A Notorious Love (Swanlea Spinster Series #2)

( 39 )

Overview

Helena Laverick is at her wits end! The only man who can help find her eloping young sister is that scoundrel Daniel Brennan : the man who played with her emotions last year and then left. And he used to be a smuggler! Although Mrs. Nunley′s Guide to Etiquette for Young Ladies would never approve, Helena forced to go after the runaway in Daniel′s company. But something about being with him feels oddly freeing , and a delicious tingle warns Helena that more than her reputation ...

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A Notorious Love (Swanlea Spinster Series #2)

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Overview

Helena Laverick is at her wits end! The only man who can help find her eloping young sister is that scoundrel Daniel Brennan : the man who played with her emotions last year and then left. And he used to be a smuggler! Although Mrs. Nunley′s Guide to Etiquette for Young Ladies would never approve, Helena forced to go after the runaway in Daniel′s company. But something about being with him feels oddly freeing , and a delicious tingle warns Helena that more than her reputation may be in danger...

Daniel finds most of the prim and proper lovely′s rules ridiculous but when she insists on masquerading as his wife for the sake of appearances, he immediately envisions the delights of sharing a bedchamber. The unexpected smouldering beneath her straitlaced exterior ignites his desire, and die vulnerability hidden beneath her cool control makes him want her even more. Yet Helena′s a lady, and he′s the son of a highwayman. How can he ever ask her to share his world?

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Editorial Reviews

Christina Dodd
Another winner from Sabrina Jeffries - it sizzles with passion, humor, and adventure. You won't want it to end!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380818037
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Series: Swanlea Spinster Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 274,455
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.82 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

At the tender age of twelve, Sabrina Jeffries decided she wanted to be a romance writer. It took her eighteen more years and a boring stint in graduate school before she sold her first book, but now her sexy and humorous historical romances routinely land on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists and have won several awards. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and son, where she writes full-time and is working on her next novel.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



London
October 1815

The hero now I speak of, he was proper tall
and straight,
Like to the lofty poplar tree, his body was complete;
His growth was like the tufted fir that does ascend
the air,
And waving o'er his shoulders broad the locks of
yellow hair.

“Rody McCorley,”
anonymous Irish street ballad



The Well-bred Young Lady avoids the merest hint of scandalous behavior.

Helena Laverick couldn't help remembering that stricture as she surveyed the deserted hallway of the St. Giles lodging house. For she was about to break it most flagrantly.

Her sister Rosalind had always criticized their late mother's favorite instruction book, Mrs. Nunley's Guide to Etiquette for Young Ladies. Rosalind's philosophy was to follow Mrs. N's rules when possible, but ignore them when they were impractical. Helena usually considered that her excuse for disregarding any checks to her outrageous behavior.

But in this case she had a point. Their young sister Juliet's mad dash into trouble made it impossible for Helena not to break the rules. And by venturing into this strange lodging house, where rats scrabbled all around her and burning rushlights clogged the air with their scorched mutton scent, she was breaking quite a few.

The Well-bred Young Lady does not take long trips alone -- she'd broken that one when she'd traveled alone to London from Warwickshire. Since Rosalind and her new husband, Griff Knighton, were honeymooning on the Continent and Papa was unable to leave his bed, someone had to handle this messysituation.

The Well-bred Young Lady never ventures outdoors without her maid -- that one was laughable. The fewer servants involved in her secret mission, the better. Servants did have a tendency to talk.

Her grip tightened on her cane as she stared at the scarred oak door before her, the one that belonged to Mr. Daniel Brennan, her brother-in-law's unmarried man of affairs. Now she was about to violate one of Mrs. N's most serious strictures -- The Well-bred Young Lady does not call on a gentleman in his lodgings unchaperoned.

And certainly not at dawn. Why, Mr. Brennan's own landlady had refused to risk his ire by rousing him so early.

A shiver ran down Helena's spine as she remembered the last time she'd provoked Mr. Brennan's ire, when he and Griff had been guests at Swan Park this past summer. Not that he'd had any right to be angry. He'd been the one in the wrong. He'd been the one shamelessly taking money from Griff for misleading them all, for pretending to court them while undoubtedly laughing at them behind their backs for believing his kindnesses and compliments...

No, she mustn't think of that. All that mattered was saving Juliet. Which was why she must swallow her pride, rouse her courage, and awaken Mr. Brennan. And soon, too, because her bad leg pained her from the arduous climb up the steep stairs, and nothing would be more mortifying than having it give out in front of him. So before she could change her mind, she rapped sharply on the door.

At first she heard nothing. Merciful heavens, what if she had the wrong place? She'd wondered why Mr. Brennan would reside in a slum like St. Giles when he surely could afford better, but Griff's coachman had insisted that the man lived here.

She knocked again, this time more loudly. Nothing. Might he refuse to answer? Panic seized her at the thought, so she rapped the silver head of her cane on the door repeatedly, loud enough to raise the dead.

