Gifts of Love

Gifts of Love

by Kay Hooper, Lisa Kleypas

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Overview

In this glorious season of light and joy, the phenomenal Kay Hooper and the incomparable Lisa Kleypas offer readers a pair of precious jewels—timeless love stories that sparkle like diamonds.

In Kay Hooper's Holiday Spirit, a matchmaking grandmother and three Christmas ghosts arrange a sensuous reunion for a headstrong noblewoman and her seductive former fiancé. And in Surrender, Lisa Kleypas has a beautiful, aristocratic Bostonian discover the true meaning of giving when she falls tenderly and passionately in love with a troubled stranger: her husband.

Open these golden Gifts of Love and surrender your heart—for 'tis the season for romance!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061151750
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/31/2006
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,085,015
Product dimensions: 6.78(w) x 4.28(h) x 0.93(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

Gifts of Love


By Kay Hooper

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Kay Hooper
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0061151750

Chapter One

True love is like ghosts,
which everybody talks about
and few have seen.

François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld
(1613-1680)

In the huge, drafty, and chilly drawing room was an intense and profound silence; the sort of silence, Antonia reflected bitterly, that her grandmother had perfected over fifty years of methodical practice. Like the icy blue eyes gazing out of the aged but still handsome face, the silence indicated extreme offense.

"I beg your pardon, Grandmother," Antonia said stiffly, her own blue eyes still as fierce as when she had spoken the offending words, but her face schooled into a mask of regret and apology. "Wingate Castle is your home, not mine; I had no right to question your choice of guests."

"Question?" The Countess of Ware's voice was measured. "I should rather have termed it an attack, Antonia."

Even more stiffly, Antonia said, "I was taken off guard, and spoke without thinking, Grandmother. Again, I beg your pardon."

Thawing ever so slightly, Lady Ware inclined her head regally. "I observe Sophia has at least seen to it your manners are not wholly wanting."

Antonia flushed, sensing a faint sarcasm. "If I lack anything with regard to social graces, it isn't Mama's fault, Grandmother, and I won't have you abusing her."

This direct statement,though it could properly be termed rude, brought a spark of approval to Lady Ware's eyes. In a milder tone, she said, "Very well, Antonia, there's no need to mount a second attack against me on behalf of your mother. I have always thought Sophia a silly goose, but neither you nor anyone else can claim I do not appreciate her true worth; she has a kind heart and a generous disposition, and well I know it."

Regarding her granddaughter sternly, Lady Ware continued, "However, that is neither here nor there. I should like to know, Antonia, why you object so violently to Lyonshall's presence here. It has, after all, been nearly two years since your engagement ended, and I daresay you have encountered one another countless times in London since that shameful episode."

Antonia gritted her teeth. In the eyes of her grandmother--and, indeed, in the eyes of society--Antonia's jilting of the Duke of Lyons-hall had most certainly been a shameful, and inexplicable, action. Even her mother had no idea what had gone wrong; Lady Sophia had suffered most dreadfully from the ensuing gossip, and had nearly swooned when, some months later, she had been forced to greet the duke in public.

As for herself, Antonia had encountered him at a number of the ton parties; she had even danced with him at Almack's at the beginning of the present Season. It was, after all, vital to maintain an appearance of cool politeness. Nothing so offended the sensibilities as a private disagreement paraded before the gawking eyes of the public; Antonia might have committed a social solecism, but she was not lost to all sense of propriety.

"I have encountered the duke," she replied in measured tones, "and I expect to encounter him again since we are often invited to the same parties. But you must see, Grandmother, that for him to be invited to my family's home for the Christmas holidays will give rise to just the sort of gossip I have been at some pains to silence. Furthermore, I don't understand why you would put me in such a position. Nor do I understand why you have chosen to house both the duke and myself in the South wing--alone."

Lady Ware offered her a frosty smile. "Since it has been recently renovated after being closed off for fifty years, the South wing is the most comfortable section of the castle, Antonia, with apartments far grander than any of the rest--even my own rooms. Are you complaining of your accommodations?"

For the first time, Antonia had the uneasy suspicion that her grandmother--famed as much for her sly machinations as for her blighting social graces--had an ulterior motive when she had arranged this little house party. But it was absurd! What could she possibly hope to accomplish?

Ignoring the question put to her, Antonia said, "Grandmother, I trust you understand that the mere idea of--of in any way reconciling with Lyonshall is profoundly distasteful to me. If you have that idea in your head--"

Lady Ware let out a sound which, in anyone less dignified, would have been termed a snort. "Don't be absurd, Antonia. Do you suppose I would for one moment believe that Lyonshall could bring himself to offer for you a second time after your disgraceful conduct? No man of pride and breeding could even consider such a thing."

Antonia had flushed vividly, then gone rather pale at the crushing remarks, and her lips were pressed tightly together as she met that eagle-eyed stare. "Very well, then. This is your home, and it is for you to decide where your guests shall sleep. However, Grandmother, at the risk of offending you yet again, I must request that my coach be brought around; I am returning to London immediately."

