Review: Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas

Format: Paperbackworthanyprice
Read with: Paperback
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Bow Street Runners, Book 3
Publisher: HarperCollins
Hero: Nick Gentry / Lord John Sydney
Heroine: Charlotte Howard (Lottie)
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: April 1, 2003
Started On: October 14, 2010
Finished On: October 16, 2010

I remember starting on this book a long time back, when I first discovered Lisa Kleypas’s talent for weaving a great historical romance. However at that time for some reason or the other I left this book half way through the second chapter or so and forgot about it. After my sister read this book and seemed to be quite taken with Nick Gentry at the point of being unable to stop talking about the guy *winks*, I decided to see what all the fuss is about and finally read the third book in the Bow Street Runners series, not that I have read the other two books in the series before.

Nick Gentry who is reputed to be the most skillful lover in all of England acquires the knowledge that goes along with his inherent skill from Mrs. Gemma Bradshaw, the owner of the most well trained house of prostitutes in London. Nick who has always been sensual by nature had refused to seek out just any woman to satisfy his hungers until holding back becomes too much for him and he finally seeks out Mrs. Bradshaw’s brothel after he turns 24 of age. Nick who is disreputable at best is described as a man who is popular with the public, feared in the underworld and detested by the Bow Street Runners who continuously try to hunt him down until Sir Ross Cannon who has now retired from the Bow Street Runners finally catches up with him and convinces Nick to work for them.

Charlotte Howard (Lottie) is a woman who is on the run. Having being betrothed to Lord Radnor since childhood by her parents who had practically made a deal with the devil himself to keep themselves ensconced in the lap of luxury, Charlotte had found every aspect of her life being controlled by Radnor himself. Knowing that marriage to the controlling mad man that Charlotte’s parents refused to see that he was would be a fate worse than death itself, Charlotte flees from home and seeks employment at Lord Westcliff’s residence as a companion to his mother.

Lord Radnor who is besides himself for the fact that Charlotte dared run away from him hires Nick to bring back his bride to be whether she is willing to come back or not. When Nick encounters the woman whom he had been hunting after for the past 2 months, Nick is surprised to find himself enchanted with the woman who for the first time in his life seems to be calling to something deep inside of himself that Nick refuses to recognize.

When Lord Westcliffe finds out that Nick is not who he is pretending to be, all hell breaks loose when Charlotte finds out that  the man whose warm sensual kisses had drugged her to no end was actually the man who her detested groom to be had hired to hunt her down. With Nick determined to make Charlotte his regardless of the consequences, these two make a deal to get married, Charlotte refusing to let love enter the equation knowing that being that vulnerable to any man was not for her and Nick who only thinks that he wants the sensual delights that Charlotte’s body promises and nothing more.

These two are certainly in for a delightful surprise when each of them finds more than they have bargained for in the other. Charlotte for the first time in her life begins to feel safe in the heady warmth of Nick’s arms, whose lightest touch sets her senses afire. Nick who refuses to be bewitched by any woman finds himself relentlessly in need of his wife’s gentle touch and the warmth and understanding that she so effortlessly wields that creates havoc on his heart and emotions which he keeps under tight rein.

Before the story is through, Nick who has always continued to run from his viscountcy finds himself forced to face his future as a viscount with Charlotte by his side whose unwavering faith in him leaves him completely astounded at times. Before these two can finally achieve their happily ever after, Lord Radnor and his evil plans as well as Nick’s restlessness with the inactivity brought about by claiming his title threatens to tear them apart, a lesson well learnt by Nick who is brought to his knees at the thought of losing his Lottie forever.

