A woman of the night . . .
Her inherited estate is bankrupt, but Lady Sylvia Montgomery will never allow the townsfolk who depend on her to starve. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the plucky beauty reluctantly assumes the leadership of a smuggling operation—a mantle that fits her surprisingly well. However, the perilous enterprise may be more than one resourceful, genteel lady can manage alone. Luckily, help is on the way—in a most deliciously enticing masculine form!
A rogue in training . . .
Stripped of all familial responsibilities when his brother, the earl, returns from war, Anthony Sinclair has decided to become a rakehell. His pursuit of pleasure has led him to a village with a secret—and to an intoxicating lady involved in criminal activities. By rights, he should simply seduce the wench, have his way with her, then vanish. But the bewitching Sylvia has captured Tony's heart. And to win her love he will join her in turbulent and dangerously exciting waters where no true rake would ever venture.
|File size:||865 KB|
About the Author
Living in England as an Air Force brat gave Shirley Karr an appreciation for all things British. After a brief flirtation with journalism, she embraced the world of romance, trading headlines for happily-ever-afters. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her hero husband of more than twenty years. (She swears she was a child bride.) When not writing, reading, napping, or researching, shedesigns jewelry, is learning to play classical guitar, and searches for the perfect sugar-free chocolate.
Read an Excerpt
Kiss From a Rogue
By Shirley Karr
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2005 Shirley Karr
All right reserved.
Lulworth Cove, Dorset
Sylvia, Lady Montgomery, was a gently bred, gently reared female, yet found herself standing on a cliff, staring out at the midnight-black sea, waiting to buy smuggled brandy from one of humanity's most disgusting specimens.
She pulled her worn cloak closer about her shoulders, warding off the stiff breeze blowing in from the Channel. Moments later, a signal light flickered out in the cove, and Sylvia used her lantern to reply.
"You don't have to do this, my lady," Trent said, giving a steadying hand at her elbow as they picked their way down the steep cliff-side path. With no moon to guide them, they relied more on memory than sight.
She patted her pocket with the heavy purse, heard the reassuring clink of coins. "Yes, I do. You remember what happened last time Jimmy tried to take care of business? The captain nearly had him for supper."
"Aye, my lady."
Her brother-in-law was doing his best to fill her dead husband's shoes, but the captain had no patience for green lads. He preferred young widows, because everyone knew that widows were fair game for rakes, rogues, and scalawags.
As soon as she reached the base of the cliff, Trent headed back up, to keep a lookout for the Revenue agents.
The cluster of men on the beach parted, murmuring greetings and clearing a path to the water's edge for her, where the captain had just stepped out of the first longboat.
"Lady Montgomery, may I say you are looking especially fine this night?" He took off his hat and gave a low, sweeping bow.
She tried not to flinch at the overwhelming waft of odor his movements sent surging over her. Someone should tell him that all the cologne in the world would not mask the fact he hadn't bathed in the last decade, and that salty spray washing over the deck didn't count as a bath. "Good evening, Captain Ruford." She kept her breathing shallow. Would he take offense if she breathed through her handkerchief?
The captain put his hat back on, hiding his thinning, overly pomaded hair. "Shall we adjourn to higher ground?" He took her elbow and led her back up the cliff path, out of the way, just as the next longboat slid onto the beach, followed by others. Men swarmed, forming chains to remove the casks from the boats and hide them in the caves. More than two dozen men moved about, only a single lit lantern in the entire cove, yet it was nearly silent save for the waves rolling ashore.
Attempting to finish their transaction as quickly as possible, Sylvia pulled out the purse.
"Ah, my dear, I had the most terrible time with the patrols on this voyage." Captain Ruford accepted the purse with a shake of his head. "I had to bribe more officers than usual, and I fear I cannot absorb the added cost."
Blast. She, Jimmy, and the villagers had barely been able to scrape up the usual funds to pay for this cargo as it was. Her head began to pound in time with the waves. "I am afraid we cannot absorb the cost, either, Captain Ruford. It is your expertise that we rely on, to avoid the patrols in the first place. You have assured me several times that no one knows this coast better than you."
"Aye, and no one does. However, the government lads are getting craftier, aren't they? I had to pay off several of them, and I won't take it out of my fee. You'll have to cover it."
"No." She fought to keep the anger and fear out of her voice. Ruford lifted one hand to trail a fingertip along her jaw. With the cliff at her back, Sylvia had nowhere to go to avoid his touch. "Unacceptable answer, Lady Montgomery."
She shook her head. "You have all our coins. There is nothing more to give you."
"That's not entirely true." Ruford let his fingertips slide down her chin, along her neck, to the fastenings of her gray cloak. She forced herself not to cringe.
She heard a growl from down the path, and saw Jimmy walking toward them, his hand on the pistol tucked in his belt. She waved him off. They still needed Ruford, and he hadn't yet crossed beyond what she could handle.
