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The Downfall of a Good Girl (LaBlanc Sisters Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Kimberly Lang
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99

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Book Description



"Why would you decide to seduce me? And why now after all these years?"

Southern debutante Vivienne LaBlanc can't believe bad-boy rock star Connor Mansfield is back in town for the New Orleans annual Saints and Sinners pageant. He has a reputation as wicked as his devilish smile, and Vivi has no intention of becoming one of his latest groupies!

He once crushed her high school heart, so playing the saint to Connor's sinner should be easy. But how can Vivi get those less than angelic thoughts out of her head—especially when Connor's so good at tempting her to be bad?

Next month, watch out for the second book in Kimberly Lang's duet: The Taming of a Wild Child


Harlequin KISS has 4 new fun, flirty, and sensual romance books available every month.



Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kimberly Lang hid romance novels behind her textbooks in junior high, and even a masters program in English couldn’t break her obsession with dashing heroes and Happily Ever After. A ballet dancer turned English teacher, Kimberly married an electrical engineer. She and her husband live in North Alabama with their one amazing child who, unfortunately, shows an aptitude to sports! Visit Kimberly at: www.booksbykimberly.com

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Vivienne LaBlanc waited impatiently, trying not to bump her wings against anything or move too quickly in a way that would cause her halo to slide off, as Max Hale gave his introductory speech on the other side of the curtain.

"There are many krewes, but none like the Bon Argent. Five years ago, we decided to do something—in our own hometown style—to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. We were far more successful than we dreamed. Through the Saints and Sinners Festival—which grows bigger every year—we've raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for dozens of local charities, and I thank all of you for your continued support."

After a short round of polite applause, Max continued to laud their accomplishments, but Vivi listened with only half an ear. She was well aware of the great work of Bon Argent; she'd been involved with the krewe since its inception. Candy Hale was one of her oldest friends, and Max was like a second father.

Her mother used to serve on the board, for goodness' sake, so she didn't need to be sold on the success. She did, however, need a primer on these wings.

How am I supposed to sit in these things? The feathered and bejeweled wings were beautiful, arching up to head height and hanging to her calves. Vivi frowned as she tried to adjust the buckle on her gold sandals and felt the whole getup shift dangerously. Honestly, she looked less like a saint and more like a Vegas showgirl who'd crashed the neighborhood nativity play.

The Saints and Sinners ball—and the whole Bon Argent krewe—bordered on silly at times, but the costumes and the parody of pomp and pageantry was what had made the Saints and Sinners fundraiser so fun, popular and immensely successful in such a short time.

And there were three hundred people out there eagerly awaiting the announcement of this year's Saint and Sinner. Following the traditions of the traditional Mardi Gras krewes, those identities were top secret info. As far as Vivi knew, only three people were in the know this year. Max, the head of the Bon Argent charity, Paula, the head of PR, and Ms. Rene, the seamstress who'd made the costumes for the Sinner and the Saint. Even she didn't know who would be her other half between now and Fat Tuesday.

She had a few guesses in mind.

Unlike the traditional krewes, however, who would crown a king and a queen, Bon Argent had no gender requirements to fulfill. The Saint and the Sinner were chosen for their local celebrity and reputations and could be of the same gender. Vivi had her bets on nightclub owner Marianne Foster, who'd been in the news a lot recently and would provide excellent competition before Vivi crushed her. While Marianne would be popular in the voting and bring in large amounts of money, it wasn't an overstatement or egoism to say that she, herself, was more popular and could raise huge amounts of money in comparison.

She stomped down the unkind thought. Thoughts were the precursors to words and actions, and she'd learned to keep her head in the right place in order to avoid saying or doing anything she might regret later. It's about the money we can raise, not about winning.

But it was also about winning. The Sinner had taken the crown the last two years, but this year top honors were going to the Saint, because she simply refused to lose. She'd only lost one crown in her life, and she still remembered the bitter taste of watching Miss Indiana walk away with it. It didn't matter how much she liked Janelle personally, or what a great Miss America she'd turned out to be, it still sucked to lose.

