An Affair to Remember

An Affair to Remember

by Karen Hawkins

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An arrogant earl looking for the perfect wife; a strong-minded governess determined to transform him into the perfect man--who will win?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061895951
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/05/2009
Series: Talisman Ring Series , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 85,765
File size: 510 KB

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

Chapter 1

The Earl of Greyley's sins have finally caught up with him. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving man.

Lady Fetchwythe to the Dowager Dutchess of Roth, while taking a breath of fresh air on the terrace at the Hotchkiss soirée.

Greyley House, outside London
June 15, 1816

"Your brother will not be happy to see us."

"Nonsense." Sara Montrose, the Countess of Bridgeton, regarded her husband from across the rumbling carriage. "Anthony will be delighted we came to visit."

"Not if you engage in your usual heavy-handed matchmaking attempts," Nick said, a warning threaded through his silky voice.

"Me?" Sara slipped off her shoe and rested her foot on the edge of the seat opposite hers, very near her lord's muscled thigh. "Heavy-handed?"

He lifted a brow, his blue eyes fixed on her with unwavering regard.

"Truly, Nick, I only wish to see if he is well."


He said no more, and after a moment, Sara frowned, a niggling worry settling between her shoulders. Her husband suffered from horrendous headaches, though it had been almost six months since he'd succumbed to an attack. "You seem out of sorts. Is your head--"

"No." Nick's gaze softened. "I'm fine. And so is Anthony. Leave him be, Sara. He's over thirty and well able to live his own life."

Sara wiggled her toes once more. "I just want to visit my brother. Surely there's nothing wrong with that."

Nick snorted inelegantly, responding to her not-very-subtle demands by capturing her foot. His warm hands cupped her ankle as he kneaded the pad of her foot. Saraclosed her eyes, almost purring as his hands made their way up her calf.

But before he could proceed further, the carriage rumbled to a halt. "Damn." Nick sighed and released his hold.

Sara hurriedly pushed her skirts back down and thrust her feet into her shoes just as the footman opened the door.

Moments later, they were climbing the stairs to Greyley House. Surrounded by a wooded park, the house sat on a small knoll and cast a forbidding shadow across the front lawn. Large and square cut, the manor conveyed all the welcome of a mausoleum.

"It makes me yearn for Hibberton Hall," Nick murmured.

"We won't be long." She was just as impatient to return home as he. She hated leaving their daughter for more than a day or two at most. The thought of little Delphi made Sara sigh. She would say what she came to say to her brother and then leave, not that Anthony would pay any attention. He rarely did. Still, it was her duty as his sister to keep a watchful eye on him and to offer advice. Whether he wanted it or not.

She and Nick had just reached the top step when the door opened and a horse-faced woman dressed in a sturdy traveling pelisse stomped onto the portico. A bandaged dog was tucked under her arm, a flowered bandbox dangling from her fingers.

Her clothing proclaimed her a step above a practical servant, but the state of her coiffure made Sara pause. The woman's long, dull blond hair tangled to one side, a mass of feathers seeming to grow from the lump.

Jenkins, Greyley's most proper butler, followed hard on the woman's heels. "Miss Turner, pray reconsider. They were only teasing--"

Miss Turner whirled to face the butler. "Teasing? Were they teasing when they rubbed poor Fanny with catnip and then locked him in the loft? That orange tabby in the barn frightened him so badly he nearly had a seizure."

"It was never proven that the children-"

"Are you suggesting that my sweet little dog opened the window in my room, climbed down a trellis from two stories up, and locked himself inside the barn loft?"

Sara's glance slid to the nearly bald dog. He was as fat as a stuffed hen, his legs splayed in a most unattractive way. He truly was an ugly specimen. As if aware of her thoughts, the dog turned his bulging eyes toward her and lifted a lip to display crooked, yellowed teeth.

"Miss Turner," Jenkins entreated. "If you'll just listen! I'm certain your beloved Fanny is an excellent dog. But His Lordship was most insistent you stay for the contracted length of time."