Basically this was an enjoyable read though I always find myself a tiny bit irritated at the fact that the hero who is described as so tortured by his past becomes a wuss at the first scent of the heroine. I think I am one of those readers who likes a bit of angst in my romances, someone who doesn’t like the path to true love be a walk through the park – if you know what I mean. Out of all the Kleypas books that I have read, my favorite still would have to be Suddenly You though there are still a couple of more titles that I have yet to read from her. I think Lady Sophia’s Lover which I have somewhere on my bookshelves would pretty soon end up in my TBR pile as my interest has been very much piqued by glimpses of Nick’s sister Sophia and her husband Sir Ross Cannon who apparently sentenced Nick to 10 years in a prison hulk when he was 14 years old.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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Review: Prince of Dreams by Lisa Kleypas

Format: Ebook
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Stokehursts, Book 2
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Hero:  Prince Nikolas Angelovsky
Heroine: Emma Stokenhurst
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 1, 1995
Started On: March 24, 2010
Finished On: March 25, 2010

Though I read this book sometime last year, this story failed to make that great an impression on me back then. But after reading Midnight Angel by Ms. Kleypas where the story of Emma and Nikolas begins, I had the urge to go back and re-read this romance to see what I would make of it now. I have always held the notion that two characters that have a prior history between them always make a better romance and this story too had a deeper impact on me upon re-reading the story with the knowledge of prior acquaintances between Emma and Nikolas in mind.

Nikolas, a prince from Russia has been exiled from his country for treason. Having made his home in London for the past seven years or so, Nikolas has been biding his time for Emma to grow into womanhood so that he can claim her as his wife. Though Nikolas doesn’t really believe in love he can’t resist the pull that has him waiting for Emma all this time.

The Stokenhurst family has never fully forgiven Nikolas for what he put Tasia (the heroine from Midnight Angel, distant cousin to Nikolas) through. Tolerated at best at Emma’s home, though Tasia seems to have forgotten and forgiven Nikolas, Emma has had only brief episodes of contact with Nikolas until he actively starts to seek her out. Unknown to Emma, Nikolas chases off Adam, the only man in the eyes of Emma who has wanted her, a woman well on her way to becoming a spinster by the look of how things were going. Though Luke, Emma’s father doesn’t agree to a match between Adam and Emma, and Luke doesn’t have anything to do with Adam’s abrupt departure from Emma’s life, Emma blames Luke which drives a wedge between father and daughter for the first time in their lives.

Reading about Adam’s engagement to another woman is the final straw for Emma and Nikolas swoops in during this vulnerable moment of her life to play the knight in shining armor and win her hand in marriage. Though Luke vehemently opposes the match, Emma’s resolve to marry Nikolas is strengthened by this fact.

Though Nikolas acknowledges the burning need he has for his wife, he refuses to let her into his life in any other way. Scared to the pits of other dangerous emotions Emma seem to evoke in him, Nikolas decides to drive Emma away by being his most cruel self and goes as far as to sleep with another woman just to drive the wedge between them deeper.

However, with a twist of fate, Nikolas travels back in time to find that he was once capable of loving someone and learns that with Emma he has found his love once again. However proving that he was a different and changed man proves to be rather difficult after everything he has put Emma through.

Thoroughly enjoyed this romance the second time round. If any of you are planning on reading this novel, I recommend that you start with the first book of the series before moving onto this one. Makes the story more meaningful.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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Review: Midnight Angel by Lisa Kleypas

Format: Ebook
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Stokehursts, Book 1
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Hero:  Lord Luke Stokehurst
Heroine: Lady Anastasia Ivanovna Kaptereva
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 1, 1995
Started On: March 23, 2010
Finished On: March 24, 2020

Another winner by Ms. Kleypas, this romance focuses on a heroine from Russia, a princess nevertheless that reminded me of the cartoon Anastasia that I adore so much. Princess Anastasia is on the run for her life, after being framed for the murder of her fiance’, a happenstance that Tasia has no recollection of whatsoever.

From childhood Tasia has been labelled as a witch because she could foresee certain elements of the future of people who were close to her. Now a woman of great beauty with a mysterious aura surrounding her, Tasia flees to England after escaping the death penalty by faking her own death.

