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For instead of a willful female, he discovers one in desperate circumstances, hiding from a man who would destroy her very soul. So Nick shockingly offers ...
For instead of a willful female, he discovers one in desperate circumstances, hiding from a man who would destroy her very soul. So Nick shockingly offers her a very different kind of proposition - one he has never offered before.
He asks her to be his bride.
And he knows that this will be much more than a union in name only. For he senses what Charlotte does not yet know—that her appetite for sensuality matches his own. But what Nick learns surprises him. For while London’s most notorious lover might claim Charlotte’s body, he quickly discovers it will take much more than passion to win her love.
As was his long-standing habit, Nick entered Gemma's private suite without knocking. It was Sunday afternoon, the time they met almost every week. By now the familiar scent of the place -- leather, liquor, the hint of fresh flowers -- was all it took to begin the low hum of arousal in his body. His desire was unusually strong today, as his work had kept him away from Gemma for a fortnight.
Since the first night they had met, Nick had followed Gemma's rules without question. There had been no other choice, if he wanted to continue seeing her. They were friends, of a sort, but their interactions were strictly physical. Gemma had evinced no interest in what was in his heart, or even whether he had one. She was a kind woman, and yet on the rare occasions when Nick had tentatively spoken of matters other than the superficial, he'd been gently dismissed. It was just as well, he had realized. He had no wish to expose her to the ugliness of his past or the complex tangle of emotions he kept locked inside.
And so once a week they joined each other in bed with their secrets safely intact . . . the instructor and her ardent student. In the luxurious cocoon of Gemma's gold-papered bedroom Nick had learned more about lovemaking than he had ever thought possible. He'd gained an appreciation of female sexuality that few men acquired . . . the intricacy of a woman's pleasure, the ways to excite her mind as well as her body. He learned to employ his fingers, his tongue, teeth, lips, and cock with both delicacy and strength. Most of all he learned about discipline, and how patience and creativity couldmake even the experienced Mrs.
Bradshaw cry out until she was hoarse. He knew ways to keep a woman balanced on the edge of ecstasy for hours at a time. He also knew how to make a woman climax with nothing more than his mouth on her nipple, or with the lightest brush of his fingertip.
The last time they had met, Gemma had challenged him to bring her to orgasm without touching her at all. He had whispered in her ear for ten minutes, painting sexual images that became ever more exquisitely lurid until she had flushed and shivered beside him.
Thinking of her lush body, Nick turned warm with anticipation, and he strode into her parlor. He stopped short as he saw a young blond man seated on the velvet-upholstered chaise, dressed only in a wine silk robe. It was, Nick noted dazedly, the same robe that he made use of whenever he came to visit Gemma.
She had made no promises of fidelity to him, and he had no illusion that he had been her only lover for the past three years. Still, Nick was startled by the sight of another man in her receiving room and the unmistakable tang of sex in the air.
Seeing him, the stranger flushed and sat up from his relaxed position. He was a stocky, fair-skinned youth, with enough innocence remaining to be embarrassed by the situation. Gemma walked out of her bedroom, wearing a transparent green negligee that barely covered the crests of her rose-brown nipples. She smiled as she saw Nick, seeming not at all perturbed by his unexpected arrival. "Oh, hello, dear," she murmured, as relaxed and friendly as always. Perhaps she had not planned for him to discover her new cher ami in precisely this manner, but neither was she distressed about it.
Turning toward the blond man, she spoke to him softly. "Wait for me in the bedroom." He threw her a glance of heated adulation as he obeyed.
As Nick watched the man disappear into the next room, he was reminded of himself as he had been three years earlier, callow and burning and dazzled by Gemma's sensual arts.
Gemma lifted a graceful hand to stroke Nick's dark hair. "I didn't expect you to return from your investigation so quickly," she said without a trace of chagrin. "As you can see, I am entertaining my new protégé."
"And my replacement," Nick said rather than asked, while a cold feeling of abandonment crept over him.
