The most dangerous and desirable man in all of England, Nikolas burns to possess Emma Stokehurst, but the proud, headstrong beauty is promised to another. Still, there are no limits to how far the wealthy, bitter exile will go to win her exquisite hand - though owning Emma’s body, but not her love, will do nothing to fill the empty spaces in his heart.
But Nikolas’s destiny awaits him elsewhere, as passion’s magic transports him to a different place - a land of splendor and romantic dreams. For only there can he experience true ecstasy in one remarkable woman’s tender touch - achingly familiar yet gloriously new - and learn, at last, to love.
©1995 Lisa Kleypas (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I admit I was liking the story a lot up until it backtracked to 170 years before that point in time and the hero began to live as his great, great, grandfather. It was too much time devoted to reliving the past for my taste. However, once it was done, I realized why it was so important to have that section in the book. It ended up being such a sweet story that I almost felt my heart skip a beat. S Duerden was also as amazing as always. A definite must buy.
I didn't like this as much as it's predecessor Midnight Angel, but still enjoyed it, even though....
The hero cheats once, which is normally a 'throw the book across the wall and never finish it' moment for me. However, in this instance, I wasn't as offended as I normally would be. I think it was because it was made clear he didn't do it out of lack of interest in the heroine or a desire for anyone else. The H was so obsessed with the h that he planned to marry her for years (since she was 13) and schemed and scammed to get her to agree to a "marriage of convenience" with him. He was in serious denial and truly terrified of how much he had come to need Emma. It's not an excuse, but it worked within the context of the story and the h is definitely not a pushover, he definitely has to earn his way back into her life and bed. Also, it's not an affair and there's no detail. He goes out, get's drunk, and comes home smelling of liquor, sex and perfume. I assumed he was with a prostitute
I absolutely adored Lord St. Vincent in Devil in Winter, but never really considered him a dark, villainous antihero as some seem to. Spoiled and selfish, definitely, but I never took his "villainy" too seriously. Prince Nikolas, however, is more the genuine article. He is definitely a tortured soul and at least a borderline alcoholic. And he did have some pretty horrific traumas in both childhood and adulthood to contend with. In fact, a *trigger warning* for descriptions of childhood sexual abuse is worth noting. (Nikolas' father repeatedly and brutally raped his younger brother, who he was unable to protect). Not your typical "one woman hurt me and now I'm an ass" excuse for being broken.
I am as yet undecided on the reincarnation element. It was emotional and I cried when Nikolas "died" in that previous life, but part of me wishes he would have learned to accept his love for Emma in 'real time'. In fact, I think it would have made this a 5 star book for me.
I love to read! With kids, that hobby is impossible...enter Audible...problem solved. Chores that I dread are now quiet time for this Mommy!!!
I could not stop listening to this book!!! It took me a few chapters to get used to the narrator and in some places I wished she had more inflection in her voice... but she nailed the male lead....dark and brooding. This had more of a gothic flare than other Kleypass novels and I LOVED IT!! You have to love tortured hero's and the women who change them to love this book. Beautiful love scenes, intricate plot, and loveable characters. WORTH A CREDIT!!!
This is not one of my favorites by LK but it is really hard to pick a bad one. It was confusing in parts but ended well. I am glad I started with one of her other books.
I love Lisa's books and this is no exception but with so many to choose from I have to say it was not my favorite. I vaguely remember reading it years ago, but it was not a sharp memory. However, Lisa is always worth a second read or listen.
Say something about yourself!
This is an older book of Ms. K and I almost passed it up - and I'm SO GLAD I did not. I listened to the first Stokehurst book, Midnight Angel, which was good, but fairly typical. This one was wrenchingly good. Nicholas was so tormented by things that Emma had no knowledge of - she didn't go into the relationship to fix him! All he knew about marrying Emma was that he just HAD to, no matter what.
Emma's character was written so well as the hormone angst teen who had been sheltered and protected, as well has being very tall for a girl, and different looking than her peers. It was a perfect storm.
To find out what Nicholas endured in his youth then as an adult shaped his character perfectly. Then he finds out why he HAD to marry Emma - what a revelation! He didn't even understand until he had his 'spell'.
The end was perfect - I don't usually do this, but I've already listened to it again, and will again!
I think this may be my favorite LK story. I really wish I could find one of these 170 year old destiny stories, and I'm sure they are out there, but this one...sigh!
Very credit worthy.
Mom from Boston
Usually when an American author is trying to write about Russia, it sounds very one-sided and under researched to me as Russian born. I am talking about fiction here. This story (as well as the other one in the series) was done well in highlighting cultural differences and blending them into the plot.
There was some criticism of ms. Duerden's Russian accent. While her pronunciation of Russian words was not great (sometimes I could not figure out what she was trying to say), her accent representation was fine in my opinion. There are many different accents that you can hear from a Russian speaking person. I was told many times that my accent sounded more French then Russian, for example.
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