So she was competitive. It was hardly a personality flaw. No one liked to lose. And in this case, her competitive nature would be beneficial because it was all for a good cause.

Max was now introducing her Cherubim Court: ten local high school kids chosen by the charity's board to be her team in the fundraising.

And now it was her turn. She took a deep breath, checked her dress, and waited.

"…my pleasure to introduce Saint Vivienne LaBlanc!"

The curtain opened to a strobe of flashes from the photographers gathered in front of the stage and a very heartening roar of approval and applause from the guests. Vivi heard her sister's distinctive whistle and looked over at the table where her family sat. When she'd left the table twenty minutes ago, claiming she had an emergency phone call from the gallery, Lorelei had given her a knowing look. She waved as she watched people from the surrounding tables congratulate her parents.

Being chosen as the Saint was quite an honor, and Vivi was beyond touched by the applause that showed so many people thought her deserving of it. She'd won a lot of contests in her life, brought home quite a few crowns, but this was different. It wasn't about being pretty or popular. The downside to her pageant career was the assumption by all that she was just a pretty little face with no real substance. She'd spent years fighting that stereotype, trying to prove that there was more to her. It had been her biggest challenge to date, and the halo on her head was proof she'd succeeded. It might be cheesy and rather silly-looking, but it suddenly meant more to her than any crown she'd ever worn.

Beating the Sinner—whoever that turned out to be—would be icing on the cake at this point, and now she wanted that trophy more than anything.

Vivi removed her halo with the proper pomp, placing it on the blue satin pillow that would hold both the Saint's halo and the Sinner's horns until the competition ended and the winner claimed both trophies. She then took her seat with her court and applauded politely as the Sinner's court, the Imps, was introduced.

Max took a deep breath and looked so excited he might burst with it. "Our Sinner this year is an obvious choice, and we're so pleased he's made time in his schedule to reign over this important event."

The pronoun usage told Vivi that she'd lost her bet. Damn, she'd been so sure it would be Marianne. It doesn't really matter, she thought with a mental shrug. She was ready to take on anyone.

"…Connor Mansfield!"

Vivi's smile froze as the crowd broke into wild applause. You're freakin kidding me.

Connor caught a glimpse of Vivi's face as he stepped onto the stage and nearly laughed at the perfect mix of horror and fury against a feathery backdrop of angel wings. Not that he blamed her; his response had been very similar when he'd heard her name called, but he'd still been safely behind the curtain.

He had to hand it to the board of Bon Argent; they certainly knew how to guarantee maximum attention from the local press—attention that could be otherwise difficult to draw amid everything else happening during the Mardi Gras season. They'd probably break every fundraising record in history.

Vivi just looked like she'd like to wring his neck, but then she always looked at him like that. Some things just never changed, no matter how long you were gone from your hometown.

But the show must go on, and everyone was waiting for them to take their seats so dinner could be served. He removed his horns and solemnly placed them next to the Saint's halo. Then he walked over to Vivi, nodded politely and waited for her to return the gesture. Slowly, they made their way to the high table. When they reached their seats a cheer went up from the crowd, and the competition of the Saints and Sinners Festival officially began. Servers appeared from the woodwork and the crowd turned its attention to the salad course.

He leaned a few inches in her direction. "You're going to ruin three years of orthodontic work if you don't stop grinding your teeth, Vivi."

Her eyes narrowed, but she released her jaw the tiniest bit. She reached for her wineglass, noticed it was empty and reached for a water glass instead. He saw her look at it carefully, then shrug before she drank. Knowing Vivi, she'd debated dumping it in his lap.

"I'd say Welcome Home, but—"

"But you wouldn't mean it." He grinned at her to annoy her.

"But," she corrected, "it would be rather redundant, considering the reception you just got."

"Jealous I got more applause?"