Ruford leaned in close, his putrid breath fouling the air even further, and lowered his voice. "I'm sure we can come to an amicable agreement." He rested his hand on her shoulder, his fingers toying with the curls by her ear. "Montgomery is rotting in his grave, my dear. It's long past time that you took another man to bed. Come aboard my ship for the night, and we'll call the debt paid."
She balled her fists at her side as indignation warred with nausea. However much she might wish, she could not end their business relationship. Not yet. The livelihoods of too many people were dependent on her actions. "Jimmy!" she called.
Her brother-in-law bounded toward them, his brow creased with concern, his hand at his belt, ready to draw the pistol. "Everything all right?"
"Leave the last cask in the boat. Captain Ruford will be taking it back aboard his ship."
"But -- "
"I'll explain later."
He shot a worried look over his shoulder as he walked away, but passed the message to the men.
"I think that more than covers the added expense you incurred, Captain." Sylvia turned to walk up the path.
Ruford's eyes narrowed. "This time. I warn you now, it will not be sufficient payment in the future." He patted her derriere. "Pleasure doing business with you, my lady. I'm looking forward to our next meeting." He headed back down to the beach, calling orders to his men.
By the time Sylvia had taken a half dozen more steps up the path, the beach was clear. Jimmy and her men . . .
Excerpted from Kiss From a Rogue by Shirley Karr Copyright © 2005 by Shirley Karr. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In 1816 Dorset, the estate of Lady Sylvia Montgomery¿s late husband is bankrupt. Sylvia feels she must take action not out of some aristocratic obligation, but because she worries what will come of the locals some families have already fled to Canada. Thus, the ingenious Lady assumes leadership of the local smuggling operation.----- While his brother served in the Napoleonic War, Lord Anthony Sinclair properly behaved as expected of the spare. However, now Benjamin the Earl has returned safely to London and married ¿Joe¿ (see WHAT AN EARL WANTS), a brilliant investor, who has made a fortune for him and the family, Tony has no idea what to do in life. He decides to become a rake while he ponders his future.----- Tony¿s skirt-chasing leads him to Dorset where he meets the beguiling widow who he knows has a secret that he plans to uncover and exploit to get Sylvia in his bed. However, he falls in love with her and he believes she reciprocates but she is an earnest woman working at saving her villagers. To earn Sylvia¿s respect he must stay at her side, but is unprepared for the illegal events that unfold at Lulworth Cove.---- This sequel returns Tony on his romantic caper with another equally strong take charge female. The Regency story line is filled with plenty of action, but the real adventure is Tony¿s efforts to prove to his beloved Sylvia he will be there for her regardless of the escapades she leads them into she assumes he is a wastrel. With her second wonderful historical, Shirley Karr shows she is no one hit wonder as readers will take immense delight in the gender bending battle of the smuggling sexes.----- Harriet Klausner
I enjoyed this book. Not great, but a good, solid read. I liked that Tony wasn't tall (hey, they aren't all tall!). The plot was a little improbable, but a nice story.
I had zero expectations for this book. I'd ordered a boxful of books from one seller on Half.com, and she sent along a handful of freebies. This was one of them. I wasn't overjoyed--historical romance isn't my favorite genre--but I'd just finished re-reading White Night, and anything else was going to suffer in comparison, so I figured I'd read something I wasn't expecting to love.Widow Sylvia Montgomery has been left with a bankrupt estate and with the whole poverty-stricken village depending on her, the only way they can survive is to continue their smuggling. The problem is that their only ship sank, killing her husband and most of the village's able-bodied men. So they have to deal with a lecherous, unscrupulous captain and a rival gang that's trying to take over their business.Tony Sinclair has been running his family's estate, but now that his elder brother has returned from the war, it's his job, and Tony's at loose ends. He decides he's been respectable and responsible long enough, so rather than take a job in the city, he goes traveling, and finds himself stranded in Sylvia's village, and decides the attractive widow would be a perfect start to his life as a rakehell.It's a fun story--warm and delightful. Sylvia's concern for the village and her acceptance of the responsibility, as well as her reactions to Tony, make her an appealing heroine. Tony's determination to become a rake, in direct contrast to his honorable and responsible nature is entertaining as well--there's something about a self-deluded hero that always appeals to me, I'm not sure why.Tony's solution to the village's dilemma is a little too facile, I thought--along the lines of the divorced woman in a contemporary being able to support herself and her extended family by baking cookies in her kitchen.Oddly, I guess the reason why this didn't grab me that much is that it was just too sweet--it felt like a Disney movie. (It's no coincidence that the product description on Amazon calls it a cross between Pirates of the Caribbean and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.) The villains were a bit too 2-dimensional and easy to defeat; the conflicts were there, but there just wasn't a lot of meat to them.Still, it was a very pleasant read.