Again the Magic

Again the Magic

by Lisa Kleypas

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Overview

She gave him her innocence . . .

Lady Aline Marsden was brought up to marry a man of her own class, but from the moment she meets John McKenna, she risks everything to be with him.

He gave her his heart

Although their love is forbidden, McKenna's passion for the beautiful Aline is too compelling to deny.

When their secret is discovered, their world is shattered. McKenna is forced to leave forever, unaware that the only reason Aline has given him up is to save him.

Now McKenna has returned, a powerful man determined to take revenge against the woman who broke his heart. But the magic between them burns as fiercely as ever . . . and as McKenna uncovers Aline's deepest secret, together they discover a love that will defy Fate itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380811083
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/26/2015
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 103,214
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She’s a RITA award-winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women’s fiction. She lives in Washington State with her husband Gregory and their two children.

Read an Excerpt

Again The Magic

Chapter One

Hampshire, 1832

A stable boy wasn't supposed to speak to an earl's daughter, much less climb up to her bedroom window. God knew what would happen to him if he was caught. He would probably be whipped before being booted off the estate.

McKenna climbed up a support column, curled his long fingers around the ironwork of the second-floor balcony, and hung suspended for a moment before swinging his legs up with a grunt of effort. Catching the edge of the balcony with one heel, he pulled himself onto the balcony and eased over the railing.

He crouched in front of the French doors and cupped his hands on either side of his eyes as he peered into the bedroom, where a single lamp was burning. A girl stood before the dressing table, pulling a brush through her long dark hair. The sight filled McKenna with a rush of pleasure.

Lady Aline Marsden ... the older daughter of the Earl of Westcliff. She was warm, high-spirited, and beautiful in all ways. Having been allowed too much freedom by her inattentive parents, Aline had spent most of her short life roaming about her family's lavish Hampshire estate. Lord and Lady Westcliff were too caught up in their own social affairs to give any real consideration to the supervision of their three children. The situation was not uncommon for families who in-habited country houses like the one at Stony Cross Park. Their lives were stratified by the sheer size of the estate, as children ate, slept, and played far away from their parents. Moreover, the notion of parental responsibility did not constitute any kind of bond between the earl and countess. Neither of them was particularly inclined to worry over a child who was the product of a practical and loveless union.

Since the day that McKenna had been brought to the estate at the age of eight, he and Aline had been constant companions for ten years, climbing trees, swimming in the river, and running about barefoot. Their friendship had been overlooked because they were children. But eventually things had begun to change between them. No healthy young man could fail to be stirred and set off-kilter by Aline, who, at the age of seventeen, had become the loveliest girl on God's green earth.

At the moment Aline was already dressed for bed, wearing a nightgown made of intricately tucked and ruffled white cotton. As she moved across the room, the lamplight silhouetted the generous curves of her breasts and hips through the thin fabric, and slid over the shining sable locks of her hair. Aline's looks were the kind that caused the heart to stop and the breath to catch. Her coloring alone would have given even a homely woman the appearance of great beauty. But her features were fine and perfect, and perpetually lit with the radiance of unchecked emotion. And as if all that hadn't been quite enough, nature had added one last flourish, a tiny black mark that flirted with the corner of her mouth. McKenna had fantasized endlessly about kissing that tantalizing spot, and following it to the lush curves of her lips. Kissing and kissing her, until she was weak and shivering in his arms.

On more than one occasion McKenna had pondered the question of how a man of the earl's unremarkable looks, paired with a woman of the countess's average attractiveness, could have produced a daughter like Aline. By some quirk of fate, she had inherited just the right combination of features from each. Their son, Marcus, had been somewhat less fortunate, resembling the earl with his broad and harsh-planed face, and his bull-like physical build. Little Livia -- rumored to be the result of one of the countess's extramarital affairs -- was pretty but not extraordinarily so, lacking her sister's radiant dark magic.

As he watched Aline, McKenna reflected that the time was fast approaching when they could have nothing more to do with each other. The familiarity between them would soon become dangerous, if it had not already. Collecting himself, McKenna tapped gently on a glass pane of the French doors. Aline turned toward the sound and saw him without apparent surprise. McKenna rose to his feet, watching her intently.

