Saturday, October 11, 2008

And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke - a pleasant surprise!

Book Description:
Supremely sensible Emmaline Dove wishes to share her etiquette expertise with London's readers, and as secretary to Viscount Marlowe, Emma knows she's in the perfect position to make her dreams come true. Marlowe might be a rake with a preference for cancan dancers and an aversion to matrimony, but he is also the city's leading publisher, and Emma is convinced he's her best chance to see her work in print…until she discovers the lying scoundrel has been rejecting her manuscripts without ever reading a single page!

As a publisher, Harry finds reading etiquette books akin to slow, painful torture. Besides, he can't believe his proper secretary has the passion to write anything worth reading. Then she has the nerve to call him a liar, and even resigns without notice, leaving his business in uproar and his honor in question. Harry decides it's time to teach Miss Dove a few things that aren't proper. But when he kisses her, he discovers that his former secretary has more passion and fire than he ever imagined, for one luscious taste of her lips only leaves him hungry for more.…

I didn't know what to expect from this book, having never read anything by this author before but - I loved it! It was so different from your usual lord meets commoner girl and falls in love romance. It had witty dialogue, the hero and heroine are not strangers to one another and it ended up so happily and - romantically - a great ending!

Set in 1893, the end of the Victorian era, Emma Dove works for Lord Marlowe. He is divorced and vows to never marry again. He owns a publishing house, she is his invaluable and ever efficient secretary. Having worked for him for 5 years and paid well, she has no illusions about him and knows him for the charming womanizer and self centered opportunist he is, but she also has aspirations of being a writer herself. She sticks with him in hopes that he'll publish some of her etiquette books, but he always rejects her manuscripts as dull and she is quite disheartened when she realizes he's been rejecting them unread! She is indispensable to him but quits in a huff and goes to work for his main competitor, Lord Barringer (who seemed a bit interesting at first, but then we never see him again!) Once she quits, Marlowe sees her in another light and realizes, when her success begins as an etiquette columnist for the rival newspaper, that he was very wrong about her in many ways! Plus, he realizes how pretty she suddenly looks and eventually kisses her. From there the book takes off!

Emma has a lot of baggage from growing up in a very straight-laced household, always worrying about what people think about her. Marlowe buys out her new boss, and she finds herself working for him again - only on more of an equal level. She'll be one of his columnists as "Mrs. Bartleby" and working together closely. The form a friendship that quickly turns to passion. Their courtship is delightful to read. The dialogue is quick but very romantic and humorous. It's a pleasure to read the way he sets out to seduce her - and he succeeds! But, there's a catch. He has told her he'll never remarry again. She knows this, but passion overrules sensibility and they have an idyllic affair, but over time, Emma cannot continue with it, for she falls in love with him and feels she must end it. It's heartbreaking to read, but thankfully, it all comes to a happy -but albeit predictable - conclusion and is a very warm and fulfilling ending - I ate it up!

There are some graphic romantic sex scenes in this romance, but not a lot. The sexual tension and romance leading up to their affair is great and their frolicsome fun in bed and in the kitchen and other parts of the house are a joy to read about (although I was waiting for something to do with chocolate)! I thoroughly enjoyed this book - read it in one day, a quick fast paced read! I'll look for more books by this author!


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