When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of theton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.
Wealthy beyond most men's dreams, Cam has tired of society's petty restrictions and longs to return to his "uncivilized" Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship--but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter....
Historical romance master Kleypas reintroduces Cam Rohan, the wealthy half-Gypsy first seen in 2006's Devil in Winter, in her latest page-turning Victorian. Rohan, manager of a London gentleman's club, decides to do a favor for the distraught Amelia Hathaway, who is scouring brothels in search of her wastrel brother, Leo. Rohan, weary of his usual diet of beautiful-but-boring lovers, is bemused by and attracted to Amelia, a staid and proper spinster, and so he sets about making a presence of himself at the ramshackle Hathaway estate, sowing sexual tension as he does. As the standoffish relationship between Rohan and Amelia evolves into romance, the reappearance of Amelia's former suitor throws an intriguing wrench in the works. The author's sensitivity to the prejudice endured by the Roma (Gypsies) adds a measure of grim reality that is creatively offset by Rohan's discussion of Roma beliefs and superstitions. Kleypas's effortless style makes for another sexy exploration of 19th-century passion and peccadilloes, riveting from start to finish. (Oct.)
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1 . Nice and Sweet
Posted September 07, 2009 by Nusi , DamascusThrough the tang of unrealistic events and the many ties of passion, this books is truly a gift. It's mild adventure, sultry scenes and profound emotions all mold nicely and perfectly into the perfect book to read under any situation.
St. Martin's Press
September 30, 2007
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Excerpt from Mine till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas
Finding one person in a city of nearly two million was a formidable task. It helped if that person's behavior was predictable and he could usually be found in a tavern or gin shop. Still, it wouldn't be easy.
Leo, where are you? Miss Amelia Hathaway thought desperately as the carriage wheels rattled along the cobbled street. Poor, wild, troubled Leo. Some people, when faced with intolerable circumstances, simply . . . broke. Such was the case with her formerly dashing and dependable brother. At this point he was probably beyond all hope of repair.
"We'll find him," Amelia said with an assurance she didn't feel. She glanced at the Gypsy who sat opposite her. As usual, Merripen showed no expression.
One could be forgiven for assuming Merripen was a man of limited emotions. He was so guarded, in fact, that even after living with the Hathaway family for fifteen years, he still hadn't told anyone his first name. They had known him simply as Merripen ever since he had been found, battered and unconscious, beside a creek that ran through their property.
When Merripen had awakened to discover himself surrounded by curious Hathaways, he had reacted violently. It had taken their combined efforts to keep him in bed, all of them exclaiming that he would make his injuries worse, he must lie still. Amelia's father had deduced the boy was the survivor of a Gypsy hunt, a brutal practice in which local landowners rode out on horseback with guns and clubs to rid their properties of Romany encampments.
"The lad was probably left for dead," Mr. Hathaway had remarked gravely. As a scholarly and forward-thinking gentleman, he had disapproved of violence in any form. "I'm afraid it will be difficult to communicate with his tribe. They are probably long gone by now."
"May we keep him, Papa?" Amelia's younger sister Poppy had cried eagerly, no doubt envisioning the wild boy (who had bared his teeth at her like a trapped wolverine) as an entertaining new pet.
Mr. Hathaway had smiled at her. "He may stay as long as he chooses. But I doubt he will remain here longer than a week or so. Romany Gypsies--the Rom, they call themselves--are a nomadic people. They dislike staying under one roof too long. It makes them feel imprisoned."
However, Merripen had stayed. He had started out as a small and rather slight lad. But with proper care and regular meals, he had grown at a near-alarming rate into a man of robust and powerful proportions. It was difficult to say exactly what Merripen was: not quite a family member, not a servant. Although he worked in various capacities for the Hathaways, acting as a driver and jack-of-all-trades, he also ate at the family table whenever he chose, and occupied a bedroom in the main part of the cottage.
Now that Leo had gone missing and was possibly in danger, there was no question that Merripen would help find him.
It was hardly proper for Amelia to go unaccompanied in the presence of a man like Merripen. But at the age of twenty-six, she considered herself beyond any need of chaperonage.
"We shall begin by eliminating the places Leo would not go," she said. "Churches, museums, places of higher learning, and polite neighborhoods are naturally out of the question."
"That still leaves most of the city," Merripen grumbled.
Merripen was not fond of London. In his view, the workings of so-called civilized society were infinitely more barbaric than anything that could be found in nature. Given a choice between spending an hour in a pen of wild boars or a drawing room of elegant company, he would have chosen the boars without hesitation.
"We should probably start with taverns," Amelia continued.
Merripen gave her a dark glance. "Do you know how many taverns there are in London?"
"No, but I'm certain I will by the time the night is out."
"We're not going to start with taverns. We'll go where Leo is likely to find the most trouble."
"And that would be?"
Jenner's was an infamous gaming club where gentlemen went to behave in ungentlemanly ways. Originally founded by an ex-boxer named Ivo Jenner, the club had changed hands upon his death, and was now owned by his son-in-law, Lord St. Vincent. The less-than-sterling reputation of St. Vincent had only enhanced the club's allure.