Folding her arms across her chest, Aline regarded him with a scowl. Go away, she mouthed silently through the window.

McKenna was both amused and consternated as he wondered what the hell he had done now. To his knowledge, he hadn't been involved in any pranks or mischief making, and he hadn't picked any arguments with her. And as a reward, he had been left waiting alone by the river for two hours this afternoon.

Shaking his head stubbornly, McKenna remained where he was. He reached down to rattle the door handle in subtle warning. They both knew that if he was discovered on her balcony, he would bear the brunt of the consequences, not she. And it was for that reason -- to preserve his hide -- that she reluctantly unlocked the door and opened it. He couldn't help grinning at the success of his ploy, even as she continued to frown.

"Did you forget that we were to meet this after-noon?" McKenna asked without preamble, grasping the edge of the door in one hand. He leaned his shoulder against the narrow wood frame and smiled into her dark brown eyes. Even when he slouched, Aline was forced to crane her neck upward to meet his gaze.

"No, I didn't forget." Her voice, usually so light and sweet, was edged with surliness.

"Then where were you?"

"Does it really matter?"

McKenna tilted his head as he briefly pondered why girls liked to put a fellow through a guessing game when he was in trouble ...

Again The Magic. Copyright © by Lisa Kleypas. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Again the Magic 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 191 reviews.
BBandReveries More than 1 year ago
When Aline and McKenna's feelings are discovered by her father, he threatens McKenna's very existence if Aline ever sees him again. In order to protect him, Aline convinces McKenna that she does not love him, hoping he will never return to Stony Cross. After he leaves, Aline descends into a depression that is followed by a terrible accident that leaves Aline with scars on her legs. Twelve years later, McKenna returns to Stony Cross from America, where he became one of the nouveaux riches, to take his revenge on Aline for all the pain and heartache he caused her. Aline realizing his intentions decides to ride it out until he goes back to New York. This plan fails however when both McKenna and Aline start to fall for each other again. But Aline can never be with him, for she is not only a spinster, but also damaged. I don't think I've ever cried, or even teared up while reading a romance novel, before reading Again the Magic. Here we have two characters who are obviously in love with each other, but refuse to acknowledge it, and instead spend almost 400 pages fighting it. The book begins with Aline and McKenna in their late teens, already in love. Life is good. Well, except for the fact that Aline is the daughter of the cold and malevolent Lord Westcliff, and that McKenna is only a footman. After years of resenting, no that is not strong enough, hating is a better word; after spending years hating Aline, he starts to unwind when he realizes that Aline never married or slept with anyone. This sends his plan to "break her" out the window. Aline on the other hand, doesn't mind McKenna's efforts at hurting her. In fact, she welcomes them because they allow her to feel after years of being numb. This entire book had me screaming "Just say it!" It was like McKenna and Aline decided to be stubborn and thick-headed at the exact same time. And this is what created the tension throughout the novel. All of these scenes led up to an amazing tear-filled ending that any fan of romance will LOVE. This novel deals mostly with Aline and McKenna's story but it also includes Livia, Aline's sister, and Mr. Shaw's, McKenna's business partner, story. This one was also cute. Of course, not as much drama as the main love story, but still a bit dramatic. For a historical romance, this was fantastic. It is an emotional, film-worthy story that will have you rushing to the bookstore wanting more of this series.
Historicalromancefan More than 1 year ago
Lisa Kleypas is by far one of the best historical romance authors I have ever had the pleasure of reading. This book in particular, was so very poignant in that true love will survive no matter how far away one goes or how long they're gone, the characters and the plot were extremely well written. I actually read this book twice and I literally sobbed and sobbed, both times. I don't usually cry when I read historical romance novels but this one in particular was so utterly beautiful and well written. I just couldn't help myself. I fully intend to read it many more times and I'll make sure I keep a box of Kleenex by my side when I do!
curlyloulou More than 1 year ago
This was another re-read before my vacation. I think that this is my favorite Lisa Kleypas book. I love books that start out when the main characters are children and then meet again as adults. This book kept me interested and I liked all of the supporting characters as well. A+
Anonymous 10 months ago
I+will+be+t