"Not for a hundred pounds!" Miss Turner descended the stairs at high speed, her chin so high, she didn't see either Nick or Sara standing to one side.

"Two hundred pounds?" Jenkins said swiftly.

But it was a lost cause; Miss Turner never stopped. As she reached the drive, a lone carriage rattled from the stables and pulled to a halt. Miss Turner sent one last, virulent glare at Greyley House, hugged her ugly dog, then clambered into the carriage.

Jenkins had by this time noticed his master's sister and her husband. His face colored and he quickly stepped forward. "My lady! My lord! I didn't see you! Please accept my apologies. We're in a bit of an uproar today and-"

"I'm sorry we didn't let you know we were coming," Sara said quickly, trying to soothe the ruffled servant. It was a sign of how badly things were faring at Greyley House to see the usually stoic Jenkins so overset.

"The earl is expected any moment." The butler opened the door and escorted them inside. "A fire has been laid in the sitting room in anticipation of his return. I will light it now and bring some refreshments while you wait."

Sara smiled pleasantly, but her attention was already diverted to the foyer. Someone had added two sets of imposing armor at the bottom of the stairs, and a new tapestry adorned one wall.

Anthony loved old things. As the years passed, his house looked more like a museum display than a home. It was yet another sign that he needed a wife. Before Sara could point out such an incontrovertible truth, Nick's hand closed over her elbow and he firmly guided her toward the sitting room.

They crossed the foyer and Sara noted other changes; one of the bottom spindles on the stair railing was missing, and the mirror in front of the entryway displayed a large crack.

Jenkins caught her inquiring gaze. "Master Desford's cricket ball." He opened the door to the sitting room and bowed low. Just as Sara and Nick passed inside, a sound came from upstairs...

An Affair to Remember. Copyright © by Karen Hawkins. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Affair to Remember 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1816 England, James Putney¿s will assigns sole care of the deceased¿s five children to his cousin Anthony Elliot, the Earl of Greyley. Though Anthony despised his cousin, he takes the decision quite gracefully. However, James¿ mother makes a scene until her other son tells her to be quiet. Anthony figures the quintet may have been spawned by the devil and raised as hellions, but how hard can it be with the oldest being only eleven.

A few weeks later, Anthony is at the end of his rope and without a governess as none last very long. He considers buying property in America so he can ship his wards there though he worries about an international incident leading to a third war. Anthony hires Anna Thraxton as his latest governess. However, though she brings some order to the wards and even helps Anthony¿s reticent fiancee, Anna poses new problems for the beleaguered aristocrat. He wants her by his side permanently even if she meddles in everyone¿s life because she wants a happy ending for all.

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER is an engaging Regency romance that readers will delight in due to the strong cast. The story line is amusing as Anthony finds love and rescue in the courageous Anna. The characters make the tale with the pranks of the children and the nastiness of their grandmother augmenting the romance. Sub-genre fans will want to read Karen Hawkins¿ next tale starring whichever St. John sibling gets stuck with ¿the ring¿.

