A View to a Kiss

( 32 )

Overview

Mystifying kisses . . .

It was a most coveted invitation—a glittering ball attended by all the important people of the ton. But Mariah, a ravishing beauty thought by all to be the catch of the season, never expected to find true love amid the shadows. The mysterious man she meets there ignites a passion within her she never thought possible. When he starts a clandestine midnight courtship in her bedroom, ...

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A View to a Kiss

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Overview

Mystifying kisses . . .

It was a most coveted invitation—a glittering ball attended by all the important people of the ton. But Mariah, a ravishing beauty thought by all to be the catch of the season, never expected to find true love amid the shadows. The mysterious man she meets there ignites a passion within her she never thought possible. When he starts a clandestine midnight courtship in her bedroom, Mariah is scandalized—and enthralled.

From a man who knows just what he desires . . .

Harry Sinclair is a man of secrets who would do anything to protect those in his charge. But when he lays eyes on the stunning Mariah, duty and desire collide. Though every man in London lusts for her, he knows the fiery attraction between them is unparalleled. But in a world where trust can turn to treason and scandal can topple the throne, Harry and Mariah will fight a perilous fight for their precious love—and their lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Julia Quinn
“Touches every emotion.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061706356
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/27/2009
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 380
  • Sales rank: 543,834
  • Product dimensions: 6.82 (w) x 4.18 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author

Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, two Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader's Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA's RITA® Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one.

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Read an Excerpt

A View to a Kiss

Chapter One

Doncaster House was a true mansion, an imposing edifice in the grandest style set in Mayfair. Tall windows glowed with candlelight and the front doors were thrown wide open to admit the throngs of elegantly attired guests climbing the steps. The air was filled with the soft strains of music from inside the house, mixed with the jingle of harnesses and the clatter of carriage wheels outside. The guests must number in the hundreds, all of them wealthy, fashionable, and important.

One man surveyed the scene from under lowered brows as he mounted the steps, rapping his cane sharply on each tread. He had never been to Doncaster House before, and his eyes roamed over the expanse of stone and glass and wrought iron as if he were counting the windowpanes and pediments. Halfway up the steps he paused, fishing a handkerchief from his pocket to blot his face.

A pair of young men...dandies from the looks of them...burst through the doors, talking and laughing in the careless, too-loud manner of men who have drunk too much. They clattered down the steps, jostling him out of the way without so much as a backward glance. He teetered on the steps for a moment before a footman hurrying in their wake came to his aid, offering his arm and a murmured solicitation. The guest nodded, leaning heavily on the footman until he got his balance back.

"Blasted scoundrels," he muttered, now breathing heavily. "In my day young men knew better than to go about too foxed to walk straight."

"Yes, sir," murmured the footman, discreetly slipping one hand under the gentleman's elbow as he helped him up another step.

"And mind, I'm notsorry to be in my dotage, if that is England's future," the old man went on. "Save for your old age now, lad, and pray they don't bring the country to complete ruin!"

"Yes, sir." The footman eased him up another step.

"If my boys had behaved that way, I'd have taken a cane to them, I would have . . . " His voice trailed off and he sighed. "Eh, but they're both dead now. Gone with my dear wife in 'ninety-six to the consumption."

"Terribly sorry, sir," said the footman, urging him up the last step.

"What, what? Not your fault." He patted the footman's arm. "There's a good lad. Write to your mother, would you?"

"Er...yes, sir." The footman bowed as the old man went into the house, leaning on his cane and favoring his left leg.

Inside the house, the elderly gentleman shuffled through the bustle, handing off his cloak and hat to another footman and making his way toward the ballroom to greet his host. It was a grand ball, but he'd arrived rather late, and the receiving line had dwindled to almost naught.

"Lord Henry Wroth," a servant announced him.

The Earl of Doncaster bowed, tall and urbane, his dark hair threaded with silver. "Good evening, sir."

"And to you." Lord Wroth executed a shaky bow over the countess's hand. "Madam."

"Welcome to our home," said Lady Doncaster with a gracious smile. She was younger than her husband, with a face more handsome than beautiful. "How kind of you to come."

Wroth chuckled, a hoarse, rusty sound. "And my great pleasure it is, too. But I hope you've not served a surfeit of punch. It tends to go to the young men's heads, it does."

"Indeed not," she replied smoothly. "I quite agree with you, sir."

He nodded his shaggy gray head. "Well done, madam, well done."

He bowed again and hobbled away, but slowly enough to overhear the exchange behind him in low tones.

"Wroth?" murmured the earl. "I thought that title died out."

"Apparently they found an heir," said his wife. "A distant cousin, I believe."

"Ah." This satisfied the question for Doncaster. He greeted his next guest with the same cordial manner as he'd shown the unknown Lord Wroth. Lady Doncaster followed suit, the curious old man dismissed from her mind as well.