ZosiaCanberra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Despite some misgivings, I have to give this book a high rating. Crazily flawed characters playing all kinds of mind games when their lives could have worked out so differently make this one stand apart from other historical romances. And the ending is amazing. Lady Aline and her childhood sweetheart McKenna are kept apart by a yawning class gap. When their secret relationship is discovered, Aline convinces McKenna she doesn¿t want him ¿ that way she can save him. Soon after she suffers a horrible accident that changes the course of her life. Twelve years later McKenna returns, now a rich man who can enter Aline¿s household as a guest rather than as a servant. He¿s arrived looking for revenge, not knowing the true story behind Aline¿s rejection. The confused and passionate relationship between Aline and McKenna would have been enough to hold my interest in this book, but there is also a secondary relationship between Aline¿s younger sister and McKenna¿s business partner that I liked too. It¿s not always the secondary romance can hold up in a story without getting in the way, but I liked the way the two relationships were intertwined in this story. For me the secondary romance did not take over the story; the way the two relationships complemented each other made this book so special. The way the book wrapped up, with the solidification of one relationship and the promising beginning of another, was perfect. In some ways this story reminded me The Tea Rose, which is probably why I liked it. There¿s nothing better in a historical story than seeing characters rise from nothing and fight the social system to reach unimaginable heights. There¿s something I just have to say. `Gotten¿ in a historical romance? GOTTEN?! No, no, and NO. These characters are written by a modern-day American, but this book is set in nineteenth century England. It turned up every few pages, yanking me out of the world of the story every single time. While I¿m nitpicking, my copy of this book has Aline¿s age at the beginning as seventeen on one page, and then nineteen a few pages later. I reread it and reread it, but I still haven¿t been able to figure out what¿s going on. The heroine is not my favourite ever. Though others have complained about the way she behaves later in the book, it¿s the pushy and promiscuous girl at the beginning who annoyed me. Her character as a teenager was not only on the irritating side, but also came across as a modern-day girl. I know many reviewers had issues with Aline and the way she hid her burns, but when it comes down to it, they lived in a time when it WOULD have been a major issue. Women were judged only on beauty and dowry, and being considered `damaged¿ the way Aline was would have been a major hindrance. The way I see it, it¿s similar to some things I have seen in my life. My family lived in India for some years, and there even today marriages there are arranged through the classifieds sections of newspapers. Prospective husbands and wives are listed under categories determining their worth. Women with minor health or appearance problems ¿ and certainly women with any kind of fertility problem ¿ are listed under a separate heading; they¿re `faulty¿ and cannot hope to have a normal marriage. Men who come with an American passport are like the `peers¿ you read about in historical books. A man with a `title¿ (or international citizenship!), a woman with perfect `feminine¿ traits ¿ that¿s the way people have been valued forever. On top of this, `bride burning¿ is a common way to dispose of an unwanted Indian wife ¿ being burnt is considered something shameful for the victim, and she will be thrown out onto the streets (if she survives). I know it is a completely foreign concept to modern-day Western women, but Aline¿s issues are ¿ for me ¿ extremely believable from a societal point of view. So, political moment over. This probably sounds crazy, but I also loved that issues such as birth control (in its primitive form!) w
bonbonsandreveries on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Aline and McKenna¿s feelings are discovered by her father, he threatens McKenna¿s very existence if Aline ever sees him again. In order to protect him, Aline convinces McKenna that she does not love him, hoping he will never return to Stony Cross. After he leaves, Aline descends into a depression that is followed by a terrible accident that leaves Aline with scars on her legs. Twelve years later, McKenna returns to Stony Cross from America, where he became one of the nouveaux riches, to take his revenge on Aline for all the pain and heartache he caused her. Aline realizing his intentions decides to ride it out until he goes back to New York. This plan fails however when both McKenna and Aline start to fall for each other again. But Aline can never be with him, for she is not only a spinster, but also damaged. I don¿t think I¿ve ever cried, or even teared up while reading a romance novel, before reading Again the Magic. Here we have two characters who are obviously in love with each other, but refuse to acknowledge it, and instead spend almost 400 pages fighting it. The book begins with Aline and McKenna in their late teens, already in love. Life is good. Well, except for the fact that Aline is the daughter of the cold and malevolent Lord Westcliff, and that McKenna is only a footman. After years of resenting, no that is not strong enough, hating is a better word; after spending years hating Aline, he starts to unwind when he realizes that Aline never married or slept with anyone. This sends his plan to ¿break her¿ out the window. Aline on the other hand, doesn¿t mind McKenna¿s efforts at hurting her. In fact, she welcomes them because they allow her to feel after years of being numb. This entire book had me screaming ¿Just say it!