A bold woman known as the "duchess of Magnus" was wagered -- and won -- in a card game. But the woman who arrived was her shy, quiet cousin Eleanor. Eleanor de Lacy must have been mad to agree to exchange identities with her stronger-willed cousin. She would never convince Remington Knight of the folly of this union -- especially since the man seemed so determined for it to take place. Worse still, she finds Remington dazzlingly attractive -- and she's charmed by his attempts to seduce her, even though he believes she is already his. But if he ever learns of Eleanor's deception, this daring rogue will wreak havoc...upon her reputation and her heart. Remington had expected a haughty, unbending aristocrat who would ensure his entrance into good society. But this "duchess" is a most pleasant surprise -- modest, warm-hearted, endearingly awkward, and a delight to the eye. In short, she is exactly the sort of bride Remington could fall passionately, completely in love with...
Readers who adore Dodd's alpha male heroes will savor her latest Regency-era romance, which knits together an impostress, a missing duchess, several murders and an American with a vendetta. Self-described as "born timid," Eleanor de Lacy reluctantly agrees to impersonate her cousin, the duchess of Magnus, and stall Mr. Remington Knight, an American who just won the duchess's hand in marriage through a wager. Trapped in Remington's house, Eleanor soon finds herself in over her head as he ruthlessly employs every sensual weapon in his arsenal to tie the "duchess" to him. For not only does Remington enjoy the attraction sizzling between them, he also wishes to gain revenge against her family, who he holds responsible for his father's and sister's deaths. As the wedding date approaches, Eleanor loses more and more of her heart even as she gains confidence by standing up to Remington. Remington, meanwhile, finds his heart softening toward his lovely, unconventional duchess. Seasoned with generous humor, this sensual braiding of The Prince and the Pauper and Cinderella showcases Dodd's easy, addictive charm and steamy storytelling. Though this book isn't part of Dodd's popular Governess Bride series (In My Wildest Dreams, etc.), it's sure to sate her many fans. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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October 28, 2003
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Excerpt from One Kiss from You by Christina Dodd
The coach belonging to the duchess of Magnus pulled up to the tall house on Berkley Square, and an imposter stepped out.
The imposter's long, sturdy traveling cloak covered plain, dark, modest traveling clothes. Like the duchess, she was tall and well-rounded, and she spoke with the duchess's aristocratic accent. Also like the duchess, she wore her black hair smoothed back from her face.
Yet for the discerning eye, the differences were obvious. The imposter had a sweeter, rounder face, dominated by large blue eyes striking in their serenity. Her voice was husky, warm, rich. Her hands rested calmly at her waist, and she moved with serene grace, not at all with the brisk certainty of the duchess. She was slow to smile, slow to frown, and never laughed with glorious freedom. Indeed, she seemed to weigh each emotion before allowing it egress, as if sometime in the past every drop of impulsiveness had been choked from her. It wasn't that she was morose, but she was observant, composed, and far too quiet.
Yes, a knowledgeable person would recognize the differences between the duchess and the imposter. Fortunately for Miss Eleanor Madeline Anne Elizabeth de Lacy, no such person was in London at that moment, with the exception of her groom, her coachmen and footmen, and they were all devoted to her cousin, the real duchess, and to Eleanor, the duchess's companion. They would never betray Eleanor's mission.
They would never tell Mr. Remington Knight the truth.
* * *
Eleanor's heart sank as Mr. Remington Knight's stern-faced butler made the announcement into the large, echoing foyer. "Her Grace, the duchess of Magnus."
To hear herself presented in such a formal manner made her want to glance about for her cousin. If only Madeline were here! If only she hadn't turned aside from this mission for a more important task!
If only Eleanor hadn't agreed to impersonate her.