Stranger in My Arms

( 121 )

Overview

A classic tale of sensuous deception and bold new beginnings, from the remarkable New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas

"Lady Hawksworth, your husband is not dead . . ."

With these words, Lara's life is turned upside down. Her unhappy, loveless marriage had ended when the Earl of Hawksworth was lost at sea. But now a man stands before her, virile and powerful, who says he is her missing husband, revealing secrets that only he would know. While this dark-eyed stranger ...

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Stranger in My Arms

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Overview

A classic tale of sensuous deception and bold new beginnings, from the remarkable New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas

"Lady Hawksworth, your husband is not dead . . ."

With these words, Lara's life is turned upside down. Her unhappy, loveless marriage had ended when the Earl of Hawksworth was lost at sea. But now a man stands before her, virile and powerful, who says he is her missing husband, revealing secrets that only he would know. While this dark-eyed stranger closely resembles the earl, he is as attentive and loving as Hunter was cruel and cold, promising to make Lara his wife once again in every way. With every beat of her heart, she aches to believe that this remarkable man is who he claims to be. But is he truly the rake returned and reformed . . . or is Lara being seduced by a cunning imposter?

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Editorial Reviews

Heart to Heart
More than just a fine writer...she's a genuine phenomenon.
Jill Barnett
A character-rich love story with a delightful twist!
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lara, Lady Hawksworth, is sure her husband died in a shipwreck off the south Indian coast, but three years later someone answering to the name of Hunter, Lord Hawksworth, reappears. He's accepted by everyone save his uncle, who'd claimed the earldom in his absence, and Lara, who had hated being married to him. How Hunter wins Lara with his exquisite lovemaking and becomes a better husband than the man who left her is the heart of this sweetly sensual, character-driven Regency historical. Kleypas (Because You're Mine) doesn't give a lot of description so the prose sometimes clunks when she shoehorns facts (e.g., Lara's contemplation of a particularly popular shade of house paint) into her narrative and some phrases jar ("this springy, lean animality"). But for the most part her prose flows well, her dialogue is thankfully natural and she's again shown herself to be a cut above most in this popular genre. (July)
Heart to Heart
"More than just a fine writer...she's a genuine phenomenon."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380781454
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2011
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 367,571
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Kleypas is the author of nineteen historical romance novels that have been published in twelve languages. In 1985, she was named Miss Massachusetts and competed in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City. After graduating from Wellesley College with a political science degree, she published her first novel at age twenty-one. Her books have appeared on bestseller lists such as the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and WaldenBooks. Lisa is married and has two children.

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Read an Excerpt

Stranger in My Arms

Chapter One

"Lady Hawksworth, your husband is not dead."

Lara stared at James Young without blinking. She knew she had not heard the estate agent correctly... or perhaps he had been drinking, though she had never known him to tipple before. It was possible that he had grown a little dotty from having to work in the service of the current Lord and Lady Hawksworth. They would surely drive anyone mad, given enough time.

"I know it is a great shock to you all," Young continued earnestly. Concern flared in his bespectacled eyes as he glanced at Lara. "To you in particular, my lady."

Had the news come from a less reliable source, Lara would have dismissed it immediately. However, James Young was a cautious and trustworthy man who had served the Hawksworth family for at least a decade. He had done an excellent job of managing her trust property′s income since her husband′s death, no matter that there was precious little money to oversee.

Arthur, Lord Hawksworth, and his wife, Janet, regarded Young as if they, too, doubted his sanity. They were an ideally suited couple, both of them blond, tall, and spare of frame. Although they had two sons, the boys had been packed off to Eton and were seldom seen or even mentioned. Arthur and Janet seemed to care about one thing only-to enjoy their newfound wealth and status as conspicuously as possible.

"Preposterous!" Arthur exploded. "How dare you come to me with this nonsense! Explain yourself at once."

"Very well, my lord," Young replied. "I received word yesterday that a frigate recently arrived in London carrying a most unusual passenger. It seems that he bears an uncanny resemblance to the late earl." He glanced respectfully at Lara as he added, "He claims to be Lord Hawksworth."′

Arthur exploded with disbelieving scorn. His lean face, carved with deep lines of cynicism, flushed a vivid shade of red. His long beak of a nose twitched angrily. "′What sort of outrageous hoax is this? Hawksworth has been dead for a year. It′s impossible that he could have survived the shipwreck off of Madras. My God, the vessel literally broke in half! Everyone on board was lost. Are you telling me that my nephew somehow managed to survive? The man must be a lunatic to think that any of us would believe him."

Janet′s thin lips tightened. "He′ll be proved an impostor soon enough," she said crisply, smoothing the toothlike points of dark Vandyke lace that trimmed the bodice and waist of her emerald silk gown.