¿ It was like McKenna and Aline decided to be stubborn and thick-headed at the exact same time. And this is what created the tension throughout the novel. All of these scenes led up to an amazing tear-filled ending that any fan of romance will LOVE. This novel deals mostly with Aline and McKenna¿s story but it also includes Livia, Aline¿s sister, and Mr. Shaw¿s, McKenna¿s business partner, story. This one was also cute. Of course, not as much drama as the main love story, but still a bit dramatic.For a historical romance, this was fantastic. It is an emotional, film-worthy story that will have you rushing to the bookstore wanting more of this series.
dianaleez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am not a great fan of the 'great misunderstanding' plot device. And not much character development went on with the major characters. We were 'told' not 'shown' what they were like.That said, I loved the 'secondary' romance between Livia and Gideon. I found it much more interesting and less predictable. For me, they stole the book. [And I can't help wondering if they did for Kleypas too, since she ended the book on their story.]This is the last Kleypas I will just buy off the shelf without reading reviews first. She's like the little girl with the curl, 'when she's good, she's very good, and when she's bad, she's horrid.'
onyx95 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hampshire, England 1832 - 1844Sometimes the best thing to do for yourself is to save someone else. That is what Lady Aline Marsden thought, she wanted nothing more than to save John McKenna from the terrible threats her father had made. Aline loved McKenna enough to give him up, push him away, but after he left a terrible accident left her even more sure of her decision to stay alone in a self imposed exile from most of society. McKenna thought never to return to Stony Cross after the way Aline had hurt him, but after he made a fortune and proved he had higher ambitions he decided a little revenge was in order. Spending just a few days in the presence of Aline, Livia and Marcus (younger sister and older brother) knew what McKenna was after and feared for Aline¿s and McKenna¿s hearts. Very predictable storyline, even with the subtle twist (also predictable), a heartfelt rekindling of emotions, while the undertones of vengeance were never strong, the feeling of being disappointed in each of them is more real. (** Spoiler **)The best part of the book (for me) is the surprise relationship between Livia and Gideon Shaw. The struggles that Gideon face with his business, his own family as well as his drinking gives him the `tormented soul¿ persona and then he steps up. Gideon has the best line (IMHO) of the book, ¿You don¿t have to say it back. For once, I want to have the pleasure of loving someone without asking for anything in return.¿ The strength of character that he shows till the end is so encouraging. This is an older Avon Historical Romance form 2004
theshadowknows on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First off: awfully weird cover. It looks like a carpet-cum-straightjacket ensemble or something. Secondly: not a very good book. She's the daughter of an earl. He's a stable boy. Can true love transcend all obstacles and bring these two together? If anything, this book shows that true love is certainly powerless against rampant stupidity. Again the Magic offers a revenge plot wherein the hero, John McKenna, is the injured party. Once her father finds out about Aline Marsden's involvement with the stable boy, he forces her to get rid of McKenna. She does this in a suitably dramatic fashion and tells McKenna she doesn't love him. So he runs off to America brokenhearted. Cut to twelve years later and McKenna has come back to his former place of employ after amassing a vast fortune with his American partner Gideon Shaw. All his youthful ardor for Aline has turned into hatred, (so he tells himself, but he doesn¿t fool me for a second) and he plans on a devastating assault of seduction against her. Aline still loves him (almost as much as she loves being a martyr) and so there's not much victory in his conquest of her. From the start she's happy to be his doormat, sexually speaking. Since these two are in love from the start, there has to be something to keep them apart, however. The class issue, a favorite platform of Kleypas¿ it seems, provides for the initial estrangement, but that can't be all, since neither of them