Night Secrets [NOOK Book]

Overview

Book after book, New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin wins extraordinary acclaim from readers and reviewers alike, for her fresh, sexy novels that combine adventure, wit, and romance. Now in Night Secrets, Kat takes you to England, America, and the high seas for a tempestuous voyage of the human heart-a journey you'll never forget...


Their passion was a force of nature, as wild and powerful as the sea


They came from opposite worlds: ...

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Night Secrets

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Overview

Book after book, New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin wins extraordinary acclaim from readers and reviewers alike, for her fresh, sexy novels that combine adventure, wit, and romance. Now in Night Secrets, Kat takes you to England, America, and the high seas for a tempestuous voyage of the human heart-a journey you'll never forget...


Their passion was a force of nature, as wild and powerful as the sea


They came from opposite worlds: Brianne, a young woman trapped in a life from which she longs to escape; and Captain Marcus Delaine, the Earl of Hawksmoor, a man whose heart and soul cannot be touched by anyone. When Brianne briefly stows away on his ship, their lives are filled with beauty and passion...But when tragedy strikes, Brianne and Marcus are torn from each other, and the love between them is buried beneath the agony of betrayal. Traveling to England, Brianne is determined to touch the heart of the vengeful, embittered man Marcus has become...even if it means losing him forever.

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Editorial Reviews

EBOOK COMMENTARY

"Kat Martin delivers what readers desire: an exciting, sensual, engrossing romance whose characters use the power of their love to give them strength." --Romantic Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Martin continues her seagoing Regencies with this breast-heaver about tavern girl Brianne Brandy Winters and hard-muscled Marcus Delaine, Lord Hawksmoor and the owner of Hawksmoor Shipping. Brandy, the prettiest bit of baggage in Charleston, S.C., hates the boredom and the pawing at her fathers White Horse Tavern, so she stows away on Marcuss ship, the Fairwind, in order to see a bit of the world. While Brandy learns about life on the open sea, Marcus unsuccessfully fights off the urge to bed her. Disaster comes when someone trying to sabotage Hawksmoor Shipping sets up an accident that leaves Brandys lover paralyzed from the waist down. Its only after Brandys father dies, leaving her rich, that she goes to England, nurses the crippled, impotent Marcus back to health and virility and learns how to be a lady. Unfortunately, while historical romances often rely on an acceptable share of clichs, Martins at best are flat and puerile. May
RT Book Reviews

Sensuality and mystery with a strong love story.
Rendezvous

A whirlwind that pulls the reader into a romance filled with…passion.
From the Publisher

Praise for Night Secrets
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466858121
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/3/2014
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 342
  • Sales rank: 39,055
  • File size: 824 KB

Meet the Author

Currently living in Missoula, Montana, Kat Martin is the bestselling author of over fifty Historical and Contemporary Romance novels. Before she started writing in 1985, Kat was a real estate broker. During that time, she met her husband, Larry Jay Martin, also an author. Kat is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. "I love anything old," Kat says. "I love to travel and especially like to visit the places where my books are set. My husband and I often stay in out-of-the-way inns and houses built in times past. It's fun and it gives a wonderful sense of a by-gone era."

To date, Kat has over twelve million copies of her books in print. She is published in twenty foreign countries, including Germany, Norway, Sweden, China, Korea, Bulgaria, Russia, England, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Japan and Greece.


Kat Martin's bestselling novels include Nothing But Velvet, Innocence Undone, and the Raines of Wind Canyon Series--Against the Wind, Against the Fire, and Against the Law. Her book Silk and Steel was nominated for a RITA Award. She is a graduate of the University of California, where she majored in Anthropology and History, a background that helped to develop her interest in the past. "I love anything old," she says. "I especially love to visit the settings for my books. My husband and I often stay in out-of-the-way inns and houses built in times past. It's fun and it gives a wonderful sense of a bygone era." Before becoming a writer, Martin was a real estate broker. She lives with her husband, author Larry Jay Martin, in Missoula, Montana.
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Read an Excerpt


Chapter One


March 1803


Night was always the worst. Brandy stared out through thewavy glass panes that distorted the darkness, saw only herweary reflection, and wondered how much longer she couldstand it.

    As far back as she could remember, every day of her nineteenyears, Brianne Winters had worked from the first grayhint of dawn till blackness curtained the mullioned windowsof the White Horse Tavern.

