Libertine's Kiss

Libertine's Kiss

by Judith James
4.0 21

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Overview

Libertine's Kiss by Judith James

Abandoned by his cavalier father at a young age, William de Veres grew up knowing precious little happiness. But William has put the past firmly behind him and as a military hero and noted rake, he rises fast in the ranks of the hedonistic Restoration court. Though not before he is forced to seek shelter from a charming young Puritan woman…

The civil wars have cost the once-high-spirited Elizabeth Walters her best friend and her father, leaving her unprotected and alone. She flees an unwanted marriage, seeking safe haven, but what she finds is something she never expected. When her kindness and her beauty bring her to the attention of William, and then the king, she will have a choice to make. After all, can a notorious libertine really be capable of love?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373775057
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 08/01/2010
Pages: 375
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 11.12(h) x 0.95(d)

About the Author

Award-winning author Judith James has worked as a trail guide, horse trainer, and clinical psychologist. An avid reader and history buff, she has traveled, worked and lived in many places, including the Arctic, Ireland, London and France.

She has found the perfect place to write on the East Coast, with a view of the ocean from her window. Judith's writing combines her love of history, romance, and adventure with her keen interest in the complexities of human nature, and the heart's capacity to heal. She is currently in service to a cranky elderly cat who thinks she can type and delights in teaching lessons about backing up files.

Judith James awards include

LIBERTINE'S KISS

-Nominated RT Best British Isles Historical

-Booklist starred review

-Romantic Times Top Pick

-AAR Desert Island Keeper

SOLDIER OF FORTUNE (The King's Courtesan)

-Romantic Times Top Pick

THE HIGHWAYMAN

-Heroes and Heartbreakers Best Reads 2014

BROKEN WING

-Independent Publisher's Awards IPPY Gold Medal Winner

-Romance Novel TV Best Debut

-Historical Novels Review Editor's Choice

-AAR Desert Island Keeper

-AAR Honorable Mention Best Book

-AAR Buried Treasure

HIGHLAND REBEL

-One of the best of 2009 Barnes and Noble

-Historical Novels Review Editor's Choice

-One of the best of 2009 Dear Author

Ms. James is always pleased to hear from fellow readers and writers and invites you to visit her on Facebook, her webpage or on twitter.

