A Well Favored Gentleman (Well Pleasured Series #2)

( 89 )

Overview

Where has she been? The rumors fly throughout the Scottish countryside about Lady Alanna, the beautiful and mysterious displaced mistress of Fionnaway Manor. And now she has emerged from hiding, only to find her beloved estate besieged by greedy relatives. . .and coveted by a darkly handsome Englishman.

Ian Fairchild knows that Fionnaway belongs to him alone. For years he yearned for the cherished place where he passed his childhood. He can secure his rights to the manor only ...

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Overview

Where has she been? The rumors fly throughout the Scottish countryside about Lady Alanna, the beautiful and mysterious displaced mistress of Fionnaway Manor. And now she has emerged from hiding, only to find her beloved estate besieged by greedy relatives. . .and coveted by a darkly handsome Englishman.

Ian Fairchild knows that Fionnaway belongs to him alone. For years he yearned for the cherished place where he passed his childhood. He can secure his rights to the manor only through marriage with the enigmatic Alanna, but the exquisite hellion has warned him at knifepoint to leave her house.

Now with skill and charm, Ian must penetrate the lady's defenses, and boldly lay claim to her body and spirit. But first he must prove himself worthy, and he holds the power to enchant and delight, inflame and inspire. . .and to convince this lady her true home is in her lover's heart.

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Editorial Reviews

Jill Barnett
Treat yourself to a fabulous book — anything by Christina Dodd.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the early 19th century, the tiny Scottish coastal enclave of Fionnaway is home to both selkies (seals with the ability to assume human form at will) and "leg walkers" (humans who coexist under an ancient pact). Ian Fairchild's mother was a selkie, his father a leg walker, but selkie clearly dominates: he's darkly attractive and possesses extraordinary powers. He brings on storms, burrows into the minds of others, and can read their thoughts. Heiress Lacy Alanna McLeod, who plays at being a witch, is no match for Ian. Dodd (A Well Pleasured Lady), a fine stylist who spins a wonderfully drawn-out love scene, is one of those rare writers willing to take chances. Here she has created a hero, whose slow magical seductions can turn unnecessarily predatory ("That's it. Don't make it easy. Make it a war, so I can win"). (Mar.)
Library Journal
Continuing the saga of the decadent Fairchilds begun in A Well Pleasured Lady (LJ 8/97), this intricately plotted story set along the windswept Scottish coast pits enigmatic Ian Fairchild against Alanna MacLeod, the beautiful, determined Lady of Fionnaway, in a struggle for love and property that threatens a legendary agreement, answers an old question, and almost ends in disaster. Yet, for all its underpinnings of greed and broken promises, this is a gentler, more magical book than its predecessor. Well-matched protagonists, several memorable secondary characters, and a full measure of selkie lore and mysticism combine to recommend this sensual romance.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380790906
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Series: Well Pleasured Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,170,664
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Christina Dodd's novels have been translated into ten languages, won Romance Writers of America's prestigious Golden Heart® and RITA® awards, and been called the year's best by Library Journal. Dodd is a regular on the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and New York Times bestseller lists.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Scotland, 1800

Someone held a knife to his throat.

Ian Fairchild snapped out of his deep slumber and held himself perfectly still, eyes closed and breathing even in a parody of sleep.

Someone held a knife to his throat, and it wasn't the first time, but this time he'd been caught by surprise. He hadn't had time to make enemies in Scotland. He'd arrived only today, and had found his father, the only person here who would gladly kill him, too sick to leave his bed.

So who was who had slipped into his bed chamber as the hour struck midnight? Carefully he opened his eyes a slit—and stared into the face of a ghost.

A lovely, feminine, fiercely determined ghost, if her expression was anything to go by.

His eyes widened. "You're an idiot, Ian." He spoke aloud, seeing no harm in addressing a phantom and finding the sound of his own voice vastly reassuring. "It's only a dream." And he tried to move to prove it.

He couldn't. The ghost sat on his chest, the dream held him in thrall, and he couldn't bloody move.