Lady Ware's expression was one of faint surprise. "You cannot have looked out a window in the past hour, child. It began to sleet and snow some time since; you would hardly set out for London in such weather. In fact, I can only hope Lyonshall has not been constrained to put up at some inferior inn on his journey here."

Angry and--if the truth were told--intensely uncomfortable at the thought of spending several days in the company of her former betrothed, Antonia could only hope he had been compelled by inclement weather to delay--indefinitely--his arrival at the castle. But she doubted that was so. Lyonshall not only owned the finest horseflesh in England, he was also famous for his disregard of any obstacle in his path; if he intended to reach the castle, he would do so.

Balked in her determination to avoid the situation, Antonia could only curtsy and stalk from the room, head high.



Continues...

Excerpted from Gifts of Love by Kay Hooper Copyright © 2006 by Kay Hooper. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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Gifts of Love: Holiday Spirit/Surrender 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
During the holiday season, I tried to get in the spirit of things by reading some Christmas love stories. I usually am a die-hard murder/mystery person but used to read love stories year ago. I have read many Kay Hooper books but never anything by Lisa Kleypas. What a treat! Her story was very touching and sexy! I am now ordering many of her books to read and would highly recommend her to any romance reader or anyone who would like to read well written stuff! also recommeded for romance authors-Fern Michaels Captive Passions Series, Bertrice Small, Kathleen Woodiwiss and mystery/suspense authors- Tess Gerritsen, Lisa Jackson,Carlene Thompson, Wendi Corsi Staub and anything by Erica Spindler
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not to fond of the first story but Lori Fosters story was great. I've read it 10x already. Very touching....
mom2lnb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Holiday Spirit by Kay Hooper ¿ Although Holiday Spirit had the well-worn romance novel cliché of a misunderstanding coupled with a lack of communication as it's main premise, there was the added uniqueness of some ghostly characters and the intrigue of the ill-fated love affair of Antonia's ancestors to help enliven the plot. Sometimes in a novella, it can be difficult for the author to fully capture the essence of their characters, but Kay Hooper made good use of the short story format to make me care about her characters, both human and ghost. I enjoyed finding out the history of the ghostly lovers right along with the heroine. While their story was both romantic and tragic, they, with a little help from Antonia's grandmother, were able to bring about a reconciliation between Antonia and Richard, which I also enjoyed reading. I tend to like stories about lost love that is found again. The Christmas theme was secondary to the rest of the story, but I think there is no greater gift one can give or receive during the holidays besides love. Overall, I found Holiday Spirit to be a quick and easy read that held my attention well with it's light mystery surrounding the tragic lovers, while at the same time being very romantic and sensuous. This was the first time I had read anything by Kay Hooper, and I will definitely be checking out other works by her in the future. Rating: ****Surrender by Lisa Kleypas ¿ For a short story, I thought that Surrender was quite well written. It can be difficult in the novella format for an author to fully develop the characters and plot, but Lisa Kleypas has done a masterful job. I found both Jason and Laura to be likable characters. For all his brooding cynicism on the outside, Jason was kind and sensitive on the inside, and for all her, tension and fearfulness on the outside, Laura was spirited and passionate on the inside. I enjoyed reading the story of a couple, who even after two months of marriage really don't know each other at all, but were able to discover new levels of intimacy in their relationship. Being part Irish, I also liked reading about the Irish immigrants of that era, including all the prejudices and poverty that they suffered. This element just made the story seem more realistic. The ¿opposite sides of the tracks¿ aspect of the story was very appealing, and I found the Victorian Boston setting to be rather unique, as I haven't read any other romance stories in that setting. The story is also infused with plenty of Ms. Kleypas' trademark loving sensuality, which I personally find very beautiful. Overall, I thought that Surrender was a wonderfully romantic novella that is on par with Ms. Kleypas' full-length novels, and one that I highly enjoyed reading. It reminded me in many ways of her book, Again the Magic. Surrender has earned a spot on my keeper shelf alongside several of Ms. Kleypas' other works. Rating: ****1/2Both of these stories are reissues that were previously seen in other holiday-themed anthologies. Each novella has been summarized and reviewed separately. The overall rating for the book is the average of the ratings for each individual story.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two nice Christmas romances. The first is Kay Hoopers' Holiday Spirit where a matchmaking Grandmother is helped by some friendly ghosts. Lady Antonia broke off her engagement with Richard, Duke of Lyonshall several years ago. She never told him why and a chunk of the story is him finding out the why. If it wasn't for her grandmother and a snowstorm they wouldn't have this opportunity.The second is the story of a newly rich Irishman married to a Boston socialite. She loves him but has to find a way of creating a real relationship with him. He has no idea how to treat her, whether or not he can treat her as a person or as a trophy.The two stories are interesting. Completely different stories with different character. I found the Kleypas story very interesting and it made me curious about more of her books. The other was also interesting and a fun read.
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