    "Brandy, girl, you had better stop daydreamin' and getback to work. Your papa will be back any minute and there'scustomers with empty tankards out there." Her best friend,Florence Moody, a slender, dark-haired woman six yearsolder than Brandy, stood at the kitchen door, her thin facenearly obscured by steam. They had worked together so long,Flo seemed more a mother or an older sister than merely afriend.

    Brandy smiled. "Sorry. I didn't mean to be gone so long.Old Salty Johnson is back in port. He was telling me abouthis trip down from Halifax. I guess they ran into someweather and one of the masts went down. Nearly sank theblasted ship."

    Flo wiped her hands on the apron tied over her skirt. "OldSalty always could tell a tale. Don't worry yourself about it.We just now started getting busy. The Fairwind's droppedanchor and the crew has begun driftin' in. They'll be ahandful tonight, seein' as they been at sea for nigh on twomonths."

    Brandy groaned as she walked out of the kitchen and intothe smoky, dimly lit taproom. "I swear Dalton's crew is theworst of the lot. I don't lookforward to their arrival." Thetavern was nearly a hundred years old, with heavy oak beamsand flagstone floors. Pewter sconces lined the walls, castingshadowy candlelight against the smoke-darkened wood.Though her father loved the old place, Brandy hated it. It wasdingy, she thought, smelled of stale beer, and the walls werecold and dank.

    "They're a rowdy lot," Flo said, "and no mistake. We'llbe sportin' bruises from our backsides to our knees comemornin'."

    "Not me. I'm sick unto death of these damnable sailorsand their pinching and pawing ways. The first man who laysa hand on me will be feeling the weight of a tankard againstthe side of his head."

    Flo just laughed. "Your papa won't much like that. Badfor business. He likes you to keep the sailors happy."

    But Brandy didn't really care what her father liked. Hecertainly didn't care what she liked or wanted. All he caredabout was his wretched tavern and making more money.

    "I'm Big Jake Winters," he would say, "owner of theWhite Horse, finest tavern on the Charleston quay." He wasalways so proud of the place, a legacy he was building forhis son. Only Big Jake never had a son.

    In truth, his wife had died giving him his one and onlyheir, a petite daughter, with Ellen Winters's same red-goldhair. Nothing at all like the big strapping boy Jake had sodesperately wanted. A second wife had birthed another girl,smaller even than Brandy, and so frail she hadn't lastedthrough the first Charleston cold. Frances Winters died of theyellow fever when Brandy was ten years old, and Big Jakefinally resigned himself to what he saw as God's will.

    The bitter fact was he would never have a son. A daughterwould have to suffice, but Jake's resentment of the fact hoveredlike a huge, dark cloud over Brandy's head every minuteof every day.

    "You went to market this morning, didn't you?" sheasked Flo. In a simple brown skirt that showed a bit too muchankle, a lace-up stomacher, and a scoop-necked white peasantblouse that exposed the tops of her breasts—the attire of theWhite Horse serving maids—Brandy leaned over a scarredwooden table to mop up a spilled tankard of ale, her singlelong braid sliding over one shoulder.

    "Matter of fact, I just got back," Flo said. "We ran shortof eggs. Picked some up along with some side pork for yourpapa's breakfast."

    "So what interesting tidbits of gossip did you hear?"

    "Bless me—I nearly forgot. I did hear a bit of news you'llwant to hear."

    "Good news, I hope. I could stand a little of that for achange."

    Flo moved behind the wide plank bar to tighten the loosebung on a cask that had started dripping brandy. "Word isSeahawk's comin' in. Should be docking anytime now. CapOgden down to the lighthouse spotted her off the point, sailin'in toward the harbor."

    Brandy's heart began thudding uncomfortably. Seahawk.Surely not. But her pulse inched up several notches just thesame. "I thought Captain Delaine was headed back to England.I didn't expect we'd be seeing him again for at leasta couple more months."

    Flo shrugged her shoulders. She was a slender woman withbroad hips and a wide, welcoming smile. "Wouldn't knowabout that. Cap sounded pretty sure, though. He don't makemany mistakes."

    Brandy's hand shook faintly. "No ... no he doesn't makemany mistakes." Absently, she walked away, her mind onthe big, full-rigged ship Seahawk and its handsome owner,Captain Marcus Delaine. Or more accurately, Captain Delaine,Lord Hawksmoor, his newly inherited title as much asurprise to him as it was to everyone else.