A normal turn of events in a dream, he supposed. If only that steel pressed against his windpipe didn't feel so cold and so real. If only he didn't feel so . . . odd. More than sleepy, he was drifting, illogically relaxed beneath the threat of violence.

He blinked, bringing the phantom into focus. Wisps of hair sprang defiantly from her hairline. Her features were angular: square jawline, sharp cheekbones, wide mouth. Her eyes slanted up, her brows slanted up, her snub nose rose to a little point. A fascinating face, one filled with character and lively convictions. Not ghostly at all. "I know who you are.You're dead. You're Lady Alanna."

Both of her hands gripped that knife. He could see them in his peripheral vision, and they shook a little at the sound of her name.

Fear cleared his brain for one brief moment. The tip of that imaginary blade seemed so very honed. "Careful, there. We wouldn't want a bloody accident."

"No accident at all." Her voice was husky, touched by a defiant Scottish accent, and it sounded real, too.

This was the most vivid dream he'd ever had. "Lady Alanna. I didn't think I'd get to meet you. You're prettier than your portrait."

"A compliment from a Fairchild." The dream knife nudged close to his jugular. "I value that as it deserves.

Sharp-tongued and prudent as well as pretty. The portrait had portrayed her as a girl balanced on the cusp of maturity, looking eagerly toward the day she would inherit Fionnaway Manor. But she had disappeared on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, never to be seen again.

In a bit of dream magic, she now appeared to him all grown up. The night candle in the head board illuminated her piquant features and her generous curves. It found a companion flame in the red of her hair, and her large eyes were the color of the sea before an encroaching storm.

Yet she watched him as cautiously as one watches a trapped wolf.

With justification. He could be a dangerous man, but she didn't know that. Her wariness came from having known his father, and from the Fairchilds' well reserved reputation. His family were as famous as the Borgias, and for much the same reasons. The desire for money and power ruled them; no crime was too heinous when committed in the name of the Fairchild pocketbook.

Everyone he had met this day had watched him, waiting for his pleasant facade to peel away and show him to be as despicable as his father. For to day, at least, he had managed to recall the values his mother had taught him. But Lady Alanna and the residents of Fionnaway were right to treat him gingerly; sometimes the Fairchild blood prevailed.

For instance, right now the temptation to shout "boo" was almost irresistible. Only that nervous, two-handed grip on the knife stopped him. "You seem worried. What's wrong, sweet lady?"

"You weren't supposed to be awake."

"I'm a light sleeper."

"Yes, but the smoke was supposed to . . ."

"To what?" His mind suddenly sharpened, and he noted the haze around her figure. He noted, also, an odor he had not smelled since India. Hashish. Someone had tried to drug him.

He considered the woman leaning one knee on his chest. She had tried to drug him, and she had done a very good job. He was drugged.

Copyright ) 1998 by Christina Dodd

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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

Well Favored Gentleman

Chapter One

Scotland, 1800

Someone held a knife to his throat.

Ian Fairchild snapped out of his deep slumber and held himself perfectly still, eyes closed and breathing even in a parody of sleep.

Someone held a knife to his throat, and it wasn't the first time, but this time he'd been caught by surprise. He hadn't had time to make enemies in Scotland. He'd arrived only today, and had found his father, the only person here who would gladly kill him, too sick to leave his bed.

So who was who had slipped into his bed chamber as the hour struck midnight? Carefully he opened his eyes a slit--and stared into the face of a ghost.

A lovely, feminine, fiercely determined ghost, if her expression was anything to go by.

His eyes widened. "You're an idiot, Ian." He spoke aloud, seeing no harm in addressing a phantom and finding the sound of his own voice vastly reassuring. "It's only a dream." And he tried to move to prove it.

He couldn't. The ghost sat on his chest, the dream held him in thrall, and he couldn't bloody move.

A normal turn of events in a dream, he supposed. If only that steel pressed against his windpipe didn't feel so cold and so real. If only he didn't feel so . . . odd. More than sleepy, he was drifting, illogically relaxed beneath the threat of violence.

