One Night of Sin (Knight Miscellany Series #6)

( 52 )

Overview

Renowned storyteller Gaelen Foley unfurls the seductive tale of the rakish Lord Alec Knight, who never looked for love–until it was right in front of him. . . .

Lord Alec Knight, the most daring and handsome rogue in all of London, is a smooth-talking aristocrat with an abundance of high-society lady admirers. With his irresistible wit, lucky hand at the gaming tables, and enticing charisma, he can have any woman he wants. But when the only girl he would have considered marrying...

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One Night of Sin (Knight Miscellany Series #6)

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Overview

Renowned storyteller Gaelen Foley unfurls the seductive tale of the rakish Lord Alec Knight, who never looked for love–until it was right in front of him. . . .

Lord Alec Knight, the most daring and handsome rogue in all of London, is a smooth-talking aristocrat with an abundance of high-society lady admirers. With his irresistible wit, lucky hand at the gaming tables, and enticing charisma, he can have any woman he wants. But when the only girl he would have considered marrying ties the knot with someone else, Alec realizes he doesn’t want to be with just any lady–he wants to find the love of his life.

The boldly spirited, beautiful Miss Becky Ward takes his life by storm after he rescues her from peril. Alec soon learns that she is on the run from her cousin, the murderous Prince Mikhail Kurkov. Becky has uncovered a menacing secret about the prince–now nothing will stop him from hunting her down. In the midst of danger, Alec and Becky find themselves deeply drawn to each other. After the two spend an all-consuming night of sin, Becky’s knight in shining armor vows on his honor to protect her until the end. But before long, Alec is protecting her with more than honor–and it seems the once untamed rake of London just may have found what he has been searching for all along . . . true love.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345480095
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/31/2005
  • Series: Knight Miscellany Series , #6
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 329,238
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.83 (h) x 1.27 (d)

Meet the Author

Noted for her “complex, subtly shaded characters, richly sensual love scenes, and elegantly fluid prose” (Booklist), Gaelen Foley is the national bestselling author of nine critically acclaimed historical romances from Ballantine Books. Her passionate, sophisticated love stories are published in ten languages and have won numerous awards, including the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers’ Best, the Golden Leaf, and the Award of Excellence. To learn more about Gaelen, her novels, and the romantic Regency era, visit her website at www.gaelenfoley.com.
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Read an Excerpt

London, 1817

Fiery swords of lightning clashed across the sable sky. Great rolling clouds flung down a warning spatter of rain. Thunder growled in the distance, but the only sound in the dark, empty street was the frantic percussion of the girl’s running footfalls.

Every step jarred her in her thin kid half boots. Her dingy skirts swirled about her legs, threatening to trip her. Fleeing the glow of lanterns on the broad avenue, she raced up a murky side street, her long hair tangled and wild. Her pale young face was stark with terror as she glanced over her shoulder and pounded on, her fists clenched, her breath raking harshly through her gritted teeth.

With a small gasp, half a sob, she pitched around the corner ahead into a coal-black alley and immediately pressed backward out of sight into the shadowed alcove of a doorway. There, she held perfectly still, but for the panicked heaving of her chest. Don’t move. Don’t even breathe.

They were only seconds behind her.

The riders came with the storm at their heels— relentless, inescapable as the approaching tempest. Another throaty snarl of thunder vibrated the windowpanes of the darkened building where she hid. She huddled down against the bricks, trying to make herself smaller, for when the low rumble faded, another sound still remained—softer, but more terrible by far.

Clip-clop, clip-clop, clip-clop.

The relentless cadence of hoofbeats grew louder. Becky Ward shut her eyes with a grimace of fear, a bead of sweat rolling down her cheek. The narrow alley funneled the sound of their approach: the squeak of well-oiled leather, the jangle and hiss of deadly blades, guns, pikes, and pistols—weapons that did not even have a name in English.

Not that the riders had been sent to kill her. Oh, no, she thought bitterly. The prince wanted her brought back to him alive. If she had one advantage, that was it.

She yanked in the muddied hem of her skirt a split second before they came trolling past the mouth of the narrow alley. She stood trembling in the muggy heat of the summer night, holding her breath, agonized with waiting as they stopped mere yards from her hiding place.

They nearly had her, and, expert trackers, the Cossacks knew it. Prince Mikhail Kurkov had sent four of his best warriors after her, though many more were at his beck if these should fail. From where she stood, she could see the looming silhouettes of the second pair.