    Recalling his lean, dark, slightly arrogant profile, shethought that it probably shouldn't have been. He had alwayshad a presence about him. His aristocratic blood was apparentin every gesture, every self-assured movement. He was bornto command and it showed in every line of his darkly attractiveface, from the high-carved cheekbones to the firm set ofhis well-formed lips.

    He was tall and broad-shouldered, with narrow hips andnot an ounce of spare flesh over his bones. He was solid andsinewy, his hair coal-black and slightly curly, always a littletoo long, feathering over the collar of his perfectly tailorednavy blue coat. Marcus Delaine was a man among men. Hiscrew knew it and so did Brandy Winters.

    Which was why, for as long as she could remember, shehad been a little in love with him.

    "Better get movin', girl." Flo nudged her toward the bar."Big Jake's comin' down the stairs."

    Brandy sighed and nodded, pasted on a smile, and set towork. The afternoon slid past and evening crept in. The taproomhad begun to fill up, mostly with Fairwind sailors.Smoke hung in patches above the wide plank bar, burningher lungs with the harsh smell of tobacco. Raucous laughterdrifted into the heavy, age-darkened rafters.

    The hours moved sluggishly past, a blur of bawdy jokesand fending off the sailors' roaming hands. God, she hatedthis place. If the Lord would grant her a single wish, it wouldbe escape from the mindless drudgery and endless hours ofboredom at the White Horse Tavern.

    Someday, she thought wistfully. Someday, I'll find a wayto leave.

    The evening wore on. She waited on a table of Britishseamen and found herself enthralled by a story told by a sailornamed Boggs. He'd been forced into service by an Englishpress gang when he was just a boy. Oddly, over the years,the boy had become a man who loved the sea and its manyadventures. Brandy listened with a sharp pang of envy, wishingas she had a hundred times that she had been born a ladwho could run away to sea and seek a life of adventure, insteadof being shackled like a prisoner to a dreary future inthe White Horse Tavern.

    The hour grew late. It was nearly midnight when ColeProctor, first mate aboard the Fairwind, shoved through theswinging doors with some of his men and walked into thetaproom. Brandy had been up since dawn. Her feet hurt, hereyes burned, and a dull ache stabbed into her lower back.Now, big, burly, loudmouthed Cole Proctor was here. Brandywondered if the night could possibly get any worse.

    Hoping he would take a seat on Flo's side of the taproom,she slipped silently into the kitchen and peered through acrack in the door.

    "What the devil do you think you're doin'?" Big Jakestrolled up, his bushy salt and pepper brows drawn togetherin a scowl. "We've help enough in the kitchen. Get back outthere where yer needed. There's customers a-waitin'. Get yerselfback to work, or I'll be takin' a switch to yer fanny."

    She started to argue, to ask him to let her stay hidden fora minute or two so she might avoid Cole Proctor and his too-friendlyhands, but she knew it would do her no good. BigJake was a strict disciplinarian and to him the customer alwayscame first. His daughter was only a woman. A littlemauling never hurt her and it was good for business. At timesBrandy wondered just how far her father would go to ensurethe success of the White Horse Tavern.

    "Get along with ye, now." He gripped her arm so tightshe winced, and dragged her back toward the door.

    "I'm going, Papa." Unconsciously rubbing the red spoton her arm, she walked back into the room, heading straightfor the table in the corner Cole Proctor had chosen, a placehe had purposely selected on her side of the taproom.

    "Good evening, Mr. Proctor." She forced herself to smile,being careful to stand just out of his reach. "What'll it be foryou and your men tonight?"

    "Well, now, look what we have here, mates." His eyesraked downward from the top of her head to the soles of hersturdy brown shoes. They lingered for a moment on her ankles,then crept upward to settle on her breasts. "What yasay, mates? Ain't she the prettiest bit of baggage this side ofthe Atlantic?"

    She colored a little and her chin went up. Complimentsfrom women-hungry sailors were hardly new, but Proctor'swere always slightly crude. And none of them looked at herwith the same naked lust the big first mate always did.

    "I asked what it was you would like to have."

    He laughed, long and lewdly. "Did you hear that, lads?The lady wants to know what it is that we'd like to have."A meaty hand snaked out and grabbed her wrist. She tried topull away, but he was more than twice her size and his holdwas unbreakable. With little effort, he dragged her down onhis lap and wrapped a beefy arm around her waist.

    "What we'd like, my little dove, is a big piece of you."