He blinked, bringing the phantom into focus. Wisps of hair sprang defiantly from her hairline. Her features were angular: square jawline, sharp cheekbones, wide mouth. Her eyes slanted up, her brows slanted up, her snub nose rose to a little point. A fascinating face, one filled with character and lively convictions. Not ghostly at all. "I know who you are. You're dead. You're Lady Alanna."

Both of her hands gripped that knife. He could see them in his peripheral vision, and they shook a little at the sound of her name.

Fear cleared his brain for one brief moment. The tip of that imaginary blade seemed so very honed. "Careful, there. We wouldn't want a bloody accident."

"No accident at all." Her voice was husky, touched by a defiant Scottish accent, and it sounded real, too.

This was the most vivid dream he'd ever had. "Lady Alanna. I didn't think I'd get to meet you. You're prettier than your portrait."

"A compliment from a Fairchild." The dream knife nudged close to his jugular. "I value that as it deserves.

Sharp-tongued and prudent as well as pretty. The portrait had portrayed her as a girl balanced on the cusp of maturity, looking eagerly toward the day she would inherit Fionnaway Manor. But she had disappeared on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, never to be seen again.

In a bit of dream magic, she now appeared to him all grown up. The night candle in the head board illuminated her piquant features and her generous curves. It found a companion flame in the red of her hair, and her large eyes were the color of the sea before an encroaching storm.

Yet she watched him as cautiously as one watches a trapped wolf.

With justification. He could be a dangerous man, but she didn't know that. Her wariness came from having known his father, and from the Fairchilds' well reserved reputation. His family were as famous as the Borgias, and for much the same reasons. The desire for money and power ruled them; no crime was too heinous when committed in the name of the Fairchild pocketbook.

Everyone he had met this day had watched him, waiting for his pleasant facade to peel away and show him to be as despicable as his father. For to day, at least, he had managed to recall the values his mother had taught him. But Lady Alanna and the residents of Fionnaway were right to treat him gingerly; sometimes the Fairchild blood prevailed.

For instance, right now the temptation to shout "boo" was almost irresistible. Only that nervous, two-handed grip on the knife stopped him. "You seem worried. What's wrong, sweet lady?"

"You weren't supposed to be awake."

"I'm a light sleeper."

"Yes, but the smoke was supposed to . . ."

"To what?" His mind suddenly sharpened, and he noted the haze around her figure. He noted, also, an odor he had not smelled since India. Hashish. Someone had tried to drug him.

He considered the woman leaning one knee on his chest. She had tried to drug him, and she had done a very good job. He was drugged.

Copyright ) 1998 by Christina Dodd

Well Favored Gentleman. Copyright © by Christina Dodd. 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
( 89 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 90 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    Quirky love story

    This book has some very memorable characters with an interesting twist inside.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 7, 2013

    I love regencies with some fantasy woven in, especially if they

    I love regencies with some fantasy woven in, especially if they include some pretty hot love scenes. A warning: if forced seduction is an issue for you, you'll want to pass on this one. While I wouldn't tolerate the hero's behavior in a contemporary romance, it worked for me in this setting. Both Ian (dark and brooding) and Alanna (proud and independent), as well as the other important characters, were nicely drawn (I especially enjoyed Wilda). The plot moved along well with a couple of surprises. The use of magic enriched the story, as did the Scottish coast setting. There were a couple of instances of anachronistic dialog, but they didn't detract from the overall story for me. I don't feel it was necessary to read the previous book, A WELL-PLEASURED LADY, in order to enjoy this one (although you would have more background on Ian and his family). 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    A good read

    Engaging with a great Highland twist. Romance with a plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2011

    Wonderful!!!!!!

    Read "A well-plesured lady" first, so this is a charming follow-up on the life of a well-loved character.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 1, 2011

    Not recommended.

    I was disappointed with this book. I do not read witchcraft books and there was no indication in the preview -- waste of good money!

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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