care about class and are oh so pure, noble, and selfless in their undying devotion to each other. What could possibly separate Aline and McKenna, then? The stupidity. Of course. For the sake of dragging us through 391 pages Aline subjects us to her whiney, tortured martyr act. She has a deep dark secret that she can't tell anyone, especially McKenna, and so she puts the poor guy through the wringer again and again, hurting him abominably, all for this poor excuse for a plot contrivance. She had a terrible accident, but I just couldn't dredge up the necessary sympathy for Aline because of the ridiculous way she dealt with it. She has no reason to push McKenna away - the book even admits this and spells it out for us. Despite myself, I actually felt sorry for McKenna. He truly seems like a broken, humbled man when he gives up on his hatred and revenge (after Aline's sister has revealed part of Aline's secret to him) and comes to her, hat and heart in hand. I feel even worse for him after Aline has her random epiphany, chases after him, and finally nabs him. Needless to say, besides being annoyed by their antics, I really couldn't care less about their happily ever after. If you find some way to feel sorry for Aline and her plight, you will probably enjoy this book though. I guess. For me, the only enjoyable aspect of Again the Magic was a secondary romance between Aline's sister Livia and Gideon Shaw. Despite its rosy depiction of alcoholism, (Gideon has a drinking problem) their romance still managed to be believable and interesting, everything that Aline and McKenna's wasn't.
Jenson_AKA_DL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Aline is the daughter of an earl, McKenna is a lowely servant of no decent breeding. Despite their differences Aline and McKenna grew up as the best of friends and when they got older, their bond transformed into something even deeper. When the Earl learned or his daughter's dalliances, McKenna was sent away and Aline suffered a tragic accident that changed her life. Over a decade later McKenna has returned to his former home determined to take his revenge on the woman who had destroyed his life, but what he finds is that neither time or distance could destroy the bond between them. But will they be able to overcome the secrets and lies to find their love again?What is a bit different about this novel is that it is actually two romances in one. This is not just the story of Ailne and McKenna, but it is also the story of Livia (Aline's sister) and Gideon, which makes it doubly as good as I found both romances intriguing. This book has the additional allure of being a pre-quil of sorts to Kleypas' popular Wallflower series. I really liked all of the characters, including, surprisingly to me, Lord Westcliff who is the hero of the only Wallflower book I've yet to read. Now I can honestly say I am looking forward to that book much more than I had been before. Kleypas' writing is always very sensual and the love scenes are pretty explicit however I would not say that these scenes detract from the plot. This is another great historical romance by this author that I wouldn't hesitate at all to recommend to people who enjoy this genre.
CathyLeming on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Liked it, but didn't love it. The beginning of this book was excellent, and hit my soft spots. However, the way the hero treated the heroine--even if he didn't know about her travails--left me irritated with him... never good. All things considered, however, I loved the setting.
phyllisd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first and favorite Lisa Kleypas novel. The secondary romance of the younger sister was as interesting as the primary.
schmootc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My first Kleypas book. It moved a little slowly in parts and the last complication was one complication too many, but it also made me cry. And I've read enough romance novels that that doesn't happen much.
LindaTownsend More than 1 year ago
Author Lisa Kleypas and narrator Rosalyn Landor are magical together! After listening to The Devil in Winter and becoming hooked on Lisa Kleypas’ writing and Rosalyn Landor’s narration, I vowed to go back and enjoy this series from the beginning starting with the audio edition of Again the Magic, the prequel to the series. Oh my! I loved it! It wrenched my heart, thoroughly wrung it out, and then, thankfully, knit it back together again. Again the Magic is a two-for as it encompasses two captivating romances. The primary romance is the story of Lady Aline Marsden, a member of the aristocracy, and John McKenna, an orphan and servant on Aline’s father’s estate. They grew up together on the estate becoming first friends, then lovers. However, when her father discovers that the two are close, he is furious and sends McKenna away. The only way McKenna will leave Aline is for Aline to tell him to leave. It kills her, but she makes him believe that it’s her wish that he go away. The couple’s early relationship is both sweet and tragic – and for a short time, I questioned as to whether I could handle the