    "Let me go—I have work to do." Brandy started to strugglebut he merely laughed in that vulgar way of his. Clampingboth her wrists together in one of his big hands, he settledher more squarely on his knees.

    "No, sir, I can't think of a thing that would please memore than spreading those pretty white thighs of yours andburying my big, hard—"

    "That's enough, Proctor." Brandy's eyes slashed upwardto the tall dark figure with the deep, forbidding voice. "Letthe girl go."

    Her cheeks were flaming. She felt embarrassed and humiliated,yet she had never been so relieved as she was tosee Marcus Delaine.

    "The girl asked me a question. I was only just giving heran answer. I'd advise you, Captain, to trim your own sailsand stay the devil out of this."

    Brandy squirmed but she couldn't break free. The captainwatched her struggle and the hand at his side balled into afist.

    "I told you to let her go. I won't say it again."

    Brandy bit her lip. Her father would be furious if she werethe cause of a fight in the tavern. She forced her eyes to thecaptain's face, hoping she looked more composed than shefelt. "It's all right, Captain Delaine. Mr. Proctor was onlyteasing. Weren't you ... Cole?" She said with what shehoped was a soft, cajoling voice that disguised the anger bubblingup inside her.

    The big first mate cracked a lustful smile. "That's right,Captain. We was just bein' friendly-like. Nothin' for you toget all worked up about."

    Eyes an intense midnight blue so dark they looked blackspeared into her. "Is that right, Miss Winters? Mr. Proctor isjust being friendly?"

    She nearly choked on the word. "Yes." The thought ofMarcus Delaine believing she actually enjoyed the pawingattentions of a man like Cole Proctor made her stomach turnin disgust. But fear of her father's wrath was far worse.

    He straightened, drawing himself up to his full, imposingheight. "Then I shall have to beg your pardon." He made aslight bow, but his smile was hard-edged and cold. He startedto turn away and she might have survived the moment withonly a bit of humiliation. She might have been able to discreetlyextricate herself from Cole's octopus-tentacled embraceif the beefy sailor hadn't chosen that moment to crudelypinch her bottom.

    Fury swept her like a gale-force wind and all her goodintentions flew right out the window. With a shriek, Brandyleaped to her feet, moving so swiftly the first mate lost hishold. She slapped him hard across the face.

    "You are the most despicable, foulest creature I haveevery had the misfortune to meet. If you ever touch me thatway again I swear I'll find a pistol and shoot you!"

    She whirled away from him and smack into Marcus Delaine'sbroad chest. A corner of his mouth quirked upward inthe barest hint of a smile. "I thought he was just beingfriendly."

    Brandy flushed and backed a step away. "Cole Proctorwouldn't know the first thing about being friendly. I justdidn't want to cause any trouble."

    "The fault was hardly yours."

    "True, but that's the way my father would see it." Shestarted to say something else, to thank him for his effort tointervene, when she heard Cole Proctor's chair scraping backwardand turned to see him coming to his feet.

    His thick fingers rubbed a reddened cheek. "You littlehellcat, you hit me. I'll teach you what happens when youraise a hand against Cole Proctor." He reached for her butthe captain pulled her out of harm's way and stepped betweenthem.

    "You had that slap coming, Proctor, and you know it. Youwant to teach someone a lesson, why don't you start withme?"

    Big teeth flashed in a feral grin. "Now, there's a goodidea. I'll take care of you, then haul the girl out back anddeal with her."

    "Her father might have something to say about that."

    Proctor scoffed. "Big Jake don't give a damn about her.Odds are, if he thought she'd bring a high enough price, he'dsell her off for the night to the highest bidder."

    Brandy's face went pale, and a muscle tightened in thecaptain's lean cheek. "Why don't we go outside?" he saidsoftly. "Perhaps we can discuss the subject more fully."

    But the beefy first mate had no intention of leaving thesafety of his men. Instead he swung a roundhouse punch thatMarcus Delaine neatly sidestepped, then a second powerfulblow that would have sent a strong man to his knees. Thecaptain dodged them both, avoided the chair the first matetossed at his head, stepped in, and landed a crushing blow toProctor's stomach that doubled him over.

    A second hard punch, neatly delivered to the side of Proctor'sjaw, sent him sprawling into a corner, his head thuddingloudly against the wall. With a grunt of pain his eyes rolledback and the fight was over.

