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Skylark [NOOK Book]


She'd risk everything to save her son. He'd risk everything for a second chance...Not a day has gone by without Stephen Ball thinking of the alluring girl who stole his heart and then married another. Now that Lady Laura Skylark needs his help, he plans to protect her son-and then seize the fiery passion that still burns between them. As Laura and Stephen embark on a daring ...
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She'd risk everything to save her son. He'd risk everything for a second chance...Not a day has gone by without Stephen Ball thinking of the alluring girl who stole his heart and then married another. Now that Lady Laura Skylark needs his help, he plans to protect her son-and then seize the fiery passion that still burns between them. As Laura and Stephen embark on a daring quest, they will find themselves on a dangerous journey into their most secret and sensual desires...

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Jo Beverly returns to the world of Georgian England in this historical filled with romance and intrigue. At 24, newly widowed Laura Gardeyne, once the toast of London society, finds herself trapped in a seemingly cozy prison, living on the estate of her father-in-law with her three-year-old son, Harry. Since young Harry stands to inherit both estate and title, a few near-accidents are all the evidence Laura needs to deduce that someone very close wants to murder her child. To safeguard Harry, Laura turns to an old friend and former suitor, Stephen Ball. Together they embark on a dangerous journey that not only reveals the most hidden of family secrets but also the mysteries of their own hearts. Ginger Curwen
Publishers Weekly
This slow-moving addition to Beverley's Company of Rogues series (St. Raven, etc.) fails to hold the reader's attention, despite its likable protagonists. Laura, "Lady Skylark" to the London elite, was a dazzling 18-year-old when she married Hal Gardeyne, the heir to the Caldfort estate. Six years later, Laura, now a widow, finds herself a virtual prisoner at Caldfort, kept there because she can't leave her son, Harry, in the hands of Hal's forbidding family. Worse, she suspects that Harry may be in danger because he's next in line to inherit Caldfort, and if something were to happen to him, his possibly malevolent uncle Jack could claim the estate. When Laura discovers a mysterious letter implying there may be a missing heir to the estate, she teams up with her old friend, Stephen Ball, and devises a plan to whisk Harry to safety and uncover the secret behind the missing heir. For much of the novel, Laura and Stephen secretly pine for each other as they share close quarters in a little seaside town, but their scruples prevent them from acting on their shared passion. The mystery, which hinges precariously on some overheard phrases and unfounded suppositions, develops just as slowly, and readers may have a tough time holding out for the denouement. Agent, Meg Ruley. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Increasingly suspicious that her late husband's vicar brother has deadly designs on her three-year-old son, the heir to his grandfather's title and holdings, Laura Gardeyne finds help from a most unlikely source, the man she had spurned in order to marry another. But Sir Stephen Ball has never forgotten his "Lady Skylark," and when he arrives at her home, ostensibly to see her father-in-law, he becomes caught up in a situation that is mysterious, dangerous, and ultimately romantically rewarding. Lively intrigue, likable characters, and a plot with enough twists to keep readers engaged result in sensual romance that is worthy of Beverley's legendary "Rogues" series and will not disappoint fans. Beverley is a highly popular New York Times best-selling author and lives in Victoria, BC. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101118450
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/4/2004
  • Series: Company of Rogues Series
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 34,138
  • File size: 438 KB

Meet the Author

Jo Beverley
Jo Beverley is widely regarded as one of the most talented romance writers today. She is a four-time winner of Romance Writers of America's cherished RITA Award and one of only a handful of members in the RITA Hall of Fame. She has also recieved the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Born in England, she now lives with her husband and two sons in Victoria, British Columbia, just a ferry ride away from Seattle, WA.


Jo Beverley is one the few authors writing English-set historical romance who is English. She was born and raised in England, and has a degree in English history from Keele University in Staffordshire. She and her husband emigrated to Canada in 1975 where they raised their two children. In 2009, the couple returned to England.

Though Jo started to write as a young child, it was only in the '80s that she began to think that it was something ordinary people could do, and after a talk at a local library, she settled to seriously writing her first historical romance.

Now, she is the author of over thirty romance novels and many novellas, which have garnered several RITAs from the Romance Writers of America, as well as several awards from Romantic Times, including two Career Achievement awards. She is a member of the RWA Honor Roll, and the RWA Hall of Fame.

Good To Know

Some fascinating outtakes from our interview with Jo Beverley:

"I'm English, born, raised, and educated, which has to contribute to the way I write my books."

"My profession -- once upon a time in another world -- was careers guidance, which involved visiting many different workplaces and learning about the jobs done there. This is a great education in the variety and complexity of life."

"I taught women-centered childbirth classes for 5 years, and that comes out in any childbirth scenes in my books.

"I'm a craft-dabbler, and I've tried most of them, including Tenerife lace, tatting, leatherwork, and stained glass, but I've never stuck with any. However, I once was a very good painter and I've recently decluttered all my craft materials to concentrate on drawing and painting as my artistic therapy for a demented author."

