The Abduction of Julia

The Abduction of Julia

by Karen Hawkins

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380810710
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/25/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 638,369
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Karen Hawkins was raised in Tennessee, a member of a huge extended family that included her brother and sister, an adopted sister, numerous foster siblings, and various exchange students. In order to escape the chaos (and while hiding when it was her turn to do the dishes), she would huddle under the comforter on her bed with a flashlight and a book, a habit she still embraces to this day.

Read an Excerpt

The Abduction of Julia

Hampstead Heath, EnglandMay, 1812

It was a hell of a night for an elopement. After three miserable hours, the rain had finally ceased. A ghostly blanket of fog crept along the edges of the narrow one-lane road, glowing eerily in the scattered moonlight.

Alec MacLean, fifth Viscount Hunterston, pulled the coach to a thundering halt in the yard of the Black Anvil Inn. Mud splattered the inn door and sent wispy spirals of mistscuttering across black puddles.

His groom, Johnston, stepped from the dripping eaves. "There ye be, m'lord.Mite late, ain't ye?"

"Her ladyship apparently cannot tell time." Alec said with a shrug.

"A woman who'd keep ye waitin' at the altar will stop at nothin' to annoy the spit out of ye," the old groom prophesied glumly.

Alec ignored him and climbed down from the perch. Johnston was a family heirloom of sorts, with a Welshman's habitual sullen disposition. Though normally Alec argued against such a dour outlook, on this occasion he feared the groom was right.

The coach door creaked as his passenger tried to open it from within. Johnston granted. "Door's stuck agin."

"A pity, but we've no time to linger." Alec consulted his watch. It was barely ten. Considering the condition of the road from London, he had made remarkable time.

The noise from the coach increased to a firm knocking that lasted an annoying length of time. Johnston eyed the equipage with an interested gaze. "Her ladyship seems a mite determined. Do ye think she's changed her mind 'bout marryin' ye?"

"With the amount of money I stand to inherit? Highlyunlikely." Spoiled and vain, Therese had made her objectives plain from the beginning. She wanted money, power, and position.

The thought turned his stomach. He had eschewed polite society his entire life, hating its hypocrisy and vapid politeness, only to end up here, dragging his heels all the way to the altar with the catch of the season.

The coach swayed more furiously as the steady knocking was replaced by loud, determined thumping, along with a muffled demand for release. Alec sighed and replaced his watch in an inner pocket. "I suppose we can spare ten minutes, but no more. Have the horses changed, Johnston. They've bad to fight this damnable mud the entire way."

The old groom shook his head. "Ye shouldn't have waited so long to plan yer nuptials. Pushin' yer luck a mite far, if ye ask me."

"It was Grandfather's wish I marry--not mine," Alec replied curtly, peeling off his gloves.

"As crusty as the old lord, ain't ye? There weren't nary a thing ye could do with him neither, once he set his mind on somethin'." The groom -eyed the wildly rocking coach. "Though ye may have met yer match."

"I can handle Therese Frant," Alec said shortly.

Johnston snorted his disbelief. "I'll order ye a nice stiff drink whilst the horses are bein' changed. Ye'll be needin' it."

Alec nodded and the old groom shuffled into the inn, wisps of night fog swirling about his boots. Steeling himself, Alec tamed toward the coach. Better to get it over with, and quickly. Fortunately, he knew exactly how to deal with his bride-to-be.

Therese Frant was far from the demure innocent she presented to society. Too many times since she'd discovered the extent of his inheritance, the chit had attempted to drag him into a secluded alcove and plaster herself against him.

Therese's mother, a notoriously lax chaperone, did little to stifle her daughter's high spirits. Instead, the duty of keeping a watchful eye on the sensual Therese fell to a cousin of some sort, a plain dab of a female who took her duties so seriously that members of the ton had dubbed her the "Frant Dragon." Peering through her thick spectacles, the Dragon did what she could to quell Therese's propensity toward rum.

A pity, Alec thought tiredly. Had Therese been involved in a scandal, he could have convinced the dry, dusty executors of his grandfather's will to overturn the requirements. But it was too late now. He would have to marry the tiresome girl.

