A noblewoman of frail beauty and exotic mystery fakes her own death to escape the gallows. And now she must flee. In disguise and under a false identity, she finds unexpected sanctuary in the arms of a handsome and arrogant yet gallant British lord -- who must defy society to keep her safe. . .and overcome a tragic past to claim her as his own.
Beautiful, protected Anastasia Kaptereva was about to make a brilliant marriage to the wealthy Prince Mikhail Angelovsky. The problem is she's killed him. At least she was found unconscious near his body with the bloody knife in her hand. In 1870, at the beginning of this promising, evocative novel, she escapes from a St. Petersburg prison and almost certain execution to England, where a relative finds her a position as governess to Emma Stokehurst, the 12-year-old daughter of Lord Lucas Stokehurst. While Anastasia is haunted by the murder she can't quite remember, the Stokehursts are haunted by the fire that deprived Emma of her mother and Lucas of his wife and his hand. In Anastasia, Lucas finds new love, while Anastasia finds not only love but some promise of protection-at least until her past catches up with her. Kleypas (Dreaming of You) has done her research, creating a real sense of place and period, her dialogue is rich, her humor real and her ``evil'' characters never stoop to being stock simplistic boogeymen (or women). If there is a problem, it is with her pacing. After a ripping beginning, Midnight Angel bogs down as the lovers retreat to get to know each another, then speeds up as danger approaches, only to stumble at a rushed and improbable confession and finally malinger anticlimactically in an attempt, one suspects, to set the scene for a sequel. (Jan.) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . Nice read
Posted February 01, 2010 by Kandis , ChattanoogaIf you are a fan of this author, you will not be disappointed. Not my very favorite, but it was still a good book.
January 01, 1995
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Excerpt from Midnight Angel by Lisa Kleypas
Lady Alicia Ashbourne wrung her hands nervously. "Luke, I have wonderful news. We have found a governess for Emma. She's a splendid young woman; intelligent, beautifully mannered . . . perfect in every way You must meet her at once and see for yourself."
Lord Lucas Stokehurst, the marquess of Stokehurst, looked up with an ironic smile. "So that's why you invited me here this afternoon. And I thought it was for my charming company."
For half an hour he had been plied with tea and small talk in the drawing room of the Ashbournes' Queen's Square estate. He had been close friends with Charles Ashbourne since their days at Eton. Charles was a sociable man who had the rare gift of always seeing the best in people -- a gift that Luke did not share. Discovering that Luke would be in London for the day, Charles had invited him to take tea when his business was concluded. As soon as Luke entered the drawing room, he had known from the Ashbournes' expressions that they were going to ask a favor.
"She's perfect," Alicia repeated. "Isn't she, Charles?"
Charles agreed with enthusiasm. "I would say so, m'dear."
"Since you had such poor luck with the previous governess," Alicia continued, "I've kept an eye out for a suitable replacement. You know how fond I've always been of your daughter, and since she has no mother of her own . . . " She hesitated. "Oh, dear. I didn't mean to remind you of Mary."
Luke's dark face was expressionless. Several years had passed since the death of his wife, but it still hurt to hear her name. It would hurt until the day he died. "Go on," he said evenly. "Tell me about this paragon."
"Her name is Karen Billings. Although she has lived most of her life abroad, she recently decided to make her home in England. She's staying with us until we can find her suitable employment. In my opinion, she's mature enough to provide the discipline Emma needs, but also young enough to befriend the child. I'm certain that once you meet her, you'll see how right she is for the position."
"Fine." Luke finished his tea and shifted on the brocade settee, stretching his long legs. "Send her references to me. I'll look through them when I have time."
"I would, but . . . there's a little problem."
"Little problem," Luke repeated, lifting one dark brow.
"She has no references."
A touch of color rose from the lace collar at Alicia's throat. "She prefers not to answer questions about her past. I'm afraid I can't tell you the reason. It's a very good reason, though. You must trust me on that point."
After a short silence, Luke began to laugh. He
was a handsome man in his mid-thirties, with black hair and vivid blue eyes. His face was more notable for its masculinity than its beauty with a stern mouth and a nose that was well-shaped but a little too long. The smile he wore most often was that of a man who mocked his own importance. He had an air of cynical charm that others strove to copy. When he laughed, as he was doing now, the laughter never quite reached his eyes.