    Unfortunately, by now every Fairwind crewman in the tavernwas on his feet and itching to take up the gauntlet againstthe men in the crew of the Seahawk who had come in behindtheir captain. Someone swore, another curse followed, and thetavern erupted in chaos. Chairs flew through the air. Tankardsof ale crashed against men's skulls. Brandy dodged an upendedtable and squeaked out a warning to Flo, who duckeda flying pewter mug and crawled to safety behind the bar.

    By the time Big Jake Winters had the fighting under control,the inside of the tavern looked as if it had been througha hurricane. Though his men were only partly to blame, CaptainDelaine offered to pay for the damage. Brandy's fathereyed the small leather purse the captain set on the bar.

    "I'll take yet coin for what's been done, but the paymentfor me trouble will come from me daughter's hide." Grippingher wrist, he started dragging her toward the stairs. "'Tispast the time she learned the price of her high and mightyways."

    "This wasn't my fault," Brandy argued, setting her heelsand pulling against him. "I didn't start this—Cole Proctordid."

    "Your daughter is right. She was a victim, not the cause.It would be unjust for you to make her pay for something shehad no control over."

    Big Jake's jaw firmed up. His grip tightened painfully onher wrist. "She's trouble, just like her mother and every otherwoman I ever knew. Never should have paid for that fancytutor. Thinks she's too good for the rest of us just 'cause she'sgot a little schoolin'."

    "That isn't true. I—"

    His palm cracked hard across her cheek. "Ye need to learnyer place, girl. I mean to see that ye do."

    The captain's dark eyes locked on her face, which stungand had begun to turn red. The only sign of his anger wasthe muscle that throbbed in his cheek. Very slowly he shovedthe pouch of coins on the bar in front of Jake Winters.

    "The fault was mine and my crew's. If the girl is madeto pay, it won't sit well with the men." He smiled but hislips were tight with warning. "Everyone knows the WhiteHorse is the finest tavern on the quay. It would certainly bea shame if my men no longer felt welcome."

    Jake Winters heard the words and the underlying threatthat went with them. Marcus Delaine was a wealthy, powerfulman. He was an earl and the owner of Hawksmoor Shipping.It wouldn't be simply the crew of the Seahawk Jake wouldbe losing as customers but five other ships' crews as well—andanyone else under the captain's influence.

    Her father clamped hard on his temper, but the ruddy colorof his skin told Brandy how difficult a task it was. "Perhapsye be right, Captain. Perhaps I was a bit too hasty." Heflashed Brandy a menacing look and shoved her toward thestairs leading up to her room. "You've the captain to thankfor sparing ye the beatin' ye deserve. The next time yer uppityways bring trouble down on yer head, I promise ye won't beso lucky."

    Brandy nodded, embarrassment colliding with relief. Shegave the captain a grateful, trembling smile, and started upthe stairs, her long copper braid bobbing against her back allthe way. She wasn't a child anymore but her father treatedher as if she were, and Marcus saw her that way as well. Whywas it only men like Cole Proctor saw her for the woman shehad become?

    And how much longer would she put up with her father'styranny before she decided to do something about it?

    Not much longer, Brandy vowed. Not much longer at all.


Her chance came far sooner than she had imagined. It wasfate, she thought, God's answer to one of her thousands ofprayers. It happened the following morning as she was walkingpast an inn called the Pines, just a few doors down fromthe tavern. She had just stepped into the street when MarcusDelaine appeared through the carved front doors of the inn,striding off toward the spot where the Seahawk was docked.

    Brandy watched his tall, leanly muscled frame movingwith brusque authority and felt the same thread of warmthshe always felt when she saw him. She hurried her steps,catching up to him as he crossed the street and began to walkalong the quay.

    "Good morning, Captain." She gave him a bright, sunnysmile. "I saw you come out of the inn. I wanted to thank youfor what you did for me last night in the tavern."

    He slowed his long strides so she didn't have to run tokeep pace with him. "I assure you, Miss Winters, it was mypleasure. Proctor has had that beating coming for a very longtime." He smiled faintly. She noticed a slight bruise darkenedthe skin over one of his high cheekbones.

    "I thought you were off to England. I didn't think to seeyou hack in port for some time."

    Black brows drew together above a fine, straight nose."We had some problems with the rudder on our way backfrom Virginia. Had to have it replaced before we set sail forhome."

    He was so tall she had to crane her neck to look up athim. When she did, sunlight glinted on his wavy black hair.Brandy felt the oddest urge to run her fingers through it. "AsI recall, you were having trouble with your ship the last timeyou were in port."