Fate lands her eventually as the governess of Emma Stokenhurst, Lord Luke Stokenhurst’s daughter from his first marriage. Emma is an awkward girl in her teens, badly in need of female companionship and understanding of the subtle and the  not so subtle changes taking place within her as she moves onto womanhood.

From the start, Emma takes a strong liking towards Tasia towards which Luke has mixed feelings. Knowing that he wouldn’t allow Tasia to stay for more than a month in his household doesn’t make him any less immune to the tug of attraction that flares unwillingly between the two.

Luke has no room in his life for a wife. Having lost his childhood sweetheart and the only woman he has ever loved to a tragic death, and having his own scars from the tragedy to deal with, Luke is quite content with his mistress on one side and his daughter on the other front until Tasia comes along and knocks everything haywire in his life.

Its no surprise that ultimately these  two succumb to their attraction and Luke proposes to marry Tasia knowing the story of how Tasia might be a murderess. However that doesn’t stop Luke from professing to protect her from Prince Nikolas, brother of Tasia’s murdered fiance who has vowed to find Tasia and bring her to justice no matter what.

Ultimately Nikolas does find Tasia and takes her back to Russia where she is kept captive at his residence until the date on which she is to be hanged. Nikolas forces Tasia to remember what took place on the night of the murder and this unblocks Tasia’s memory so that she is no longer ridden with guilt over the murder knowing well enough who is responsible.

Luke follows Tasia and Nikolas to Russia and claims his wife once again. Through all this Ms. Kleypas keeps the romance and sensual encounters between Tasia and Luke going which makes this romance more worthwhile. Finishing this novel has made me want to read the Prince of Dreams, the story of Nikolas and Emma once again. Since their story begins in this novel, I think I might like their story better the second time round.

Most probably will post a review for that story pretty soon.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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Review: When Strangers Marry by Lisa Kleypas

Format: Paperback
Read with: Paperback
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Vallerands, Book 1
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Hero:  Maximilien Vallerand
Heroine: Lysette Kersaint
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 1, 1992
Started On: March 19, 2010
Finished On: March 23, 2010

Murder, mystery, romance and politics play a vital role in one of the first novels by Ms. Kleypas. This title was previously released as Only In Your Arms. However, Ms. Kleypas later gave this book a new title and re-wrote it a little bit and voila “When Strangers Marry” came about. Though this book seems to lack certain elements which makes Ms. Kleypas’s novels hard to put down, the story of Maximilien and Lysette nonetheless enchanted me till the end.

Lysette runs away from her step father who is trying to marry her off to someone she despises for the sake of the money that would bring. Lysette encounters Max’s twins Phillippe and Justin while trying to steal something belonging to the Vallerand’s  to make her escape. Bedraggled, dirty and exhausted more than she would admit to, all fight leaves her when Max confronts her and finds the truth about her within a matter of minutes after meeting her. And it certainly helps that Max feels the sudden flare of attraction for Lysette and the fact that she was betrothed to the man who stole Max’s wife from right under his nose which makes the package Lysette presents more attractive.

With vengeance on his mind, Max sets out to seduce and marry Lysette. Labelled as the man who murdered his previous wife in a town where gossip and half-truths linger way too long, Max is surprised by the ultimate trust Lysette places in him. Inevitably Max finds himself less interested in the vengeance he set out to achieve, but rather embrace the second chance at love he has been given.

A story which could have been told better, but still managed to set my senses afire.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo 

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Review: Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas

Format: Paperback
Read with: Paperback
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Hero:  Jack Devlin
Heroine: Amanda Briars
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: October 13, 2009
Started On: March 13, 2010
Finished On: March 19, 2010

Ms. Kleypas always writes the most beautiful romances, regardless of whether it be historical or contemporary, though people tend to like her historical romances better. This book too is unconventional for a historical romance where Ms. Kelypas has created a heroine who doesn’t seem to follow all the conventions, rules and regulations that bound the lives of women during 1800’s.