Customer Reviews

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Libertine's Kiss 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
AislinnM More than 1 year ago
In twenty-first century terms, William de Veres would probably be labeled an alcoholic and a sex addict. Fortunately for him, he inhabits the seventeenth century where he is known to Charles II's court as a libertine. In Libertine's Kiss, Judith James has turned him into a romance hero. And damn, if she doesn't make it work. Deep inside, William is actually a romantic, idealistic man, but he hides it beneath a veneer of cynicism. He shows his true self to only one person, Elizabeth Walters. As children, they spent an idyllic year and a half acting as each other's escape from the harsh realities of their world. They pretend to be characters from Spenser's "Faerie Queene" while William teaches Elizabeth to defend herself from bullies. Their friendship comes to a poignant end when William is sent away to school. Years pass before they see each other again, and on that occasion, William does not recognize his childhood friend. Taking him in one night, when he arrives, wounded, on her doorstep, she heals his physical wounds and offers him comfort of a more baser sort. In the morning, she sends him on, and as a result of this one night, she loses all her properties. William, it turns out, is a proponent of Charles II, at this point in exile in Europe, and he is hunted by Cromwell's men. They miss William but arrest Elizabeth, who stands trial and pays a heavy price. The pair do not find each other again until Cromwell is overthrown, and Elizabeth goes to King Charles' court to petition for the restoration of her lands. William has progressed from the "tax collector," a highway man whose proceeds go maintaining the exiled king's lifestyle, to court poet, whose pointed verses insult the king as often as they flatter. He drinks to excess and beds women at random in an effort to forget his past. This time, when he meets Elizabeth, he recognizes her instantly, both as his childhood friend and the woman who took him in three years previously. He makes her his mistress while he teaches her the ways of the court so she can successfully petition the king. Their road to happily ever after is paved with twists and turns as each must learn to have faith in the other. I greatly enjoyed this book for its rich, evocative setting, well rounded characters--and thank goodness for a story set in an unusual time period. I will warn against two things: if having the hero and heroine spend lengthy periods of time apart or reading about the hero having relations with someone other than the heroine are deal-breakers for you, you might want to give this book a pass. Neither scenario bothered me, as I felt they were well motivated within the story. If you're willing to cut a highly damaged man a little slack, enjoy the story.
AllyMcMahon More than 1 year ago
Libertine’s Kiss is an erotic, captivating and tragically romantic story. Author Judith James has created unforgettable characters (loosely based on real people) that capture your heart and your imagination. Her descriptive writing transports you effortlessly into her world. Here you feel every emotion, every tragedy, and every pleasure. William, a poet (among other things) uses his anger as his muse. There is no shortage of anger after what he has suffered in his life. Lizzy retains her positive nature even through the adversity she has faced. Together their love becomes something more, something pure. Though with the challenges they face it is unclear whether their love is something that can flourish and thrive. James does an excellent job of developing her characters. Their strengths, weaknesses and flaws are visible and endearing. Every real and raw emotion is brought fully to life as the suspense mounts and we wonder if William and Lizzy will overcome the obstacles and face life together. There is tragedy, suffering, longing, suspense, mystery, motivation, sex, and love. This is one story you won’t want to miss. Be prepared to laugh, cry and yearn for more. I highly recommend it!
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gl More than 1 year ago
Set in England during turbulent times - from Cromwell's bloody reign through the return of King Charles II - Libertine's Kiss captures the political uncertainty and violence of the period and places each romantic lead firmly in different camps. The story begins with William de Veres, a loyal subject of Charles Stuart, who has entered England to raise funds for the Stuart's return. With the royal funds practically depleted, de Veres has to resort to highway robbery and other dangerous methods. As things go awry, de Veres is injured and in his escape comes across an isolated cottage and pleads for help. He doesn't recognize his old friend, Elizabeth Walters, who takes him in, cares for him, and aids his journey. He isn't aware of the extreme danger that he puts her in. In contrast, Elizabeth is a solid Republican, the daughter of a general who lost his life supporting Cromwell. Elizabeth and William de Veres had been neighbors and best friends as children even as their parents were on opposite sides politically. While de Veres fails to recognize her, Elizabeth immediately knows her best friend. She keeps their old friendship a secret and when he leaves, Elizabeth Walters is caught and punished for aiding an enemy. She loses her property and nearly loses her life. The punishment drastically changes Elizabeth's situation and it's with some desperation that she decides to go to court to seek redress upon King Charles II's return to England. Though a stroke of luck, de Veres sees his old friend as she reaches court. Elizabeth's presence recalls a gentler, nobler side to de Veres and he tries to protect her from the court, King Charles II, and himself. It's here that the love story really begins. Judith James succeeds in creating a historical romance of the best sort. Historical events are critical to the plot and somehow it seems that the main characters meet and befriend the important figures of the time. While both de Veres and Elizabeth Walters are shaped by the events around them, they've modern temperaments and are clearly characters that we care about, sympathize with. Even their worst acts make them more likable. Once again, Judith James has delivered an engrossing and wonderful read! ISBN-10: 0373775059 -Mass Market Paperback Publisher: HQN Books (August 1, 2010), 384pages. Review copy courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher.
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LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
William's father abandoned him as a young boy, leaving him to grow up without really knowing what happiness is. As a grown man he dutifully puts his past behind him and rises in the ranks of the Restorations court. Along his journey he is forced to seek shelter from a young Puritan woman. William has no idea what her act of kindness has caused her family. Once Cromwell's men realize Elizabeth helped one of Charles' men, they take her family's estates, then force her into a marriage she doesn't want, but only for survival does she accept. Once a widow, Elizabeth seeks Merry Monarch's court in hopes of restoring her family lands. William, who is now Earl Rivers and the court's official poet, knows he must do what he can to help her. I must say that Elizabeth "Lizzy" isn't a true Puritan at heart, at least that's not what I got from the story. I also like the fact that Ms. James didn't make her out to be some naïve woman. She catches on quickly. She realizes there are things expected of her from the King and the court if she is going to get her land and her security back. She also knows that William owes her, because of him, she lost everything. In her mind he owes her dearly. Which causes a stubborn butting of heads or two, especially since she decides not to listen to his advice. I think these two are a great match, they both realize the truth, neither of them wear rose colored-glasses or decide to look the other way. However, they do go through many emotional stages in their relationship. Their relationship begins as friendship, then quickly enters into pleasure. This book is full of sharp wit, Ms. James has a refreshing romance voice that I can't wait to read more of. I think readers will be enthralled by this story. It truly is an unforgettable, classic romance for the ages. Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
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harstan More than 1 year ago
They were friends and neighbors as children, but their avaricious fathers insured each had an unhappy life. William de Veres was exiled to school and Elizabeth Walters "sold" to the highest bidder. William joined the military to escape his father's gluttony while Elizabeth got married to an abuser. Years later he became a hero; he deployed his new fame status into being a rake while she remained a victim. Years pass with both remaining unhappy. When they meet for the first time as adults, neither appears to recognize the other. Two more years pass before Elizabeth asks King Charles for a favor as she has fled her marriage; William as a friend to the recently restored monarch and as his bard helps her get a royal appointment. They begin to fall in love all over again, but she has issues with her beloved for his work for the King that was part of the destruction of her family. This is an entertaining restoration romance that occurs just after Charles returns from exile to sit on the throne. The rich historical background enhances the reading experience as at times the romance lingers in the background. Fast-paced with a strong cast and filled with intrigue as betrayal is a way of life at court, historical romance readers will relish this exiting late seventeenth century tale. Harriet Klausner
AAR More than 1 year ago
LIBERTINE'S KISS by Judith James is a Historical romance set in the 1800 England. It it well written with depth and detail. It has romance, sensuality, history,healing wounded hearts and souls, foregiveness,finding home and love. The heroine is brave, strong,beautiful and determined. She has been in love with the hero since her childhood.When he falls into her door wounded she helps him survive his wounds,and helps heal his heart and soul.The hero is handsome, fearsome and has a wounded soul and heart. He has also been in love with our heroine since childhood, which has been a lifetime ago. They are reunited when our heroine decides to go to the newly appointed king who was in exile, but is now reinstated. She is trying to get her lands back, which was taken from her by the former king for helping our hero. They embark on an adventure of love,healing and hope. This is a must read. A keeper. It is fast paced page turning love story. I would highly recommend this story. This book was received for review by Net Galleyand details can be found at My Book Addiction and More and HQN.