkins does such a great job when she writes. No one writes a book like Karen does!
BabbetteC More than 1 year ago
Lady in red is part of a wonderful series but stands on it's own greatly. I love the banter between characters it made me laugh out loud several times. Karen Hawkins has done it again and wrote a fun and engaging book.
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AnnBKeller More than 1 year ago
The St. John talisman ring is missing! Whoever holds the ring seems destined for love. Nevertheless, it isn't the ring's mystical power which drives Marcus St. John to Honoria's front door. She possesses something that belongs to his family and Marcus demands that the bauble be returned. Unfortunately, Honoria Baker-Sneed is no milk toast young maid. Time and again, Honoria's strong spirit and pride interfere with what could be a simple exchange, but she is evenly matched. Marcus seems just as determined to win their little contest. What he doesn't count on is falling in love in the bargain. Delightful contrast of wills from two worthy opponents - with love as the prize.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book for really one reason: It was all about romance. For once there were no intrigue, no villain, or spy chasing. It is a beautiful story about two very intelligent and beautiful human beings falling in love. For some reason, it seems that all romance writers nowadays have to fill their pages with some type of intrigue or mystery. I love this book because it was totally devoid of all that. Ms. Hawkins delightfully filled all the pages with love and laughter. No other ingredient was necessary to make this a great book. Granted there are readers who love their romance spiced with suspense and intrigue.But there are some of us who still like a good old fashioned romance devoid of those elements. That is why I find myself going back to the older books written by authors like Julie Garwood, Judith McNaught, Andrea Kane and Kathleen Woodiwiss. I never get tired of reading them over and over again especially after reading what passes for 'historical' romance novels these days.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Again Karen Hawkins, delights us with another entrancing tale surrounding the St Johns talisman ring..(her 5th book of the Talisman Ring Series).. Marcus St. John, the Marquis of Treymount and Miss Honaria Baker-Sneed are the perfect foil to each other, and you will enjoy this book from start to finish..... Honaria is more than willing to sell the ring to Marcus, but will he pay the price????????...Read on, dear ones....
Guest More than 1 year ago
WAITED ANXIOUSLY FOR THE LAST IN THE TALISMAN RING SERIES-SOMEWHAT DISAPPOINTED. HONORIA OVERUSED THE WORDS 'YE GODS' TO THE POINT OF MADNESS--MINE. THEN MARCUS MUST HAVE DECIDED HE TO NEEDED WORDING TO CONTINUALLY VERBALIZE FOR HIMSELF--HE CHOSE 'GOOD GOD'. ON A SENSUAL SCALE OF 1-10 IT IS A WEAK 3.HONORIA'S FAMILY MEMBERS WERE MORE INTERESTING THAN THE TWO MAIN CHARACTERS.
Maitrakh More than 1 year ago
Lady in Red was okay. I definately prefered all the other books in the series. I think I was a little disappointed in it. I expected more out of Marcus' story. Honoria just wasn't that interesting to me.