Ignoring the Crosslands′ furious disdain, Young approached the widow. Larissa sat in a gilt-wood armchair near the window, her gaze fixed on the carpet covering the floor. Like everything else in Hawksworth Hall, the Persian carpet was opulent to the point of tastelessness, woven in a fantastical design of surreal flowers spilling from a Chinese-style vase. The worn toe of a black leather shoe protruded from beneath the hem of Larissa′s mourning dress as she absently traced the edge of a scarlet flower with her foot. She seemed lost in memories, not noticing Young′s approach until he had reached her. Abruptly she straightened like a chastened schoolgirl and lifted her gaze to his face.

Even in her dark bombazine dress, as high-necked and pristine as a nun′s habit, Larissa Crossland possessed a soft, elegant beauty. With her dark sable hair always seeming on the verge of tumbling from its pins, and sultry pale green eyes, she was original and striking. However, her looks generated little heat. She was often admired. but never pursued...never flirted with or desired. Perhaps it was the way she used cheerfulness like a weapon, if such a thing were possible, keeping everyone at a distance.

It seemed to many in the town of Market Hill that Lara was an almost saintly figure. A woman with her looks and position could have managed to snare a second husband, yet she had chosen to stay here and involve herself in charitable works. She was unfailingly gentle and compassionate, and her generosity extended to nobleman and beggar alike. Young had never heard Lady Hawksworth utter an unkind word about anyone, not the husband who had virtually abandoned her nor the relatives who treated her with contemptible stinginess.

But for all her apparent serenity, there was something unsettling in her translucent green eyes. Some quiet turbulence that hinted at emotions and thoughts she never dared express. As far as Young could tell, Larissa had decided to content herself by living vicariously through the people around her. It was frequently said she needed a man of her own. However, no one could ever seem to think of a particular gentleman who was suited to her.

That was undoubtedly a good thing, if it turned out that the late earl really was alive.

"My lady," Young murmured apologetically, "I did not want to distress you. But I felt you would want to be informed immediately about any matter that concerns the late earl."

"Is there any chance it could be true?" Lara whispered, her face shadowed with a frown.

"I don′t know," came Young′s careful reply. "As they never found the earl′s body, I suppose there is a chance that he -- "

"Of course it isn′t true!" Arthur exclaimed. "Have you both taken leave of your senses?" Brushing by Young, he assumed a protective expression and settled his hand on Lara′s narrow shoulder. "′How dare this scoundrel put Lady Hawksworth through such torment!" he exclaimed with as muchpity as he could muster.

"I′m fine," Lara interrupted, stiffening at his touch. A frown knit her smooth brow. She pulled away and went to the window, longing to escape the overdecorated parlor. The walls were covered in bright pink silk and heavy gold scrollwork, the comers filled with vases of exotic palms. It seemed that every inch of available space was taken up with a collection...

Stranger in My Arms. Copyright © by Lisa Kleypas. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 121 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(56)

4 Star

(32)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 122 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 21, 2011

    Exceptional Plot

    I read many of Lisa Kleypas books and I really enjoyed this one. About half way through I can usually figure the ending but this one took me totally by surprise. I found Lara to be a kind and loving woman and the "new" Hunter was certainly a hunk. As historical novels go this one seemed to be totally believable (others didn't think so). In todays world the plot probably would not be believable but remember we were in 1800 England. Anyway, I am an avid reader and I loved the story, the characters and I am a great admirer of Ms. Kleypas writing skills. She builds characters, plots and explosive finishes as well as anybody writing today. That said, I wish she would write more contemporary books because I loved Blue Eyed Devil, Smooth Talking Stranger and Sugar Daddy.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2004

    This book is a must read!!!!

    This was my first Lisa Kleypas novel and I loved every minute of it! This book started with a bang and ended with one. I would love for Kleypas to write a second novel about Lara and Hunter!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2011

    disappointed

    i have read other books by Kleypas, but I was disappointed by this one. I had a hard time even finishing this book. The leading lady is really so self centered it is hard to relate to her.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2005

    One of the Best by Lisa Kleypas

    I love LIsa Kleypas but I do not at all enjoy widow novels. But this was one of the best books written by Kleypas. I took a chance and read the book. I was not disapointed. Couldn't put it down. I do wish I knew what 'Hunter's' real name was?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2004

    Great Read

    I know that the plot may sound far fetched, by the story is so captivating that I couldn't put it down. Kleypas has created to charming characters who share a love so sweet, its rare to find in most novels...and had me in tears. Thank you Ms. Kleypas!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    Stranger in my arms

    I enjoyed this book even though the female lead often made me want to throttle her especially in r egards to janet and arthur. Otherwise the book was entertaining and well written. I would like to find out what happened to rachel.

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  • Posted June 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Review contains spoilers This is a very unique story, I thought

    Review contains spoilers

    This is a very unique story, I thought and I never expected the twist in the end when it was revealed who the real Hunter was. When it was revealed that the stranger was Hunter's half brother, I felt that it was a little bit unsettling to a certain extent but I still enjoyed reading this story.

