Swept Away by a Kiss

Author: Katharine Ashe

Publisher: Avon

Release Date: July 27, 2010

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: PRINT

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Lady Valerie Monroe, the daughter of an earl, was exiled from her home in England and sent to live with her cousins in America as punishment for a prank to gain attention.  Upon her arrival in America, she discovers that her father and eldest brother died in a carriage accident.  She hates her life in America and longs to go home to England to her brother Valentine and her good friend Anna, despite the gossip it would cause in society.  After the actions that got her exiled, she is determined not to indulge in dalliances anymore.

Viscount Steven Ashford's grandfather had once prophesied that Steven would cross paths with a woman named Valerie and he would have to choose which road to tread; only one road would lead to home.  However, Steven did not believe in prophesies or predestined futures. He fled England at the age of ten and made a future for himself.  For the past two years, he and his friend Maximin have been hunting a villain, Clifford Hannsley, Fifth Marquess, a slave trader.  He sells his cargo illegally at western ports for vast fortunes, which gains him influence with royalty. He made the mistake of becoming Steven's childhood nemesis, and now Steven and Maximin are about to put their plan to stop him into action.  Steven has been disguising himself as a priest, Father Etienne La Marque, for so long, he automatically carries it out now.  Though he has the title of Viscount, he does not like it.  His aunt writes him occasionally, but knowing him, she never mentions coming home.


Valerie is grateful to the captain of the ship for taking her and her maid aboard at the last minute.  When Valerie boards the ship to go home, she feels like she is finally free.  But aboard ship, her maid is constantly seasick, leaving Valerie to go on deck alone.  She notices a stranger on deck dressed in black; a Jesuit priest.  In her library, at fifteen, she had read about the scandalous clerics, which had gained her a severe punishment.  As a girl, her imagination had come up with a man just like this.  When their gazes met, she could feel it.  He was so handsome; she hardly noticed his Jesuit costume.


When Steven heard that the beautiful woman's name was Valerie, he was reminded of his grandfather's prophecy.  The name suits this woman; Valerie stands for strength as in valor.  She certainly proves it when pirates stop the ship and take Steven and Valerie prisoner.  Their capture brought Steven closer to his goal of bringing down the criminal he sought to ruin.  However, he had not counted on Valerie being held prisoner with him and the temptation is intoxicating as well as being taboo, for a priest.  He knows if he can manage to protect Valerie until he can send her home, he must never see her again.


However, once Valerie makes it home, the Ton continue to remind her of her past deeds, but her thoughts keep returning to the magnificent priest.  Suddenly he reappears in society...at least he looks the same, but he acts completely different.  Although Valerie is determined to stay away from him, she is drawn to him.  But, even as their passion rules them, someone wants them both dead. Can Steven keep her safe? Steven wants Valerie, but he cannot bring her into his dangerous life...or can he?


Rompalicious!  SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS is a deliciously exciting romp across the high seas and into England in this historical romance.  In his line of work, Steven has to don many disguises, but Valerie's love for him sees through all of them.  Their romance had been foretold by Steven's grandfather, but although Steven fights against his predestined future, he can not prevent being SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS.  Packed full with adventure, witty repartee, an intriguing plot, wonderful characters, steamy hot love scenes and even pirates, this story is unforgettable.  I highly recommend SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS, and I look forward to more works by author Katharine Ashe.


By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dottie

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