"Yes," Gemma said softly. "You have no more need of my instruction. Now that you have learned all I can teach you, it is only a matter of time before our friendship becomes stale. I would prefer to end it while it is still enjoyable."
It was surprisingly difficult for him to speak. "I still want you."
"Only because I am safe, and familiar." Smiling affectionately, Gemma leaned over to kiss his cheek. "Don't be a coward, dear. It is time for you to find someone else."
"No one could follow you," he said gruffly.
That earned a tender laugh and another kiss. "That shows you still have much to learn." A wicked smile gleamed in her clear brown eyes. "Go find a woman who is deserving of your talents. Take her to bed. Make her fall in love with you. A love affair is something everyone should experience at least once."
Nick gave her a sullen glance. "That is the last damn thing I need," he informed her, making her laugh.
Drawing back, Gemma casually unfastened her hair and shook it free. "No good-byes," she said, depositing the hairpins onto the table by the chaise. "I much prefer au revoir. Now if you'll excuse me, my pupil is waiting. Have a drink before you leave, if you like."
Stunned, Nick stood immobile as she drifted into the bedroom and closed it with a firm click. "Jesus," he muttered. An incredulous laugh escaped him at having been so lightly dispensed with after all they had done together. Yet he couldn't summon any anger. Gemma had been too generous, too kind, for him to feel anything but gratitude.
Go find another woman, he thought numbly. It seemed an impossible task. Oh, there were women everywhere, cultured, common, plump, lean, dark, fair, tall, short, and he found something to appreciate in all of them. But Gemma had been the only one with whom he had ever dared to unleash his sexuality. He could not imagine how it would be with someone else.
Make someone love him? Nick smiled bitterly, thinking for the first time that Gemma didn't know what the hell she was talking about. No woman could love him . . . and if one ever did, she would be the greatest fool alive.Worth Any Price. Copyright © by Lisa Kleypas. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Posted February 2, 2009
I LOVED this book. I found it extremely touching, romantic, and thrilling. I have enjoyed the entire Bow Street trilogy, and I think this one might just be my favorite. I wanted to give the hero a great big hug! I loved how Nick is NOT a gentleman and makes no apology for the fact, and I love how Lottie accepts and loves him the way he is. This is very much a keeper for me, and one I will no doubt be re-reading in the future.
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 12, 2011
This book has a swoon-worthy romance, a wonderfully tortured hero, and a heroine with the strength to heal him while standing firm against her own demons. It's a delightfully engaging story that kept me riveted and on the edge of my seat.
Even readers who don't usually read historical romances will find a multitude of reasons to enjoy themselves. There's not a lot of stuffy language and the dialogue is easy to relate to. Nick's reasons for being the bedeviled soul that he is are heartbreaking and tragic. Lottie's reasons for running are typical but her perseverance and cleverness isn't. She'd rather die than face what her parents have in store for her. She's like a willow, she'll bend but won't break and that holds her in good stead throughout this tale.
Ms. Kleypas has a way of reaching a reader's emotions and bringing her characters to life. She sets up the hero's point of view with a unique and interesting opening sequence. I enjoyed the brief wisdom from Gemma and how it plays out later in the book. In fact, it's what makes this story so hot and passionate. The legacy of that temporary character brought many moments of enjoyable lovemaking and scenes that I wanted to read again and again. Not because of what Nick and Lottie do, but the sentiments behind them, and the feelings that drove the hero and heroine are what made them memorable. Not to mention their coming together in all those unique places and positions, and those seductive whisperings that tantalized my imagination. From innocence to loving debauchery, all was well done and it mattered to the plot. And because Ms. Kleypas wrote such endearing characters, I cared whether or not they found happiness.