The man called Lord Wroth listened with satisfaction, and went on his way. They would hardly be so calm if they suspected they had just welcomed a common spy named Harry Sinclair into their ballroom, in the completely fabricated guise of a recently discovered Lord Wroth. Then again, if he did his job properly, they'd never suspect anything like that at all.

The ballroom was a sight to behold. Long swaths of pale green silk hung from the walls, glowing in the light of dozens of fine wax candles augmenting the gas lamps. Harry had been to balls before, but never seen anything quite like this. There were flowers everywhere, all white; everything in the room was either green or white, he noted, scanning the room over his spectacles. It must have cost a bloody fortune just to decorate for an evening's entertainment.

His gaze flitted over the three sets of French windows standing open onto a wide terrace, just visible beyond the glow of the ballroom. Beyond that, he knew, lay a large garden. Guests were strolling in and out of the doors, for it was a warm evening and the mass of tapers made it warmer. It would be entirely possible for anyone to slip around to the back of the house, go through the garden, and in the terrace doors. There was no attempt to secure the house at all. Eyebrows lowered, he trudged on.

When he had gone halfway around the room, he plopped down into a chair too near the musicians for anyone to be sitting and conversing nearby. He pulled out his handkerchief again and mopped his face. Within moments a footman stopped beside him. "May I fetch you a drink, sir?"

"Aye," said Harry. "None of that pissy champagne. Some good port."

The footman bowed his head. "Yes, sir." He hurried away and returned in a moment with a glass. As he offered the tray, he tilted it too much and sent a wave of plum-colored port sloshing onto Lord Wroth's yellowed cuff.

A View to a Kiss
. Copyright © by Caroline Linden. 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
( 32 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is an exciting Regency romantic suspense

    Harry Sinclair is considered by the government as their top field operative. His current assignment is to uncover who is behind a dangerous seditious plot to destroy England and what they intend to do so they can be stopped <BR/><BR/>He attends a gala undercover at Doncaster House, but his head is spinning as if intoxicated upon meeting the host¿s daughter Lady Mariah. He agrees with the assessment of the Ton that she is the catch of the season, but his reasoning differs; the shallow Ton knows she is pretty but more important the daughter of an Earl; Harry believes she is the loveliest woman he has ever seen. Unable to resist in spite of the risk of exposure, he sneaks into her bedroom where he verbally seduces her from the shadows as she scandalously reacts to his sexy verbiage and his feathery caresses sends her into ecstasy. While he continues his inquiry, she conducts an investigation into who is her mystery lover.<BR/><BR/>This is an exciting Regency romantic suspense starring two delightful lead protagonists as Harry understands the mission comes first, second, and last, but cannot stop himself from climbing into Mariah¿s bedroom through her window. Mariah knows she should scream, but instead relishes the visits and bravely tries to uncover the identity of her nocturnal lover. Carline Linden provides an engaging Regency romance as the professional and the amateur fall in love while dangerously sleuthing.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    Read it

    Excellent with a complex storyline and characters. Wrspped up a little too neatly at the end...but a very enjoyable read. Loved Harry and Mariah was real and natural.

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  • Posted August 1, 2013

    A period spy caper, well done!

    Great chemistry, mysterious hero, feisty heroine, two hundred years before Bond. What's not to like? The Q style gadgets are fun, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2012

    Good, but not Linden's best

    I have to admit,though, that political intrigue is not my favorite. Despite that, it was a pleasant read with entertaining characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    EXTREMELY HIGHY RECOMMENDED!!!!!!

    This book captivated me from start to finish. I absolutely loved the mystery and the romance. It was very hard for me to put this book down. Please read For Your Arms Only and You only Love Once!!! I LOVE all three of these books and look forward to reading more of Caroline Linden's books.

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  • Posted October 8, 2011

    Loved it

    Totally loved this book. The characters were fun and believable to me. Harry was so sweet. As usual, lots of bumps in the road. Typical hiistorical novel with lots of extras.

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  • Posted August 13, 2011

    Excellent!

    This was a very enjoyable story. I recommend that you give it a try.

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  • Posted June 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A View To A Kiss

    Harry Sinclair has secrets and would do anything to protect those under his charge. But that he didn't mean to fall in love with Lady Mariah Doncaster, who is one of the men Harry and his cohorts are protecting. Harry and Mariah meet at her coming out ball, on the dark terrace. Harry can't get enough of Mariah, he continually climbs into her bedroom at midnight to woo her. Harry knows he far beneath Mariah's station, but both don't care.

    I loved this book and couldn't put it down. I loved how Mariah couldn't keep herself from trying to find Harry. She also grew as a person. She couldn't see beyond herself and when she was going to Carlton House with her father, she finally saw what Harry saw.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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