Sweet Talking Man

( 2 )

Overview

Betina Krahn, the New York Times bestselling author of The Soft Touch and The Perfect Mistress, casts her beguiling spell once more with this warm and witty love story....

She was an independent woman-with only one weakness...  an irresistible downtown man...

An immovable uptown lady...  rich suffragette Beatrice Von Furstenberg was tough enough to trade stocks on Wall Street and smart enough to resist the temptation of ...

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Sweet Talking Man

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Overview

Betina Krahn, the New York Times bestselling author of The Soft Touch and The Perfect Mistress, casts her beguiling spell once more with this warm and witty love story....

She was an independent woman-with only one weakness...  an irresistible downtown man...

An immovable uptown lady...  rich suffragette Beatrice Von Furstenberg was tough enough to trade stocks on Wall Street and smart enough to resist the temptation of passion.  Adamant about women being independent-and without a romantic bone in her lovely body-she had sternly refused to give her moonstruck sixteen-year-old ward permission to wed an eighteen-year-old suitor. Now the desperate teens have dreamed up a mock robbery and a daring rescue to change Beatrice's mind.

Attorney Connor Barrow, a rogue of an Irishman with a silver tongue, remembers all too well the burning desires of youth.  So he agrees to help in a crazy plan that will land him in a world of trouble. Suddenly he is responsible for the most influential lady in the city being locked up in a brothel, furious and threatening his ruin.  Neither of them expects that first breathless kiss-a deal that would make the devil himself blush-and, most of all, the ways love can change a man's mind and open a woman's heart....

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Krahn has a delightful, smart touch."
-Publishers Weekly
Kathe Robin
Ms. Kahn skillfully weaves in a delectable undercurrent of sexual tension with her delicious and subtle wit for a delightful romance.
Romantic Times
Library Journal
A starchy, wealthy New York suffragette and a silver-tongued Irish attorney with political ambitions are caught up in the ill-advised romantic plans of her ward and his cousin--plans that not only land Beatrice von Furstenberg in a house of ill repute and the roguish Connor Barrow in a heap of trouble but also lead to a passion that neither had ever expected. Light, lively, but emotionally involving, this story will please those who enjoyed Krahn's earlier The Soft Touch. Krahn is a popular writer of historical romances who lives in the Minneapolis area. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553576191
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/28/2000
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,293,781
  • Product dimensions: 4.15 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Read an Excerpt

New York, 1892

The darkness had become their friend. The deep purple of the late summer nights hid them in its shadows and muffled the rustle of her skirts, the scrape of his shoes on paving stones, and the pounding of their earnest hearts.

She found him in the sympathetic shadows of the arbor at the rear of the garden, waiting among lush cascades of gloriously overripe roses.

"Jeffrey?"

"Prissy . . . here!"

She located him, then paused to adore him with her eyes. Tall, fair, and undeniably handsome, he was everything a girl's heart could desire.

"I was afraid you wouldn't be able to come," he said in a tense rush, holding out his hands to draw her close.

"Nothing could have kept me from coming to you," she said, sinking against his shirtfront and sighing as his arms folded around her. "Even if she had locked me up, I still would have found a way."

"Locked you up?" Jeffrey gasped and pulled her tighter against him. "I wouldn't put it past her, the old witch. She's nothing short of a tyrant--ordering you about--forbidding us to--"

She reached up to stop his words with her fingertips. "Let's not waste precious time on my poor, wretched aunt. What could she possibly know of love? She's so old and lonely and miserable--she must be thirty years old. . . ."

"At least," he muttered.

She ran her hand reverently across his cheek.

"You are my whole world, Jeffrey."

"You are my moon and my stars, Prissy." He drew a deep breath to counter the constriction in his chest. She was so lovely. He felt a familiar ache begin deep in his loins and groaned softly. "Oh, if only we could marry, sweetness, and be together." He pulled her head against his shirt and closed his eyes. "Forever and ever."

"And ever," she echoed wistfully, closing her eyes as well.

"I would be able to touch your--hands--whenever I please, and hold you like this . . ." His more explicit longings were buried in a passionate kiss pressed on her cool, delicate fingers. "We're like Romeo and Juliet. Forbidden to love."

"And my parents, who were forbidden to love, too. They found a way." She lifted her head, her eyes shining. "We'll find a way, too, Jeffrey."

"Your parents?" Jeffrey set her back just enough to see her face clearly.

"My grandparents forbade their love, so they eloped and fled to Italy." Her voice grew warm and impassioned. "My mother said that they lived as free as gypsies at first . . . on nothing but wine and love." She pushed back farther in his arms and her eyes lighted. "We could do that."