sadness when they were cruelly torn apart. I’m so glad I stuck with it. The couple’s journey to their HEA is awesome. Neither has been able to forget the other. McKenna is determined to wreak revenge on Aline as she had convinced him that she’d used and lied to him all those years ago. Aline cannot bring herself to share a secret that has left her physically and emotional scarred. My absolute favorite parts were when McKenna tackled and completed Aline’s three wishes. His poem brought tears to my eyes. The second lovely romance is between Aline’s reclusive sister, Olivia Marsden, and McKenna’s partner, a handsome American financier, Gideon Shaw. Olivia has issues moving on from the passing of her fiancée and Gideon has an addiction problem. Will these obstacles keep them apart? Their story is heartwarming and intriguing. This entire series is performed by Rosalyn Landor, truly a phenomenal historical romance narrator. Both her male and female voices are consistent and sound genuine. Her accents sound genuine. She exudes the proper expected emotions and she’s easy to understand. If you are an audiophile as I am, I’d highly recommend that you elect to pick up the audio edition of Again the Magic as listening to it is an incredible experience and guaranteed to enhance your reading pleasure. Again the Magic is entrancing. It’s heartbreaking and romantic to the extreme. I could not put it down. I rarely listen to audio books in bed, but, I listened to the last two hours of this tale there because I could not sleep until I’d finished it. My heart ached for Aline and McKenna through most of the book, but, no worries! All works out more than satisfactorily in the end! If I had one complaint, it would be to wish for a longer epilogue as I didn’t want either of these romances to end. The good news is that I will be reading the rest of the Wallflowers series soon and I’ve heard that these couples appear sporadically in future installments. I can’t wait to catch up with them! If you are a fan of historical romances, don’t miss Again the Magic! My full review is published at Reading Between the Wines Book Club. Please check it out there!
Crazybooknerd More than 1 year ago
Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas (Audio Edition) Narrated by Rosalyn Landor Series: Wallflowers 0 4 stars - I enjoyed the chemistry between Aileen and MacKenna however the reason for her sending him away the second time was a bit too drawn out for me. I wish that had happened sooner. I also enjoyed the secondary romance that happens. It was like a 2 for 1 story which was great. I am looking forward to rereading the next books in the series. I hadn't read this book before and it was a decent read I think. Rosalyn Landor did a fantastic job narrating as usual. ~Paragraphs and Petticoats~
jdh2690 More than 1 year ago
The title of this book is so apropos for me because Ms. Kleypas’ magical writing sent me into transports…again, as I started this series at the beginning and read the first book in the series. There were actually two romances fomenting in this book, two sisters who thought they were doomed to spinsterhood and magically found second chances in love. Lady Aline grows up with and falls in love with a stable boy called McKenna but later denounces him supposedly because of class differences—and McKenna shows up years later and the magic begins again. And her sister, Lady Livia, mourns her dead lover for years only to meet and fall in love with a rich wastrel called Gideon at a house party who stirs up Livia’s magic again. I can’t wait to read the second book in this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sooo sweet and romantic! One of my favorite books. Great read couldn't put it down.
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
I have a confession – I am a Lisa Kleypas addict and it all started with this book right here. Since I decided to try out historical romance (and fell in love with it), nearly every HR fan I know has recommended Lisa's books as the best of the best and the absolute must reads. I totally get it now. Not that I doubted it (or them) for even a minute. But DANG. This is great stuff. I'm not always one who enjoys novellas but I'm so glad I looked at the Goodreads reviews for this book before I cast it aside. I knew after a single chapter that I would love this book. I loved Lisa's writing and I was already hopelessly in love with the characters. Now, I'll admit I was a little nervous when I was in tears early on in the book. I wasn't sure what exactly I was going to be in for, but I couldn't wait to find out. I loved Aline and McKenna's story. I mean, yeah, it broke my heart when they were separated the first time. I adored them together. Seeing them reunited brought out all kinds of emotions because of the changes to both of them in the time they were separated. On the surface, McKenna was a scoundrel and a rake (god I love the language of HR). I was a little concerned what that would mean to a future between him and Aline. Thankfully I didn't really have to worry. Underneath it all – and regardless of the plans he made before arriving back