Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Historicals: Amanda Quick


Amanda Quick
A pseudonym used by
Jayne Ann Krentz

Most of us read fiction for pleasure, but some of us gravitate especially to works about the past. People have enjoyed historical fiction since 800 BC when Homer wrote about the Trojan War in the Iliad. The worlds to which historical fiction carries us may seem utterly different from our own - but they really existed. A deep understanding of the past can help us understand our own time and our own motivations better. And by blending history and fiction, a novel lets us do more than simply read history: it lets us participate in the hopes, fears, passions, mistakes and triumphs of the people who lived it.
Margaret Donsbach,

The Paid Companion

The Earl of St. Merryn needs a woman. His intentions are purely practical-he simply wants someone sensible and suitably lovely to pose as his betrothed for a few weeks among polite society. He has his own agenda to pursue, and a false fiancée will keep the husband-hunters at bay while he goes about his business. The simplest solution is to hire a paid companion.

Finding the right candidate proves more of a challenge than he expected. But when he encounters Miss Elenora Lodge, the fire in her golden eyes sways him to make a generous offer.

Her sorry financial circumstances-and dreams of a life of independence-convince her to accept. But St. Merryn appears to be hiding a secret or two, and things seem oddly amiss in his gloomy London home. Elenora soon discovers that this lark will be a far more dangerous adventure than she'd been led to believe. And the Earl of St. Merryn will find that the meek and mild companion he'd initially envisioned has become a partner in his quest to catch a killer-and an outspoken belle of the ball who stirs a bothersome passion in his practical heart.
Wait Until Midnight
Adam Hardesty has a serious problem. The secrets of his past are in danger of being exposed, and in the course of investigating his would-be blackmailer, he discovers the dead body of a prominent psychic. To make matters worse, her house has been torn apart, and the diary containing Adam's secrets is missing. His only lead is a list of the psychic's last visitors - the people who came to her house for a sitting on the night of her death.
The most likely suspect is a woman named Mrs. Caroline Fordyce, whom he confronts in her parlour, only to discover an inconvenient attraction to the beautiful young widow. Alarmed by Adam's insinuations and questions, Caroline concludes that she must conduct her own investigation into this strange matter. If she can discover the true killer, Adam will have no reason to expose her connection to the dead psychic, which would cause a scandal she and her aunts could ill-afford. Besides, her life has been boringly uncomplicated for too long, and the exciting tension she feels around Adam presents a welcome alternative to her mundane daily routine.
The River Knows
The first kiss occurred in a dimly-lit hallway on the upper floor of Elwin Hastings's grand house. Louisa never saw it coming... Of course, Anthony Stalbridge couldn't possibly have had romantic intentions. The kiss was an act of desperation, meant to distract the armed guard about to catch the pair in a place they did not belong. After all, Louisa Bryce was no man's idea of an alluring female in her dull maroon gown and gold-rimmed spectacles. The only thing the two interlopers have in common is a passionate interest in the private affairs of Mr. Hastings - a prominent member of Society whom they both suspect of hiding terrible secrets.
Now, thrown together by their ruse, Anthony and Louisa are united in their efforts to find the truth. Each has a reason for the quest. Anthony's fiancee was said to have thrown herself into the Thames - but Anthony has his own suspicions. Louisa - whose own identity is shrouded in layers of mystery - is convinced Hastings has a connection to a notorious brothel. But bringing Hastings to justice will be more perilous than they anticipate - and their partnership will be more heated than either expects. For it is not only Anthony's curiosity that Louisa arouses, and the two share something else: a thrilling attraction to danger...
Amanda Quick, one of the premier writers of historical romance with 10 New York Times bestsellers, returns with a passionate tale in which a young woman masquerading as the Earl of Masters' mistress is surprised by the sudden appearance of her alleged lover--an arrogant and attractive man determined to claim the beautiful deceiver for his own.
From the windswept, craggy coast of a remote British Isle comes the thrilling tale of a daring lady and a dangerous knight... bound by the tempests of fate—and the dawning of... Desire

Upon her father's death, beautiful, headstrong Lady Clarre knew that she must wed, for the protection of the Isle of Desire new fell to her. Yet when her guardian's choice of prospective husband rode through her castle gates, she felt utterly betrayed. All sinewy muscle and savage steel, Sir Gareth of Wyckmere was not the poet she'd requested but a fearsome knight whose only interest was in war.

Legions of robbers had fallen beneath the Hellhound of Wyckmere's sword, and now this bold warrior was certain that he could tame one willful wife. Yet even Gareth could not deter Lady Clare from trying to mold him into her ideal... until their clash of wills ignited a passion that set them both aflame... and a treacherous plot put their lives in deadly peril.
As in Quick's Surrender , the crux of this new Regency is one night's indiscretion, a ruined reputation and a hurried wedding. But despite the title, this is no rape-'em-and-romance-'em. Harriet Pomeroy, the woman in question, is--at the grand old age of 25--perfectly capable of handling herself. In fact, she's more concerned with the reputation of her outsize fiance, Gideon Westbrook, aka the Viscount St. Justin, aka The Beast of Blackthorne Hall, who supposedly abandoned another woman after bedding her.
After her unconventional engagement, Harriet, her sister and aunt leave the backwater of Upper Biddleton in search of polite polish during London's season while adventure and, inevitably, love tag along. An avid antiquities nerd with a decided predilection for moldy teeth, Harriet is a cheery, intensely likable character, one well matched by the battered and beleaguered Gideon. Although more romance than Regency--a few articles of clothing and a liberal sprinkling of the word ton suffice for atmosphere--genre aficionados will find this a spiffy read.
From the elegently appointed drawing rooms of London's most exclusive clubs to an imposing country estate in the heart of Dorset, comes a provocative tale of a free-thinking beauty, a dignified lord, and a mad impetuous love that defied all logic . . .

Augusta Ballinger was quite sure that it was all a dreadful mistake. The chillingly pompous and dangerous Earl of Graystone could not possibly wish to marry her. Why, it was rumored that his chosen bride must be a veritable model of virtue. And everyone knew that Augusta, as the last of the wild, reckless Northumberland Ballingers, was a woman who could not be bothered by society’s rules.

That was why the spirited beauty had planned a midnight encounter to warn the earl off, to convince him that she would make him a very poor wife indeed. But when she crawled in through his darkened study window, Augusta only succeeded in strengthening Harry’s resolve: to kiss the laughter from those honeyed lips and teach this maddening miss to behave! How could he possibly know that it was he who was in for a lesson . . . as his brazen fiancée set out to win his heart—and an old and clever enemy stepped in to threaten their love, their honor, and their very lives?

Townsfolk called him Devil for dark and enigmatic Julian, Earl of Ravenswood, was a man with a legendary temper and a first wife whose mysterious death would not be forgotten. Some said the Lady had drowned herself in the black, murky waters of Ravenswood pond. others whispered of foul play and the devil's wrath.And now, country-bred Sophy Dorring is about to become Ravenwood's new bride...
Drawn to his masculine strength and the glitter of desire that burned in his emerald eyes, the tawny-haired lass had her own reasons for agreeing to a marriage of convenience. One was vengeance, and in its pursuit she would entangle Julian in a blackmail plot, a duel at dawn, and a dangerous masquerade. The other reason was dearer to her heart, but just as wild a quest: Sophy Dorring intended to teach the devil to love again.

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