Huge, menacing men with thick beards and elabor- ate moustaches, the battle-hardened Cossack soldiers wore dark gray coats over baggy trousers, which they tucked into their black riding boots. Beneath the brims of their foreign-shaped helmets, their inscrutable faces were browned and leathery from life in the saddle, their slightly slanted eyes cool and efficient. It was said they were descended from the Huns.

One sniffed the air, trying to scent her out, while the others glanced around, murmuring questions and replies to each other in a low, rapid tongue that she could not decipher. She swallowed hard as they split up to continue searching for her in pairs. The first two continued onward while the second turned their swift, rugged horses around and headed back toward the wide, lamplit thoroughfare, whatever it was called. Oxford Street . . . Piccadilly? Becky wasn’t sure. When they had gone, she nigh collapsed with exhausted relief, leaning all her weight against the locked door behind her.

For a fleeting moment she allowed herself to shut her eyes.

Another hairbreadth escape.

After four days of this, on the run, hunted from town to town as she had made her way southward to London, she did not know how much longer she could last. She had not eaten all day and had reached a foggy-headed state of fatigue. Fear seemed to be the only thing keeping her awake; but closing her eyes brought no respite, for it immediately called back the crisp, awful image stamped on her mind of her mighty cousin’s crime. How could Mikhail have done it, killed that man in cold blood?

Worst of all, she felt in part responsible. If only I had not tried to interfere. . . .

She flicked her eyes open again with a shudder, and her hand crept instinctively to the tiny seashell she wore on a ribbon around her neck. Somehow she drew another small dram of courage from her final token from her father. Must press on.

She had to reach the Duke of Westland before the Cossacks found her.

As lord lieutenant of Yorkshire’s West Riding, it was His Grace’s duty to handle Mikhail, since the murder had taken place in his jurisdiction. Becky had not bothered with any of the lower-ranking justice officials because of her cousin’s high rank; none but a very powerful man would dare to stand against the half-Russian prince, who had also recently inherited her grandfather’s British earldom. Old Westland was known for his courage and integrity; she clung to her faith that he would bring Mikhail to justice—provided she could gain an audience with him in order to report the crime.

She knew how shallow aristocrats could be. After four days on the run, looking more beggar than lady of the manor, she was having doubts about whether she would even be received. The thought of being turned away at the door was too awful to contemplate. Westland had known Grandfather, she reminded herself. They had been political rivals rather than allies, but surely her grandsire’s name would be enough to make the great Whig duke listen.

Unfortunately, she had never been to London before in her life and had no idea where to find this place called St. James’s Square, where she had heard the duke kept his Town residence. The squad of Cossacks dogging her every step were not helping matters, for Mikhail did not intend to let Becky expose his brutal crime. No, he had other plans for her entirely.

Accustomed to submissive serf girls, the prince had become obsessed with trying to control her. With his hand around her throat and his cruel, hot whisper by her ear, he had made it clear how he would punish her defiance. I will teach you to obey, loobeemaya. Grand- father’s death had made him her legal guardian, but Mikhail was dead wrong if he thought he owned her like some sort of chattel. She’d rather die than be subjected to the brutal ravishment he had promised. The thought drove her on with grim resolve.

Gliding out of the alcove, she went cautiously to the edge of the alley and peered out. The Cossacks were gone. Glancing left and right, she slipped around the corner and continued on her way.

She hoped it wasn’t much farther, for her feet ached and she was starving. How many fancy garden squares could one city have? she wondered, but at least the elegant environs of the West End seemed much safer than the seedy tenement areas she had traversed at dusk. Now, however, past midnight, it was too dark to make out the street signs posted high on the sides of buildings. She stared and squinted at them as best she could, knowing that hunger and exhaustion would make it much too easy to become disoriented in the maze of this vast, dirty, bewildering city.

Oh, she missed her wide Yorkshire skies and silent, windy moors, and most of all, she missed her bed.

A sudden stab of lightning split the sky. Becky flinched, shrinking into her olive-colored pelisse. The churning clouds overhead were poised to launch their assault. She knew that she had to take shelter. It was futile to continue now. The intelligent thing to do was to find some unobtrusive place to hide from the Cossacks for the rest of the night and to escape the approaching storm’s fury.

In the morning when the light returned, she would be able to read the street signs again. She could even ask for directions when people appeared—not that she had had much luck in that vein. She glanced down at her rumpled, muddy clothes with a great sigh.

Thanks to her current state of dishevelment, every respectable-looking person she had approached for directions had brushed her off and quickly walked away, taking her for a beggar—or worse. Appearances, it seemed, mattered a great deal more in Town than they did in her rustic village of Buckley-on-the-Heath. She had even been proffered a most disgusting proposition from a well-dressed man old enough to be her father when she had walked by.