"What? Live on wine and love?"

"No. Elope, like my mother and father."

"Elope?" For a brief moment the possibility was tantalizing. Then a draft of reality blew through his heated senses. "And flee the country?"

"No, we wouldn't have to do that." Her face glowed as she envisioned it. "We could . . . stay with your family until we get a house of our own."

"With my mother?" He envisioned it and winced in spite of himself. "Mother would never countenance such a thing. I mean, she's always planned a huge, society wedding for me . . . it would break her heart if . . . no, no, it can't be an elopement."

"You wouldn't elope with me?" she asked, surprised by his reluctance.

"There's the future to think about." A trace of anxiety crept into his voice. "Elopements are terrible scandals. We have to think of something else."

"But what?" She made fists around handfuls of his sleeves. "We'll grow as old and decrepit as Aunt Beatrice if we wait for her to change her mind." Then she paused, caught by another idea. "Unless we change it for her."

"Change a Von Furstenberg's mind?" He snorted. "We'd have better luck jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge and trying to fly. She despises me, Prissy . . . she acts as if I'm still in short pants. When I asked my father to plead our case with her, she wouldn't even see him. Now he's afraid that if he pushes the matter . . ."

There was no need to describe his father's fears. They both knew that her aunt and guardian, Beatrice Von Furstenberg, could wield her money and power like a sword and mace.

"If she only knew you as I do . . . knew how generous and honorable and brilliant you are." She loosened her grip on his sleeves to caress the arms inside them and lowered her voice. "How manly and brave you can be." She studied his face in the dimness and felt a surge of defiant passion. "She must be made to see it. Jeffrey, we must show her that you are a man to be reckoned with . . . that despite your youth, you are a force in the world of men."

"And how do you propose that we do that?"

She scowled, thinking, and the logic became inescapable. "I suppose . . . she would have to see you doing something daring or courageous."

"Courageous? You mean like . . . fighting a duel or something? Saving you from a burning building? Fending off a band of robbers?"

"Exactly."

She beamed.

He stiffened.

"Dueling is against the law--not to mention deadly. It takes hook and ladder companies to battle fires. And robbers run in packs and carry guns."

"Well, if a building were on fire, you would rescue me, wouldn't you?"

He blinked. "O-Of course."

"Then that's what you have to do, 'rescue' me." Then her eyes flew wide with another burst of inspiration. "No! Even better--rescue her!"

"Rescue her?" He was truly horrified. "What would I rescue her from?"

"Jeffrey." She pulled away and crossed her arms.

"Be reasonable, Prissy. Where is your aunt likely to get caught in a burning building or be held up by a gang of thieves?"

"Well, I don't know, but . . ." Mounting frustration caused her to blurt out: "I bet it could be arranged."

His hands and his jaw both dropped. "Prissy! You want to arrange for your aunt to be set upon by some thieves and cutthroats . . . so I can rescue her?"

Phrased so bluntly, the idea set Priscilla back for a moment.

"It does sound a little crazy." Then her inherited determination asserted itself.  "But think about it, Jeffrey. If you rescued her from danger, she would owe you a debt. And you know how fanatical she is about debts--paying them as well as collecting them. She would have to let us see each other. And once we've begun to court, I'm sure we could convince her to let us marry."

"But thieves, Prissy . . ."

Her gaze again swept that mental tableau and her fertile mind began to work again.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Superb Americana romance

    <P>In 1892 New York, widow Beatrice Von Furstenburg refuses to permit her niece Priscilla Lucciano to marry her beloved Jeffrey Granton. The astute businesswoman Beatrice believes the two teens are too young, too inexperienced, and definitely too moronic to wed right now. The suffragette knows first hand what it is like to marry as a pimply teen since she was forced to do so. The wannabe lovers hire thieves to abduct Beatrice so that Jeffrey can heroically rescue her. However, the plan fails and Beatrice is held prisoner in a brothel. <P>A desperate Jeffrey turns to his cousin attorney Connor Barrow for help. The sweet talking Connor negotiates with Beatrice on terms to free her even as he finds himself very attracted to the modern thinking woman. As the duo falls in love, Connor knows he faces the most difficult negotiation of his life. He must persuade his beloved that she can trust him and remain free and married at the same time. <P>SWEET TALKING MAN is a spectacular Americana romance that brings alive the late nineteenth century women¿s rights movement and the Tammany Hall control of New York City. The story line is humorous with a serious undertone that makes for a wonderful reading experience. The audience will adore the lead couple who brings vigor to the tale. Best-selling author Betina Krahn has written a great novel that will return her to the top of all the lists. <P>Harriet Klausner

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    Posted January 21, 2010

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