Harriet Klausner

Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the second book by Karen Hawkins I¿ve read this past year. I also picked up and read ¿The Seduction of Sara¿. I didn¿t care for that book too much. I can say that this second book worked out well by chance and I was happily surprised to find this story was much better, the characters more developed, the plot line funny, interesting and the ending was the perfect touch. Our hero Anthony Greyley is one tough, arrogant and demanding Earl. Although he is quite something to look at ¿ he is difficult to deal with at times. Mind you, he had a tough childhood and was required to take over the family in his late teens and since then, pay off everyone¿s high debts, re-establish the family name, re-work their tenant and land owned properties and more. High responsibilities for one so young. Anthony has known our heroine Anna Thraxton most of his life as she was one of his sister Sara¿s best friends. He didn¿t care for Anna as she was nothing like most of the noble girls of high society. She was very tall, had a dominant nose, vibrant red hair, spoke her mind and wasn¿t a simpering or silly miss. She was intelligent, keen and kind. Things Anthony found imposing and not appealing. Anna in turn felt Anthony was rude, intimidating, dark, stiff, stodgy and old fashioned and gruff. So¿they were off to a good start in their ¿deep¿ admiration of one another. The story throws them together when Anthony is given full guardianship of his cousin¿s five young children. Anthony goes through dozens of governesses as they drive them all away. The children play tricks on everyone. Enter Anna¿a governess with a sterling reputation for dealing with the most difficult children. From there our tale takes twists and turns that are vastly interesting and amusing. While the attraction between Anthony (she calls him Greyley when irritated or challenged by him) and Anna (he calls her Thraxton when irritated or challenged by her) grows leaps and bounds, the gentle transformation of the children begin too. Anthony constantly challenges Anna¿s methods of being a governess and is always asking for specific schedules, dates/times and how/why everything should be done instead of leaving the discipline of the children to a pro. He learns the hard way that she does know right from wrong ¿ she not only changes the children but, him along the way. Plus¿it¿s heart warming when we find Anthony spying from a distance on Anna and the children while they are at play or learning on the estate lawns¿he can¿t stay away as he is becoming as captivated by her as the children are. I liked that the relationship between Anthony and Anna grew as the book went on. Their attraction was more than just physical. The author held off until the end to physically bring them together in full - nice touch. The side characters of the children, Anna¿s grandpa Sir Phinneas, the grandmother to the children, one of Anthony¿s cousins, Rupert and Antonhy¿s intended bride Charlotte all play important side roles to this story. I¿m sure you'll agree, this story was vastly entertaining and a solid read. Four stars! Happy reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A little to much introspection. A little to much time spent agonizing over their feelings. A little slow at times. Nice ending. But it was still a good read if your looking for something light and predictable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
buzzkiss on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
*Spoiler*Well I feel as if this story line has been done before. I was somewhat bored with this book. I really liked the outspoken red head, Anna. However, I'm kinda surprised Anna didn't bring up the subject of mistresses to her soon to be husband. If he was so willing to make Anna his mistress when he was to marry Charlotte then I would think she would want to make sure he wouldn't have one after they got married. Seems to me if she is so outspoken she would have wondered about that and brought it up. Maybe that's just me.
jegka on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The storyline was (predictable but) ok. I guess I read this to take a break from mysteries. It was pleasant enough but the characters were rather thin. Their whole development was in their reputations. They were what they were because she said so. Mischievious, domineering, irresponsible...but little example was given to support the acusations. The children did some naughty things, but they went from devil spawn to angels with little for the reader to go on except being told they were better. I would have liked to have been given more evidence to come to that conclusion for myself. It is supposedly the first of the series (even if it is a sequel to Seducing Sara...see, more you just have to take her word on) so maybe the rest of the series is better developed. I felt a bit like I was reading the author's notes instead of the finished novel. ("Tricia becomes more agreeable...children become more cooperative...Ruppert becomes redeemable...)
Anniik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book just didn't do it for me. It was a bit on the boring side - lots of telling and exposition, and very little action. I didn't really like Anna at all - instead of being a fun character, she was grating and annoying - and I really didn't believe in the romance between the hero and heroine. I just didn't feel it. *shrug* A forgettable book.
la_librarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great start to this series about five brothers. Their mother left them a talisman ring which is supposed to unite the owner with their true love...the brothers keep trying give it to each other because they don't want to be married but someone ends up with it and sparks fly.
RAW1 More than 1 year ago
I loved this story, and have read it more than once.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable characters, good plot. Going to look for sequels now ...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*A most excellent and fun romance..highly recommended
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The funy and loveable st. Jhons men are books love to read over andd over.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this enough to buy the rest of the series, and I like them too!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He regularly disrespects her. Were we supposed to find that sexy?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
atzbech More than 1 year ago
Karen Hawkins can always be counted on to write romantic, sexy, humorous stories with good plots. I love being taken out of my own head and enjoy losing myself in a good book.
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