    The story starts off with the family solicitor announcing that Hunter, the Earl of Hawksworth was not dead as was originally thought of a year ago. Apparently, Hunter was the only survivor of the ship he was on when he was in India leaving behind Lara a widow. Hunter and Lara's marriage was a typical one of that era, arranged and without love. However, it left Lara hurt and disillusioned with her building a wall around her heart and devoting herself in charity endeavors. Hunter, on the other hand, continued his scandalous relationship with a widow without any regard to Lara's feelings. To top it off, Lara was unable to bear any children which was the only reason Hunter married her.

    With Hunter dead and with no issue, his title went to his cousin and his wife who did not treat Lara well and in the span of a year, nearly bankrupted the whole family. Of course, the couple did not take kindly to this new development and vowed to expose Hunter to the fraud that he really is. Incidentally, Hunter's mother was touring the continent so they couldn't ask her to identify him for the time being. Since the solicitor and the family doctor, and even one of his closest friend (who was married to Lara's sister), and even Lara (with doubts) vouched for his identity, he was able to reclaim his legacy.

    Naturally, it is not revealed in the story if the stranger is really Hunter but from his actions alone, one would guess that something was not right. Most especially Lara, since the return of her husband brought about changes in his demeanor and treatment toward her. In fact, Hunter had changed and this time, he wanted his marriage with Lara to work. Lara, who had built a wall around her heart started to believe that this would be a second chance at finding love at last and appeared to ignore the obvious changes in her husband.

    I love the sparks that flew between Lara and Hunter. I liked that this Hunter was doing his best to make up for his supposedly transgressions before he left for India. I also liked that the author focused on those little things that made Lara fall in love again with her husband despite her suspicion and misgivings.

    I also fell in love with Hunter, well the new Hunter. Because he was a bastard and he wanted to live the kind of life his brother, the real Hunter took for granted. Both men had met in India when the new Hunter (it was never revealed in the book what his real name is) confronted his half brother who was being a jerk as always. The new Hunter was desperate to find out his real family and he snooped around and managed to read his brother's journals and Lara's letters to the real Hunter. Stealing a locket that Lara gave Hunter before he left for India, he started to become a little bit obsessed with Lara.

    Despite the creepiness of Hunter's desire to take over another person's life, I thought this story was perfectly executed. In fact, the theme did not feel creepy or disturbing at all and I love it! I will definitely be re-reading this book again!

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  • Posted August 29, 2012

    I loved it, I couldn't put it down. I love her books but this on

    I loved it, I couldn't put it down. I love her books but this one took the cookie:)))

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    I love this book. It's very moving to readers that give most tho

    I love this book. It's very moving to readers that give most thoughts in what they're reading. I LOVE IT!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Loved it" Loved it!

    Wonderfull story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Great read

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    Fantastic!

    I loved this book. Ms. Kleypas always delivers wonderful stories with well developed characters and juicy love scenes. But this storyline took me completely by surprise. I didnt want to put it down. Thank you Ms Kleypsass you never disapoint.

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    Fabulous!

    I love this book! It is one of the romances that I keep in my collection and I read over and over!

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    Great book!

    There was a lot of twists and turns I wasn't exppecting. Another great read by Kleypas.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Amazing

    I just discovered Lisa Kleypas and I am addicted. I love books where someone comes back to a relationship and tries to start over. Hunter is fabulous and you will be guessing whether he is really Hunter or not until the very end and even then you will not care since the romance is wonderful. I did not want this to end.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    another amazing book from lisa kleypas!

    i couldn't put this book down. there has not been a book by her that i did not enjoy! i felt every emotion and my eyes started to water or my heart was on an emotional rollercoaster. but she is by far my top authors. her writing is very detailed. she is amazing at imagination. i definitely reccommend her books! i hope to read more from her!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2011

    Loved it!

    So hard to put down.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    Totally Recommend!!!

    I enjoyed this book so much! Lara isn't self-centered, she focuses more on the orphans and the servants rather than her life, she's actually very kind and thoughtful. This book had me questioning, and I was desperate to know if Hunter really was her husband. The ending was sweet, I love it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Steamy!

    I've read this book several times because it is such a good read. There isn't much originality to the story and the plot is almost unbelieveable, but Ms. Kleypas writes really strong characters and pulls the story off. I like the ending, it's perfect and Lara is very deserving. There is a lot of cat and mouse chasing, but the end results are really steamy.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2008

    Loved It!

    This was my first time reading a book by this author and I was pleasantly suprised. I couldn't put this book down, I anticipated the outcome but did not want it to end. I was so caught up in the excitement I felt as though I were part of the story. The romance reminded me of Scarlett Ohara and Rett Butler on 'Gone With the Wind.' Very good book, one of my favorites I've ever read and I plan to read more by this author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 122 Customer Reviews

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