Startled by the lewd offer, she had fled, only realizing afterward that while she might have considerable freedom in the country, in Town, a girl walking alone—especially after dark—was universally mistaken for a harlot. That was why no one would help her.

Even the heartless jeweler whose shop she had ventured into upon first arriving in London had obviously reached the same conclusion. When she had nervously presented the great ruby secreted away beneath her clothing and asked how much it was worth, the jeweler had looked her over in her bedraggled state as though he suspected her of stealing it. He asked to see the authentication papers; Becky had never heard of such a thing, and in any case, had been compelled to flee her home without any forewarning. There had been no time even to gather some money or food or an extra set of clothes, let alone the proper documentation. Then she realized what the blackguard had been about—trying to swin- dle her.

With barely a glance at the enormous ruby, the jeweler had haughtily informed her it was a fake. Becky had been infuriated. He might think her a country bumpkin, but her mother had not raised a fool.

The Rose of Indra had been in her family for two hundred years. It was all the inheritance she could claim from her coldhearted noble relatives, and her only hope of saving her home and village from Mikhail. A fake, indeed! She had stormed out, disgusted, then decided to go straight to the Duke of Westland’s instead. The great Whig lord would just have to help her get a fair price for her precious jewel, in addition to helping her prosecute Mikhail for his crime. She only hoped that Westland would not take one disparaging look at her like everyone else had in this pompous city and turn her away, because if that happened, she had nowhere else to go.

She refused to give in to despair. Somehow she would survive. Why, Yorkshire folk were as ruggedly self-sufficient as they were mistrustful of outsiders, she told herself. She would jolly well survive on her own, just like Mama had taught her.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2009

    Great Book

    Very romantic story with a lot of adventure.i loved it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2006

    Boy Toy Makes Good

    Foley's writing is crisp and true to the period, but the suprise here comes in the form of a hero with some serious self-esteem issues and Oedipal hang-ups, including a brief turn as Regency Mr. Goodbar to one nasty lady of the ton. Alec Knight is the brother of interest in this entry to the Knight Miscellany series, and Foley has given him great press in other titles, such as Lord of Ice, Fire, etc. Here we find the Rogue both disenchanted with his life and bruised by some spectacularly bad luck at the gaming tables, until he finds a redemptive moment in saving Miss Becky Ward. While our damsel in distress seems a bit dim to me (can't tell true rubies from paste--quelle nitwit!), she does manage to soothe Alec's wounded pride and give him a new lease on Regency life. She cares not that our boy once sold his charms to a truly twisted baroness in exchange for settling his gambling debts, and instead our heroine loves all his Mumsie-Was-A-Harlot angst away. This is no small feat, considering all Knight Bros. walk a fine line between love and hate for their dearly departed mamma, Georgiana Hawkscliffe, aka The Hawkscliffe Harlot. To a man, all Knight brothers have grown up handsome, charming and brave, except when it comes to facing their feelings, and Alec is no exception. The fact that he was mamma's favorite seems to have done him more harm than good, and a lost little boy hides just under the surface of his hedonistic veneer. Can Becky get past his use of sex as escaping true intimacy to find the 'fallen angel man' she loves? Well, DUHH! In the end, unconditional love wins the day, with some smokin' hot sex scenes that may be pushing the limits of good taste, but so what?! It's a good story featuring a great Knight brother, and I hope Foley finds a few other byblows in this family to keep me cruising the pink ghettos of fiction for new releases. I've run through most of Kleypas' and Jordan's stuff, as well as Dodd and Quinn, and this writer holds her own with the best of 'em. Her male characters are always infinitely more compelling than the heroines, and sympathetic in a way that is neither cloying nor predictable. I assume she's working on a 'prequel' which tells Lady Hawkscliffe's story at some point, 'cause that will be some read, indeed!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2005

    SO SO READ

    STORY IS INTERESTING. VILLAINS NASTY AND NASTIER. MS. FOLEY HAS NEVER WRITTEN A STEAMY NOVEL SO I DIDN'T EXPECT-ON A SENSUAL SCALE OF 1-10-ANYTHING BUT A 3-MAYBE. WHAT I GOT IS A CRUDE DESCRIPTION OF LOVEMAKING BOARDING ON VULGAR. (I AM NOT A PRUDE BY THE WAY AND ENJOY NICOLE JORDAN'S BOOK VERY MUCH.) I HOPE FOLEY GETS A MIDDLE GROUND ON HER NEXT BOOK.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2014

    Alec has always been my least favorite character in this series

    Alec has always been my least favorite character in this series and this book did nothing to dissuade me of that opinion.  