    A hint of displeasure roughened his voice. "Bad luckseems to be dogging us lately. I hope that's going to change.In the meantime, we've contracted for a short sail to the Bahamas,a load of flour we took on in Alexandria, some timber,and a few other trade goods. We'll be returning here to pickup a load of cargo before we head back home."

Her pulse kicked up with a sudden thread of interest. "How long will you be gone?"

    "If all goes well, less than a month. It isn't far to theislands. We'll off-load and return as quickly as we can."

    Her pulse began beating even faster as an idea took rootin her head. "You'll be traveling to the Bahamas, then comingstraight back here?"

    "That's right. We hadn't planned to make the run, but themoney is good and with the setbacks we've suffered of late,we can certainly use it."

    "When will you be leaving?"

    "As soon as the rudder is put right. If all goes well, thatshould be the day after the morrow."

    They had reached the landing where his ship was mooredand the captain turned to face her. "Should I not see youagain before the Seahawk sets sail, take care of yourself, MissWinters." He smiled, a flash of white against his sun-darkenedskin. "With luck the Fairwind will be leaving Charlestonas well."

    Brandy grinned, seeing in her mind's eye the captain's fistconnecting with the first mate's jaw. "With luck."

    He reached out and touched her cheek, ran his hand lightlyover her hair. "How long have we known each other, MissWinters?"

    "The better part of ten years, I would say." She rememberedthe exact moment she had first seen him, a handsomeyoung lieutenant in a British Navy uniform walking throughthe tavern's front doors. She was little more than a child backthen, but still, he had intrigued her.

(Continues...)


Excerpted from Night Secrets by Kat Martin. Copyright © 1999 by Kat Martin. 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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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2000

    Martin never fails to deliver!

    First of all I loved this book! I started reading romance with Kat and am entranced. Her books are fast paced, energetic, and never leave me feeling incomplete.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2014

    Historical Romance at its finest

    I have loved this book for years and I am so glad it is now available on my Nook. I have read this several times and my paperback version somehow has mold on the pages. This is a different cover but same great story. Brandy is a hellion of the first order in that she refuses to be quelled into submission!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2003

    OMG OMG OMG THIS BOOK WAS GREAT

    OMG THIS BOOK WAS ONE OF THE BEST ROMANCES THIS BOOK PROVES THAT POOR OR RICH DOESNT MATTER WHAT MATTERS IS LOVE...

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2003

    What the ... ?

    This was one of the most schizophrenic romance novels I've ever read. The story, that of a poor tavern wench named Brianne 'Brandy' Winters and the dashing and handsome Captain Marcus Delaine, is delightfully entertaining. Brandy stows away on Marcus's ship so she can escape an abusive, cheapskate of a father. Of course, Brandy is discovered, a vicious crewman attempts to rape her, Marcus helps rescue her, and they end up sharing close quarters because ... as we all know ... that's the only way Marcus can keep her safe during their relatively short voyage from Charleston to the Bahamas. There's a nice twist to the conflict between Brandy and Marcus. He becomes a real S.O.B. after he's paralyzed because of sabotage on his ship. Brandy's love and devotion are just the therapy Marcus needs, and us romance lovers get our happy ending. However. Getting to that happy ending is a serious chore because of the writing. There are sentences with backward logic. Ex: 'The cracker Josh Dobbs brought had helped to settle her stomach, though she still didn't dare try to eat.' If she didn't eat, how did the cracker get in her stomach to settle it? Another example: 'Josh Dobbs's worried voice hurrying toward her was the last thing she saw.' You can't SEE a voice. You hear it! There are repeated words. '... boxes came crashing down on the the hull of the ship.' There are tiny redundancies. 'The anger he'd been fighting rose up.' Well, things don't rise down, do they ... There are misplaced modifiers. '... she came to her feet and made her way to the porcelain pitcher on the table, the only furniture besides the bed and the chamber pot beneath it in the room.' 'in the room' should go after 'furniture.' That's a small one, but still. I noticed it. I'm sure it caught the notice of other readers, too. Then there's the complete misuse of a word, 'nonplussed.' Kat Martin uses the word to describe Brandy's attempt to act like her first kiss with Marcus didn't affect her. Nonplussed means the exact opposite of that. One or two of these things, I wouldn't have commented on them. But all these things occur within the first 67 pages of the book. Grammatical and style mistakes are jarring to me, as a reader, and detract from my ability to enjoy a story. The only thing I didn't like story-wise was a scene with Marcus, following Brianne's near rape. In lyrical, descriptive prose that describes Marcus's remembrance of the attempted rape - complete with the would-be rapist 'nestled' between Brianne's splayed 'pretty legs,' Kat Martin allows Marcus to fantasize being in the rapist's place. It's just too big a reach for me. Marcus lost some hero points and gained some creepy points for envisioning Brianne's rape as though Zalman King had directed it. Yes, this is just a romance novel and it's for entertainment purposes only. This book could have been more entertaining without the incidents of poor writing/editing and without Marcus thinking that a near-rape is sensual.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2002