Amanda Briars is an author, a spinster & a virgin going on towards the big three-O. Wanting to divest herself of the virginal state, she goes to one of the famous brothel houses in London and asks a man to be sent to her house on the night of her birthday to help the process along. Just like the title says, Amanda finds herself that night suddenly in the company of Jack Devlin. Without knowing to both of them, the madam who runs the brothel has played matchmaker behind their backs, perhaps knowing what they both needed and wanted better than themselves.

Though Amanda defied all convention and society rules when she requested for a male escort, she begins to doubt the wisdom behind her impulsive decision when she suddenly finds herself ensnared by the rather charming and devilish Jack.

Jack doesn’t know what hits him when he first encounters Amanda on her doorstep. A notorious publisher whose rising fame had pointed him towards Amanda with the rights to her first book which he wants to publish, Jack didn’t have a clue that the Madam had set him up for this when he asked her whether he knew of Amanda Briars. But Jack can’t help but be intrigued and want Amanda for himself though he knows that his less than savvy background and his tightly reigned in emotions are not what Amanda really needs.

However within the course of a few weeks, these two are entangled in a heady affair. Like the book cover dictates, this is one of the most sensual romances of Ms. Kleypas that I have come across and my, my! Amanda sets the terms of the affairs to be for a duration of three months, which however as the gossip circles start to stir with the knowledge of their rampant affair, Amanda brings their affair to a hasty conclusion though she would give anything to be with Jack and love him for the rest of her life.

Jack, unwilling to give all of himself to Amanda licks his wounds in private though he is like a haunted man after the abrupt end to their affair. Amanda is soon been courted by the respectable Hartley and a marriage seems to be on the horizon when Amanda comes to realize that she is pregnant with Jack’s child.

This story is refreshingly heartwarming with descriptions of Jack’s vast publishing business which seems to unfold right in front of your eyes with Ms. Kleypas’s brilliant descriptions. The best thing about the romance of course as a female reader was Jack and his  total concentration and care for Amanda during the whole book though he refuses to acknowledge of his love for her till the very end.

And when Amanda finds out that she is five years older than Jack, ah! thats a scene that would remain with me for a long time! *winks*

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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Review: Then Came You By Lisa Kleypas

Format: Paperbackthencame you
Read with: Paperback
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon Romance
Series: Gamblers, Book 1
Hero: Alex, Lord Raiford
Heroine: Lily Lawson
Published on: June 1, 1993
Started On: August 17, 2009
Finished On: August 22, 2009

My first book from Lisa Kleypas was the second and last book in the Gamblers Series where I fell in love with Lisa Kleypas’ style of writing and her vivid characters that are quite different from most of the characters portrayed in historical romances. Even when I was reading book 2 of the series i.e. Dreaming of You (let me take a breather here to remember Derek Craven *sighs*), I was curious to read the story of Alex and Lily who play minor secondary roles in the story. So here I go!!

Lily Lawson, portrayed as a woman who can live up to anything in a man’s world (she hunts as good as any lord/marquess or whatever & gambles  better than most men) and basically gets away with being notorious because she is such a daredevil. But behind this facade lies endless heartache and pain. Betrayed by the man she was betrothed to at the altar, fleeing to Italy with her eccentric aunt to Italy, finding a man who Lily thinks is the one and surrendering to one night’s passion which is not so passionate for her in the end leaving her pregnant. No one back in England except Derek Craving who secretly yearns for Lily but wants better things for her than he could ever be and shares as close relationship with a woman as he ever would, knows that Lily had Nicole out of wedlock and that her child at the age of 2 years was kidnapped by her father who fled to London with Nicole upon facing various criminal charges. Lily who is left off with a comfortable inheritance by her aunt, spends most of it trying to get her daughter back from her father by paying him off in huge lump sums until finally she is left destitute.