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    Not up to par

    Loved the rest of the series, but this was boring. Missed the rest of the family. Way too much thinking about each other. Even the sex was boring. Alex deserved better then this two dimensional story.

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  • Posted May 22, 2011

    Good character development for the most part.

    Interesting story and good rooting value for characters.

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved Alec and Becky!

    I think I am reading these Knight family books not in order, however, I am happy to have read that Alec was such a sweetheart and that he wasn't still pining over Lissette. It was sweet to see Alec lose his heart to Becky, who I truly loved from first being introduced to her. It's nice to see the "love at first site" theory and go with it throughout rather than have them hating each other at first. I will enjoy reading the rest of the Knight family series if this book is any indication.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2008

    I'm Still Swooning!

    It's books like One Night of Sin that make me love romance novels. To put it lightly, Gaelen Foley is a phenomenal writer. Her plots are intricate and captivating and kept me interested throughout. This is the second to last book (*tear*) in the Knight Miscellany and it is Alec's story. Oh Alec!!! I really believed his sincere affections for the heroine, Becky, and his dedication to her had me dreaming all day long. I am such a sucker for the reformed rake storyline and Alec falls into that category perfectly. The only thing I did not like about him was the fact that he seemed to be suffering from some serious Mommy Issues. There were some Freudian undertones to his character that had me pursing my lips and rolling my eyes. But other than that I think he is definitely one of my favorite heroes of all time. Becky, makes me smile so so much. I loved that within the first fifty pages she had met Alec, and given in to her attraction to him. She did not try and fool herself into believing that she did not want him, or that he did not want her (That was palpable). There are scenes in this book that will stay with me forever. Particularly when Alec must defeat Becky's pervy cousin in a high stakes game of whist that will end in his death if he loses. Becky's reaction coupled with Alec's dedication to honor had me in tears. I wish there were more books like this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2006

    wow!!!!!!!!!!!1

    so omg i just discovered romance novels about a month ago and so far i have three of her books left to read and man o man do i love her. it makes me sad the knight family ever has to end. her books are so amazing and i have to say one night of sin was one of my favorites besides duke. alec was so easy to fall in love with. so if you loved the rest of the knight family believe me you'll love this one. and don't forget to read her other novels, pirate prince, princess, and prince charming, they're even better!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2005

    Not the best but certainly not the worst

    I absolutely adore Gaelen Foley, but this was her first novel that I could not finish. I don't know something seemed to be lacking from this one. I hated how there really was no interaction with the other Knight family members. I have noticed that as the series progresses we see less and less of the Knight family. Another thing that still bothers me is that although I loved Devil Takes A Bride with Lizzie, in my heart of hearts I wanted her to end up with Alec Maybe this was why I was unable to enjoy this book to its full potential. I just felt that the heroine didn't fit in with the rest of the Knights. Nevertheless I am waiting with baited breath for Lord Jack's story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2005

    great!!!

    i was very happy to say that this is a great book.... the romance is a 8... all in all i am very enthusiastic....i press everyone to read....very hottttt.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    tense romantic suspense Regency thriller

    In 1817 London half Russian half English Earl Prince Kurkov sends four of his best Cossack soldiers to capture his cousin Rebecca Ward before she can reach her late grandfather¿s friend and political adversary the Duke of Westland. Becky watched Kurkov kill in cold blood, has learned about his anti-Tsar plot, and knows he plans to use and abuse her. --- After four days of little to eat and no rest, Becky reaches London with the Cossacks closing in on her. A storm sends her seeking shelter under the portico of Lord Draxinger¿s home where she falls asleep. Drax and three friends, Rush, Fort, and Alec Knight arrive for a night of cards when they see her and assumes she is a whore. Rush tries for a kiss but takes a knee in the family jewels; Drax follows but receives an elbow knocking out a tooth. Becky flees, but Alec pursues her. He persuades her to come to his home where they make love. The next morning she leaves and he realizes she was a virgin. He follows her and soon kills two Cossacks attacking her. As they struggle to stay alive and raise the alarm about the anti-Tsar plot, they fall in love.--- ONE NIGHT OF SIN is a tense romantic suspense thriller that brings to life an interesting historical footnote, England¿s adulation of Tsarist Russia following the Napoleonic Wars. The characters make for a fine story line with the lead couple¿s inability to compete with Kurkov¿s charm to sell himself to Westland (and his daughter). Fans will enjoy this fine Regency that would be folly not to read.--- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted January 24, 2011

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    Posted June 5, 2011

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    Posted September 13, 2010

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    Posted July 3, 2011

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    Posted March 22, 2014

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    Posted July 29, 2011

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    Posted January 25, 2010

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