    3 1/2 stars. Hearty and adventurous but...

    I've read lots of Kat Martin's work and she is in fact one of my favorite authors. She has drawed out whirlwind of my emotions. She has insired me as well. In short, she has affected me with her words, entertained me with her stories many times in the past. However, I am sad to say Secret Nights isn't one of her best. I would have given this book a 3.5 stars if I could. The first part of this book was exciting and pulling, I told myself I'll only read few chapters as I started this book late at night but alas, I ended up reading almost half way through the book towards the early dawn for I refuse to part with it. The first part is where we were introduce to Marcus and Brandy. I ache reading about Brandy and her situation. I admire her determination and her ambitions. I hoped and wish the best for her! On the next day, as I read the second half, I begun to feel discontented and restless. I scanned-read the pages, searching for a climatic moments perhaps even praying for a spur of excitement to set in. Unfortunately, that initial 'pulling' moment never came back to life. I couldn't figure out what went wrong, exactly. Even till the end, I am sad to say, I never regain that enthusiastic feelings nor did I feel fulfilled. Let's see... The hero and the heroine, Marcus and Brandy are well developed just like in all of Kat Martin's book that I've read. Their love was undeniably hearty. Brandy's character is a typical one for a woman in love since her childhood days. Of course, it was hard to let go even if she knows she was on the loosing end. Marcus, selfish as it may seem, was always honest and straight forward about his feelings. His life is at sea and that's that. Contrary to one reviewer, I didn't mind their seperation, it was the heart wretching part of the book. Together, they are heart warming. Seperate, they are heart wretching. The overall plot was a new one for me too, so I kindda enjoyed that one. Lots of adventure: Sea quest, Port stops, and the ship scenes was an interesting read. The mystery-suspense twist was alright, though not too exciting, it wasn't the main problem for my restlesness. I think it's just the way everything was written and represented towards the second half of the book. Like I said, I really don't know what made the second half boring... I also don't intend to read this book again just to find out why. If I am not mistaken, I think what got in the way is the over-analyzing, over detailing, over emphasizing of everything. It's also the repetitive reasoning of actions and explanations of emotions. I do like detailing but not overly much. I also do like humor in my romance books which is not found much in here. However, from time to time, I don't mind a melancholy stories so long as the ending would make up for it. Sadly (once again), the ending just didn't fit in properly for me to form an impression. I wanted an Epilogue and I hate to admit it but towards the middle of the book, I was hoping for a child to be conceive (you'll know what i mean once u read the book). Perhaps there is a sequel for this one? Overall, this book is not an awful read. It's still enjoyable, no doubt. It's just not up to my 'KAT MARTIN' expectation. Perhaps it's only my own preferences or perhaps it's only my personal expectation of Kat Martin base on her other books that I've read. I see many reviewers who rated this book a fiver...so go right on ahead and pick up this book. Read it with open mind. Who knows you might like it more than I have.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2002

    Hot Juicy pirate romance!!!! come get yours

    This is the best book I ever bought at the Dollar Tree. It was much better than 'Love Shack'. I spend my sleepless nights dreaming about my muscular pirate hero and his wooden peg. I miss scratching his parrot, and hearing words of comfort in his screechy Voice uttering'Polly wants a fat chick'

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2001

    MOST BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE NOVEL I EVER READ

    This book without a doubt tops the list of favorite books. You haven't read a romance novel until you have read this one. I fell in love with Marcus Delaine just as Brianne did, and was lost in their world wishing i was Brianne. PLEASE read this book it will take your breath away as it did mine and Marcus's strong character will always follow you when you look loningly into the sea!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2014

    Awsome.

    Thanks kat for another great book. This is a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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