Enter Alex, Lord Raiford’s world. Grieving for his American fiance who had died in a tragic hunting accident and betrothed to Penelope Lawson, Lily’s younger sister for all the wrong reasons  that she would never make him vulnerable enough to hurt him like the death of his previous fiance did portrays Alex as a deeply private man who is immensely wealthy.

The story that unfolds is at times hilarious and heart wrenching too. Penelope who is in love with Zachary, who has a lesser title to present than Alex, desperately seeks the help of Lily to prevent Alex and Penelope from getting married. Lily intervenes, turns Alex’s world upside down, and eventually detains Alex long enough at her home by tying him down to her bed to allow Zachary and Penelope to elope together. Alex who had been keeping the feelings that Lily evokes in him in check, lets them loose and hunts Lily down, wagers 5000 pounds for one night with her and wins Lily over.

Taming Lily who has never wanted to bow to a man and let him lead her life ever before finds herself enchanted when instead of offering her to be Alex’s mistress as she thought he would, finds herself married to him. Lily afraid that the news of illegitimate daughter would drive Alex and his love away keeps it a secret from him until he finds his wife and her daughter’s notorious father in a supposedly compromising position which finally propels Lily to spill the beans.

Though I didn’t love this story as much as I did Derek’s story, this one still had its moments of passion, laughter and love all packed into one.

Purchase Links: Amazon | ReaderStore | Kobo | Barnes&Noble

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Review: Blue-eyed Devil By Lisa Kleypas

Format: Paperback
Read with: Paperback
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: Travises, Book 2
Hero: Hardy Cates
Heroine: Haven Travis
First Published on: March 25, 2008
Started On: August 16, 2009
Finished On: August 17, 2009

Yep, I have been bitten by the Lisa Kleypas bug that’s been going round! I guess it’s been going round only in the areas that I tend to move around.  But ladies, if you do start reading this fascinating novel, I assure you that you wouldn’t want to put it down and miss even one delicious bit of the novel. I think this is the second contemporary romance that this author has written. And unlike other authors who tend to mess things up by foraying into contemporary romance after writing historicals, I would say that Kleypas has clinched the deal well. Although I am not much of a fan for stories written in the first person, I would say that this novel didn’t present any such difficulties when reading.

Although I never read the first book in this series of sorts, Sugar Daddy, which I aim to rectify asap, Kleypas doesn’t make it too difficult to understand the Travis’s (heroines) family and the conflicts as well as the complex relationships within. Hardy the hero, too was first introduced in Sugar Daddy, when he won a business deal that could have benefited Travis’s family business. Hardy grew up in the slums, with an abusive father who was in and out of jail during his childhood. Growing up, wanting to be something more, he worked from the ground up to become a self-made millionaire whereas Haven grew up in the luxurious lap of family money. However, all was not roses in Haven’s life. Haven gets married to her first boyfriend Nick against her father’s wishes who cuts her off his will reasoning that Nick was only after her money. Haven moves to Dallas with her husband Nick who turns out to be a narcissist, who abuses her emotionally and at last physically throughout the marriage, until at last Haven leaves him.

Getting a divorce and moving on seems harder than Haven thought after the abusive relationship she had gone through. Then she meets Hardy once again, whom she had met at Greg (Haven’s brother) and Liberties wedding where Haven had accidentally made out with Hardy mistaking him for Nick in the wine cellar at her home. Fate brings these two people together again and both struggle with the demons of their past to conquer the feelings that they have for one another and at long last find love that could last forever.

This ain’t just a love story. This book details the horrifying circumstances a woman has to face in an abusive relationship and the strength and love it requires to overcome such scars in life. I believe that Kleypas has done a splendid job with this story. I will try and get my hands on the 1st and 3rd book in this ‘series’ and write down a review as soon as I can.

Sadly, there is only one more unread Kleypas novel in my collection at the moment. Better sink my teeth into it!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | MacMillan

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