"I grew up in Morecambe, Lancashire, which is a 19th-century seaside town, but that's very close to Heysham, an ancient coastal village. They say the pre-Conquest church there is the oldest one in England still in use and there are stone-age tombs as well. We used to play on an Anglo-Saxon hogs-back stone near the church. I'm sure this easy contact with such ancient things tuned my mind to the past. I set my second book, The Stanforth Secrets, in Heysham, and it will be reissued in 2010." "My indulgences are really good cheese, bread, wine, coffee, and dark, dark chocolate (90% Lindt."

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 22, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Morecambe, Lancashire, UK
    1. Education:
      Degrees in English and American Studies, Keele University, Staffs, 1970

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 30, 2010

    A huge disappointment

    I read tons of historical novels and had always wanted to read a book by Jo Beverly. I regret that Skylark was my first choice. I was extremely disappointted in the heroine, who was downright silly. How many times did the hero have to kiss her before she would realize that he liked her. And really, running around in an old lady costume to spy on would be blackmailers - this went on for half the book - and then to find the bad guys were harmless and inconsequential. The whole premise could have been better developed - I think the poison bun at the graveyard was the worst.

    If you are going to read this, get it from the library. Please don't pay money for it.

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful style setter -"La Bellelle" as Byron called her - Laura Gardeyne is now a very young widow whose 3-year old son Harry is heir to the Caldfort title and holdings.

    She lives with her in-laws, and now she's very uneasy about her vicar brother-in-law Jack Gardeyne whom she's certain will do harm to her son. Laura is desperate to find some way to take Harry to her parents' home when help arrives on her doorstep as Stephen Ball, a lawyer and one of the Rogues. Stephen was a childhood friend who had long ago proposed to her (in his hurt at her refusal he labeled her Lady Skylark after the flighty behavior of the bird). He's come as political representative of the area, but in point of fact he's determined to woo and win Laura. Earlier, the ever-curious Laura had seen her father-in-law's strong reaction to a letter, which he has placed in his desk drawer. She retrieves it when the household is asleep and reads that an Arab gentleman is asking for money and refers to an HG. When Laura shares a copy of the letter with Stephen, they both think that the HG might refer to an earlier Harry Gardeyne who had died at sea. Perhaps he's alive and if he is, then he'd be the rightful heir, and son Harry would be safe! Stephen and Laura embark on a long adventure to solve the mystery; first to her childhood home to leave Harry safe with her family, and then in disguise as Stephen's sickly aunt to the seaport where they're sure that the mysterious Arab will be. Now Laura has to deal with being a most physically unappealing female when all her life her beauty has captivated people. Laura is increasingly drawn to the mature Stephen, but can he reciprocate her feelings looking the way she does? (We know that beneath his cool surface Stephen is working hard to tamp down his burgeoning lust for her). He accepts her intelligence and strong stands on social issues as a homely woman (she thinks), but will he believe that a beautiful woman can be as smart and as passionate about justice? Laura realizes that the answers are crucial to their relationship. Between them, Stephen and Laura surveille the Arab and his sickly companion and unravel the mystery. As Laura had dreaded, Jack Gardeyne arrives in cognito to see who the mysterious couple are and to do what's necessary to ensure his road to the title. Read on to unlock the mystery and see for yourself what happens.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2006


    I adore Jo Beverley, but this book was horrible. Stephen and Laura could have been great characters but they were sadly undercreated and the plot was extremely slow, which I can deal with, but not when the story itself is so boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2005

    Slow going.....

    I like Jo Beverley but found this book a little tedious to read. The plot was developed but then it just got humdrum! Stuck on a plot that went no where for most of the book!I kept waiting for something exciting to happen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2004

    No connection

    I'm a big fan of Jo Beverley and her Company of Rogues, but for some reason I couldn't get into this book. It was a bit disappointing. It had a slow start, and the ending seemed rushed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2004

    Beautiful romance

    In 1816 widow Laura Gardeyne begins to wonder if her brother-in-law Jack wants her three year old son Harry dead. Laura knows that Jack is a highly regarded vicar who seems to do the right things for his flock and is much kinder towards his wife and child then her deceased spouse Hal had been to her and Harry. Little incidents make her ponder whether the good vicar wants to insure he is the heir to the Skylark fortune and not his nephew........................................ Stephen Ball has loved Laura seemingly forever though he lost her to Hal. When he learns about her fears, he vows to keep her safe and his dead rival¿s offspring safe. When another potential heir surfaces with the return of a ¿slave¿ from the east, Laura and Stephen conduct inquiries into who this person is and what is their claim. As they work together to uncover the identity of this possible beneficiary and to keep Harry safe, Laura falls in love with her protector. However, paranoia does not exclude that someone wants you dead and even a loving rogue may not be enough to keep mother and son safe.................................... Regency romance readers will enjoy Jo Beverly¿s latest historical romance starring splendid lead characters and an interesting villain in sheep¿s clothing though he is a bit too inept. The story line is fast-paced once Stephen arrives on the scene to the surprise and joy of the heroine. As is always the case with a Ms. Beverly novel, SKYLARK is a fine read......................... Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2004

    awesome, just awesome!!

    I loved this book. It was awesome!! I deffinately recommend it. I loved it because the heroin is trying NOT to fall in love with him, then she realizes he is just what she needs. He, the hero, is trying to seduce her into marriage. One of the best books i have read in quite a while.

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    Posted October 16, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2012

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