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Beguiled Mass Market Paperback – November 14, 2006

3.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Regency Trilogy Series

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Sin & Suffer (Pure Corruption) by Pepper Winters
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Drake turns out another fine historical in this Victorian murder mystery/romance. In the final years of Queen Victoria's reign, a series of murders of outspoken antiroyalists is stirring up hostility toward the crown—not a matter of interest to many young ladies of the 1890s, but gently reared orphan Ally Grayson is a serious writer who takes the matter to heart. That gives her something in common with Mark Farrow, the nobleman she abruptly learns she's been betrothed to marry since childhood, and also with an intriguing highwayman who waylays her coach in the woods; both men are looking for the killer. Ally figures out soon enough that the highwayman and the nobleman are one and the same, but as Mark begins to fall in love with his surprising bride-to-be, he insists on excluding her from his dangerous investigation. But Ally has a mind of her own and is determined to use it, no matter how great the threat to her safety. Bestselling author Drake, the pseudonym used by Heather Graham for her numerous historicals, keeps Ally's relationship with her aunts and godparents playful, forming an intriguing contrast with the grim progress of the murder probe, while satisfying romantic progress and rising suspense keep the book running on all cylinders. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"A spellbinding romance tinged with a gothic twist." -- Romantic Times BOOKclub on Wicked

"An exhilarating historical romantic suspense." -- The Best Reviews on Reckless

"Drake is an expert storyteller who keeps the reader enthralled . . . You won't be disappointed!" -- Romantic Times BOOKclub on Reckless

"Drake weaves an intricate plot into a delicious romance, which makes for captivating, adventurous and wonderfully wicked reading." -- Romantic Times BOOKclub on When We Touch

"Her expert craftmanship and true mastery of the eerie shines through!" -- Romantic Times BOOKclub on The Awakening

"Shannon Drake continues to produce addicting romances." -- Publishers Weekly on No Other Woman

"Well-researched and thoroughly entertaining . . ." -- Publishers Weekly on Knight Triumphant

"[Drake] manipulates readers masterfully with exciting plot developments and heady love scenes." -- Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books; First Edition edition (November 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373771312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373771318
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,944,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times and USA Today best selling author, Heather Graham was born somewhere in Europe and kidnapped by gypsies when she was a small child. She went on to join the Romanian circus as a trapeze artist and lion tamer. When the circus came to South Florida, she stayed, discovering that she preferred to be a shark and gator trainer.

Not really.

Heather is the child of Scottish and Irish immigrants who met and married in Chicago, and moved to South Florida, where she has spent her life. (She has, at least, been to the Russian circus in Moscow, where she wished she was one of the incredibly talented and coordinated trapeze artists.) She majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write. Her first book was with Dell, and since then, she has written over one hundred and fifty novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, horror, and Christmas family fare.

She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty-five languages, and has had over seventy-five million books in print. She has been honored with awards from Walden Books, B. Dalton, Georgia Romance Writers, Affaire de Coeur, Romantic Times, the Lifetime Achievement Award from RWA and more. Heather has also become the proud recipient of the Silver Bullet from Thriller Writers. Heather has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, Mystery Book Club, People and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including Today, Entertainment Tonight and local television.