The villain generated a couple of different feelings from me. As first, I feared his power, not unlike Lottie. But towards the end, I felt pity. He was a man who truly didn't know what love was. He was a twisted and manipulative person with some serious mental issues that prevented him from being the man he could have been. Being a peer and rich couldn't buy happiness. I actually felt sad for him. On the other hand, Lottie's parents were whacked. I think they were worse and should have the villainous label attached to their behavior. How dare they! And their reactions to Nick's offers made me fear for the rest of Lottie's siblings. When her father finally opened up his mouth, I rolled my eyes. Too little, too late. Thank goodness she had Nick.
Other secondary characters were important. Sophia, Nick's sister, and her husband Sir Ross were instrumental in moving the plot along. So too was Sir Grant. In fact, some of the more amusing and adorable scenes and dialogue occur with them interacting with the hero and heroine.
There is light drama and action and a bit of suspense to keep a reader flipping the pages. The burgeoning romance between Nick and Lottie was sweet in its tentative steps but when they finally got over the initial hurdles, the author allowed a reader to explore Nick's emotional depths and needs. I even liked the part when he tied up Lottie and introduced her to his other kind of desires. It certainly made an impact and was one more good reason to not put the book down until the end. The epilogue showed Sir Ross in a different light during his dialogue with Nick. It was cute and when Nick realized exactly what Sir Ross meant, it was really funny.
Read the full Review at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 27, 2010
I just finished reading this one and I loved it. To the people that gave this book negative reviews, may I ask why? This is a historical romance, it was very romantic with the main charecters sharing a deep love for each other. It also contained interesting historical facts about the time period. What else where the negative reviews looking for from this book?
Ignore the negative reviews, this was a very sweet touching book. Its an easy read that will take you back in time, to 'another world'. You will defintely become absorbed in the love between the two main charecters, and will probably be sad to see the book end. I definitely was! If you like romance, you'll love this one! a lisa kleypas all the way!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 10, 2014
Posted July 7, 2013
L.K. has outdone herself. I have read all of the Bow Street series and I am in love. The characters are 3 dimensional, the guys ate hot, and the love scenes are to die for. I have become a fan and hands down Nick and Lottie are my favorite couple.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 24, 2013
Even when you really do't want to be involved in the story you get pulled in. You end up loving the people in it and hoping they do wonderful things.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 18, 2013
I have read this at least twice as it is on my keeper shelf along with all her books. My favorite of the series because the hero is not of the cookie cutter variety found mass producted in so many historical novels.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 7, 2013
This was my first introduction to Lisa Kleypas's writing and I loved it so much that I couldn't to read everything else heartwarming and funny this author does not disappointWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 23, 2012
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Posted February 21, 2012
Once again, just read my comments about all the other Kleypas books. I just thoroughly enjoy them. They might not appeal to all rfeaders. I can only speak for myself. I admit that I am a committed Kleypas fan.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 6, 2012
I have read many of Lisa Kleypas books and she adds a great deal of history to her love stories. This book hit home for me because the main character, a woman with physical scars, doesn't feel that she will be attractive to her one true love. I have an ostomy and had a great deal of difficulty accepting this physical change. I felt I was ugly. I can relate to this book personally because of this. Certainly one of this author's best books that isn't part of a series. Enjoy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 11, 2012
Posted July 5, 2011
I am not usually a big fan of romances though I do sometimes read them, but I read this book years ago and it is the only romance ever to really stick in my mind enough to want to come back to. It was intense and definitely worth reading again!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
LISA HAS ANOTHER MIND GRABBING PLOT.CHARACTERS ARE STRONG AND QUITE LOVABLE FOR THE MOST PART.I HAVE ENJOYED THIS BOOK ONE OF MY FAVORITES. I READ THIS OVER AND OVER.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 4, 2008
Posted December 27, 2007
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Posted May 9, 2006
This book was GREAT! I got it because I really liked 'Someone to Watch Over me,' another one of the Bow St. Runner books. But this one was the BEST. The characters are great, the writing is wonderful, the love scenes make a girl wish that Nick was real...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.