Success at last. Through the thin walls, she heard heavy steps and a male voice growling, “I'm coming, devil take you!” If not for her mission, she might well have fled. Instead she braced herself for whatever might happen.

But nothing could prepare her for her first sight of the burly giant. Bare-chested, clad only in his drawers.

Struck speechless, she gaped at him. Despite what her sisters thought, she did have some curiosity about men, especially half-naked ones of such impressive dimensions. Mr. Brennan was a veritable Samson, with the muscular shoulders of a pugilist and the broad, sculpted chest of a laborer, thickly sprinkled with dark blond hair. As for those arms swathed in sinew...she could easily imagine them pulling down a temple.

Just now, however, the Samson was staring at her, perplexed. “Lady Helena?” He shook his head as if to clear it. “It is you, isn't it?”

She kept her eyes trained on his face as a blush crept up her cheeks. “Good morning, Mr. Brennan. I'm sorry if I awakened you.” Not that there was any question of it -- his tousled sandy hair and lack of attire confirmed it.

“Is everything all right at Swan Park? Your father is well?”

“Yes...no...I mean, I...” Her lame attempt at coherent speech came crashing to a halt when he leaned one huge forearm against the doorframe, unwittingly causing all his muscles to shift and flex.

How in creation could a lady converse rationally when such a magnificent display of male flesh was before her? Despite his size, he hadn't an inch of fat on him -- no hint of unwanted flesh on the chest and arms, no telltale thickness about the waist. Not a woman above the age of fifteen could miss that Mr. Brennan in his drawers was a fine figure of a man.

“M'lady, are you well?” he queried.

Only when her head snapped up did she realize her gaze had wandered down to his bulging drawers. “Yes!” she cried too loudly, then added in a more subdued tone, “I'm fine. Quite well. Yes.”

He cocked an eyebrow, as if knowing precisely how much his appearance unnerved her. “Forgive my inappropriate dress, but I wasn't expecting company..."

A Notorious Love. Copyright © by Sabrina Jeffries. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 39 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    engaging blend of merriment and danger

    In 1815 London, sisters Helena and Rosalind Lavelick are total opposites when it comes to following the Mrs. Nunley¿s Guide to Etiquette for Young Ladies. While Helena feels you must have strict adherence with no exceptions, Rosalind believes in only those passages that make sense. So why is Helena walking the streets by herself to a man¿s house breaking every rule in the guidebook? Simple, she needs the help of an individual she loathes Daniel Brennan to help her find her eloping sibling Juliet. <P>Helena believes her sister¿s suitor is a smuggler doing all sorts of illegal and ugly activities that leave an innocent like Juliet in danger. She chooses Daniel to help her because he has teenage experience as a smuggler and knows how they think. Daniel agrees to assist Helena chase after Juliet and her suitor Captain Will Morgan, but insists they must do so as husband and wife. As the duo argues, they fall in love, but not just danger awaits them, mistrust leaves them vulnerable and disconnected. <P>A NOTORIOUS LOVE is a fun to read Regency romance that smoothly mixes excitement and humor so that the audience enjoys a fine tale. Daniel opens Helena¿s eyes that her bad leg is not the handicap, but her attitude towards life, especially males, is. As she did with THE DANGEROUS LORD, Sabrina Jeffries provides sub-genre fans with an engaging blend of merriment and danger in a terrific story line. <P>Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2013

    Another Great One!

    Another great book from Sabrina Jefferies. I read this book first (and the first book second) and didn't feel like I was missing anything important. Great characters, great plot, another winner fir S. J.!!

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  • Posted June 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    One of my favorite authors and her stories.

    The second of the Swanlea Sisters series this novel details the Romance between Daniel Brennan and Helena Laverick. These characters are neither perfect nor stunningly beautiful and yet we find their romance to be a beautiful tale. I am reminded of a painting I saw once of A sculptor and his model. The sculptor held a heavy mallet and his large muscles were corded while the model graceful and delicate. The artist held the lady's hand as she stepped down from the pedestal on which she had posed.

    That picture would describe the relationship shown by these characters. It is for that depth of emotion and characterization that I recommend this series.

    This story line seems to be in the period between the American Revolution and the Napoleonic wars.

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  • Posted December 13, 2010

    Better than the first!

    Loved this book! It's rare for any book in a series to be better than the first, but this one is. I loved the relationship between Helena and Daniel. I would definitly recommend this book!

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    great book

    great boo keepup the good work

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2008

    Beautiful and Romantic

    This is the first book I've read by Sabrina Jeffries and I loved it!!!! As a huge romance novel fan i love the 'rake with a heart of gold paired with the spinster or wallflower' stories and this is a perfect example. I loved Helena and how strong she was. She was just such a good character and by the end you wish she was one of your girlfriends. And Daniel is strong but sensitive underneath. And of course he's ever so dreamy and sexy:) You can't help but fall in love with him. It's touching how much he cares for Helena and in the end this book was jsut simply beautiful and purely romantic. I would highly recommend it for anybody who's a hopeless romantic at heart.

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