Heather loves travel and anything that has to do with the water, and is a certified scuba diver. She also loves ballroom dancing. Each year she hosts the Vampire Ball and Dinner theater at the RT convention raising money for the Pediatric Aids Society and in 2006 she hosted the first Writers for New Orleans Workshop to benefit the stricken Gulf region. She is also the founder of "The Slush Pile Players", presenting something that's almost like entertainment for various conferences and benefits. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I found it while waiting at the drug store for a perscription. I immediatly found myself wanting to read more about Ally and the tumoltous world she is in. I found that the writing style is pleasurable to read not overly wordy but to the point. I also enjoyed the mystery/plot though it could have been a bit stronger. Fan's of Drake's won't be disappointed by thise light read. I enjoyed the twists and turns as well, though not as unpredictable as those in the North Kingdom.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
How could anyone give this book more than a couple of stars? There is barely any contact between the heroine and the hero, who are interesting in their own right, but never together. Their dialogue is abrupt, stilted, and constantly interrupted, which is the general mode of this annoying plot. Though the time and circumstances of this novel are refreshingly unusual (the late Victorian days) and the borrowed sleeping beauty with the 3 fairy godmothers in the forest cottage plot is sort of fun, this whimsical allusion just doesn't mesh well with the Sherlock Holmesque murder plot. The whole plot doesn't gel, the romance never develops, and there are too many marginal characters to keep track of for this reader to bother with. Disappointing read. Try Heather Graham's other books.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm still reading this book but I agree wholeheartedly with the other reviewers in that how could they have this connection when they hardly saw eachother! He's always running off and she's always with the other writer Thane, whose also sort of attracted to her. She'd been better off with him. I hate when reviewers tell the book again in their reviews but this book is just goofy. Not one of her best. Not even almost. Too much mystery and not enough romance.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I hate to do this, especially because I haven't read the rest of the series, but this book just didn't do anything for me. I am generally a fan of Heather Graham and her books published under this pseudonym, Shannon Drake. While I believe she is a fine author, I cannot recommend this book by any means, as anything but a second-rate romance with far too much effort toward the (attempted) suspense-driven murder plot and far too little effort at a believable romance.

The couple works in theory---an arranged marriage between and educated and well-written royal-in-disguise and a clever and charming albeit overworked highwayman-noble-in-disguise. Drake was successful in capturing the workaholic tendancies of the hero. Perhaps too successful, as it felt as if he were absent the entire time, the couple only meeting face to face (minus disguises) 100 and some odd pages into the story. The guy just never seemed to show up! When he finally did, the romance progressed too quickly to be believable.

All the scenes and setups involving the romance work in theory, but sadly none worked in execution. The highwayman component was insignificant in the story; the heroine's writing is underplayed; the wedding-night knife-to-the-neck bathtub scene was both unbelievable and anticlimactic. Buried under a drab story and mediocre characters, admittedly, there were a few gems in dialogue, which was the only suggestion that Ms. Graham / Ms. Drake really did do the writing for this story.

Perhaps this installment in a series is only enjoyable to readers who started it at the beginning with the three couples that comprise the heroine's guardians.
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By A Customer on December 9, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The English monarchy is in jeopardy from a growing opposition to a kingdom. Even more horrific is that someone is targeting supporters of the crown, killing anyone who even tenuously seems to support the royals. One person this serial killer would like to assassinate is editorial writer A. Anonymous who apparently thinks the monarchy brings something special to England.

Most people assume A. Anonymous is a male royal, but instead the author is truly an anonymous proper female author with dreams of becoming a great writer. Ally Grayson is engaged to prim and proper Mark with no hopes for adventures except in her writings. That is until a mysterious highwayman abducts her. Whether it is the Stockholm syndrome or not Ally falls in love with her kidnapper. Unbeknownst to her, her captor is also her fiancé, who works secretly to keep their homeland safe from internal terrorists and his beloved from harm's way as the royal assassin has targeted A. Anonymous.

This is a terrific historical romance starring a brave heroine and a courageous hero inside an action-packed fast-paced plot. Mark is delightful as he loves his fiancée but hides his identity from her; to his chagrin and jealousy Ally falls in love with his dashing alter ego. Fans will enjoy this delightful tale wondering how the lead couple will resolve their romantic entanglement as much as who is plotting to destroy the monarchy.

Harriet Klausner
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What was shannon drake thinking when she wrote this novel? there were so many errors, using a character's name in the wrong place, the wrong form of address for an earl...

However in all it was a really nice novel.. Loved Mark's character and Ally was quite a woman for him..

Nevertheless exected something a lot better from Drake... more along the lines of the Graham family series hopefully..
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