at Stony Cross Park – he was still totally smitten with her. And, naturally, I with him. Aline was a great character, even though I wanted to wring her neck a fair few times as she let her self-consciousness get in the way of her attraction to McKenna and the things developing between them. McKenna was just freaking gold. He's definitely on the favorites list when it comes to book boyfriends. Livia and Gideon's story was a pleasant bonus! I didn't know I would be getting a two for one when it came to romance. The two of them were so well-suited and, honestly, who doesn't love to watch a notorious rake fall head over heels? That's half the fun of historical romance after all. Livia was a great, strong female character. I loved how she challenged Gideon to overcome his addition and become a better man. Between Aline and McKenna and Livia and Gideon, I was on a romance high throughout this entire book. It was sweet, swoony and sexy. The writing was fantastic. When I didn't have a big, goofy smile on my face because of the banter and the romance, I had tears in my eyes because of the feels. So, so good. Whether you're new to HR (like me) or an old fan, if you've not read this book and series yet, you must. It's seriously all the things I love about romance – and reading – in one wonderful book.
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Lisa Kleypas does it again. Lady Aline Marsden as a child falls in love with an orphaned servant John McKenna who works at her fathers estate. When the father learns of her attachment to McKenna he sends him away. The twists and turns in this book prevent you from putting it down. I love this book. JM
Kendra_Readers_Edyn More than 1 year ago
Review originally posted on Reader's Edyn (blogspot) I discovered Ms. Kleypas by accident on a camping trip of all things and have never looked back since. When I am lucky enough to come across a book I have not read, I snatch it up immediately. Such was the case when I located this book. While I very much enjoy Ms. Kleypas’s books, I did suffer just a bit with the over-the-top pain and agony the two main characters needlessly put one another through. But I will get to that in just a bit. Aline is a member of elite society; born and bred for nothing more than to find the most advantageous match in marriage. When her heart is captured by none other than the magnificent stable boy, she knows that their love must be kept a secret. Their secret lasts for years from childhood into young adolescence until they are found out. Ordered by her father to end the affair or suffer McKenna’s ruin, Aline chooses to chase McKenna away in a naive effort to protect him. The only way to ensure his departure is to effectively crush his heart with an elaborate portrayal of a snotty heiress who has merely toyed with McKenna’s affections and has tired of him, now ready to cast him aside. Task completed, Aline sinks into a miserable depression, followed by a disfiguring, near-death experience. McKenna, broken-hearted and betrayed in the worst way, sets out to make something of himself. Driven by a need for revenge against Aline, he eventually makes his way back to her life. His focus is to seduce her, force her to fall in love with him, and leave her dejected. Just as she toyed with his emotions, so too will he exact his revenge in the same way. But he notices differences as he carries out his plan. Old feelings begin to kindle. But his hardened heart and need for revenge keep him from seeking out the truth in what lies just beneath his nose. A wonderful companion to the story, is the sub plot provided by Aline’s sister, Livia and McKenna’s business partner, Gideon. These two are nothing short of opposites, but ultimately complement one another in every way. Had we not been provided the story of these two, the endless feud and misdirected anger between McKenna and Aline would well have made the book unbearable. I enjoy the tortured, brooding hero and misunderstood heroine just as much as anyone, but these two could have put an end to a lot of unnecessary torment several chapters prior to the end of the story. While the two connect, they do maintain a stagnant distance between them. The division between the two provided the needed angst in the story, but extends to overkill several times. As a reader, I wanted to feel sorry for the mistreatment of McKenna, as well as the ridiculous requirements that society forces in Aline’s behavior. However, with the supportive family seemingly at Aline’s fingertips, I wondered why the strife had to drag on for so long. That said, the story is still one of enduring love that obviously can overcome all obstacles, even when the hero and heroine are too stubborn to just crash into one another and trust that the other would catch him or her. And ultimately any romance reader would find the story enjoyable. Paired with the fact that you can pretty much never go wrong in choosing Kleypas, I am confident that readers will find this agonizing love story entertaining. My time was well spent and as always, I look forward to the next Kleypas book. (Paperback purchased for private collection)