He yanked open the carriage door and grabbed Therese by the wrist, pulling her into his arms. She tumbled from the coach, her bonnet sliding forward across her eyes. It was too dark to fathom her expression beneath the wide brim, but he knew what he would see china-blue eyes glittering with petulant anger, a rosebud mouth twisted in rage.

To halt her angry tirade before it began, he pushed back the bonnet and covered her mouth with his. To his surprise, a trill of raw, sensual excitement jolted through him.

Therese must have felt something different, too, for she stood as rigidly as a soldier braving a firing squad. Usually she moaned with pleasure at his embraces and clung with the stranglehold of a limpet. Maybe she is nervous about the wedding.

"Kiss me," Alec murmured against the silk of her check. She wore a new fragrance. Light and bewitching, it mingled appealingly with the rain-freshair and swirled along his senses. His body tightened. Perhaps there would be some benefits from this arrangement, after all. "You smell like heaven. Kiss me, sweet Therese."

She lacked him, Hard.

"Owww!" Alec yelled, instantly releasing her. He bent to rub his shin.

And froze.

One of the many things his vain bride-to-be prided herself on was her dainty feet. The shoes that met his eyes were not dainty. Large and tightly laced, the heavy black boots reminded him of his old governess.

The implication hit him like a cannon shot.

This wasn't Therese.

He had eloped with the wrong woman.

He straightened abruptly, the pain in his shin forgotten. "Who in the hell are you?"

"I might ask you the same question," his prim attacker stated flatly.

The Abduction of Julia. Copyright © by Karen Hawkins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Abduction of Julia 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the funniest books- I have ever had the pleasure to read! There were parts that had me waking members of my family at 3 am because I was laughing so hard. This book has a good plot and all if one can overlook some problems. I never understand how two people who are feeling the same thing can somehow hide it from one another. But that is a common aspect in romance novels I guess I'll always be plagued by the 'honest rake who won¿t tell his honest feelings'! Also I¿m not a fan of books with only one love scene, especially when they have small print... for all those pages the reader should at least get three love scenes. But I will most definitely re-read this book because I honestly laughed so hard... I honestly couldn¿t contain myself- quite shameful really! I would definitely recommend this book
Guest More than 1 year ago
kronan1 More than 1 year ago
It has its moments............................................................................................................... If you like yet another story about a young healthy couple that get married ---are very attracted to each other---and never sleep together. Well they do sleep together but it takes over 200 pages to get them there. The next morning they're so confused about it they don't have sex again for another couple of chapters. This couple has taken lack of communication to an art form. But it was well written and had some laughs. But the theme of-- we're married but we're not having sex because I---love you?---respect you?--- or honor you to much is tired and overdone. Try reading- If His Kiss Is Wicked- by Jo Goodman. Its about a couple who can talk to each other and a good mystery to boot.
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jadedusty More than 1 year ago
This book is a reprint of the book with a modified ending and epilogue. A good romance story with interesting characters. I also like the fact that the "bad" guy is not as bad as he seems. I really liked the story which is the first in a trilogy.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1812, a desperate Alec MacLean, Viscount Hunterston, must immediately marry Lady Therese Frant to meet the terms of his grandfather¿s will and inherit the estate. However, instead of running off with Therese, something goes wrong and Alec abducts her cousin Julia, a pain in the butt cold-blooded American better known as the Frant dragon.

Alec realizes that Julia meets the bridal requirement of his deceased relative persuades her to marry him. She agrees in exchange for half the estate. Ads the newlyweds begin their marriage of convenience, Alec worries that his wife will cost them everything due to her need to help the downtrodden because the other stipulation in his grandfather¿s will deals with no scandals for a year for the devil¿s viscount. Adding to his woes is he now loves his bride.

THE ABDUCTION OF JULIA is a charming Regency romance due to the delectable fully developed charcaters. Julia and Alec make for fun reading as they skirmish with their love for one another, the interfering matchmaking of caring family members, friends, and servants, and the odious actions of one of his relatives. The ensemble cast shows that newcomer Karen Hawkins possesses much talent that will entice her audience to positively compare her to the starts of some of the sub-genre top authors.

Harriet Klausner