"No." She shifted in her chair. "I'm not an attention whore."

"Big talk from the pageant queen."

Vivi inhaled sharply and her smile became tight. "Some of us have outgrown our adolescence."

He pretended to think about that for a second, then shook his head sadly. "No, you're still sanctimonious."

"And you're still a—"

She stopped herself so suddenly Connor wondered if she'd bitten her tongue.

She inhaled sharply through her nose and swallowed. "You must be very pleased to finally be recognized for your achievements."

"I hate to burst your bubble, Saint Vivienne, but these titles aren't character references."

"Oh, really?" Vivi's face was the picture of confused innocence. "You seem to be perfectly suited for the title."

And there was the first dig. He should have known that Vivi wouldn't let that pass. Although he'd been vindicated, rumor and gossip had done their damage. Everyone believed there had to be a grain of truth in there somewhere—which grain it might be was the engine that drove the gossip that wouldn't die.

Vivi might have hit a sore spot with her first salvo, but damned if he'd admit that. "Sanctimonious and judgmental. You need to increase your repertoire."

"Maybe you should add some to yours, as well. A little decorum from you would be nice, considering the honor you've been given."

"According to you, it's not really an honor, now, is it?"

"Yet you still seem very pleased with yourself." She snorted. "You ...


Product Details

  • File Size: 462 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin KISS (February 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009YEXSE8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,987 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
(28)
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Downfall of a Good Girl Review January 24, 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I struggled with The Downfall of a Good Girl. I never felt a connection with Vivi, the story's protagonist. She is everything that I am not. She comes from one of New Orleans' oldest and wealthiest families, she is a former beauty queen, and now she spends her days running an art gallery and volunteering for various charitable causes. I am fortunate to run a brush through my hair and pull it back into a ponytail on a daily basis, so a former pageant competitor was difficult from me to relate to. The plot revolves around the annual Saints and Sinners fund-raising competition, where Vivi is pitted against her childhood nemesis, Connor Mansfield. Connor and Vivi have been at loggerheads forever, and Vivi is dismayed to discover that Connor, now a successful rock star, will be her competition. She had never considered that he would be chosen to be the Sinner, and she's not happy about it at all. She is extremely competitive, she hates to lose, and for a majority of the book, she is a poor loser just at the thought of losing. If I met her, I don't think we would ever be buds.

Connor is reeling from a scandal, and though he proves that the gossip about him is false, he's still reluctant to put himself in that kind of position again. When he meets Vivi again, he thinks he's safe. He doesn't even like this woman, and she hates him. Ever since that flash of temper when they were teens and she publically slapped him, they have been like oil and water. What Connor doesn't know is that Vivi once carried a torch for him, but after realizing that he was only using her to get to know her friend better, she can't find it in herself to forgive him. Worse, her family and Connor's are very close, and they have been thrown together since childhood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute, quick read April 12, 2013
By Krystal
Format:Kindle Edition
Vivienne LaBlanc is already considereing something of a Saint in her hometown of New Orleans, LA, due in part, to her various charitable works. So while she's honored to be picked as the Saint in the annual Saints and Sinners pageant, she doesn't think the competetion will be hard to beat. That is until she meets her rival, Rock Star (and former New Orleans resident) Connor Mansfield, the man who broke her heart in high school.

Will Vivienne be able to keep her head around Conner now that they are all grown up? Or will she succumb to his wicked smile like so many other women?

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Watching the interactions between Conner and Vivi is highly amusing, especially considering all the ways they "read too much into" everything the other says or does. Despite all the ways they annoy each other, and seem highly incompatible, it is impossible to deny that they have great chemistry together.

The more they are forced to work together, the more they begin to realize things about each other. For example, Vivi begins to see what a caring person Conner really has become - despite what the tabloids have said about him. And Conner is able to see there is more to Vivi than the "washed up beauty queen".

I was rooting for them nearly from the first meeting - and was not disappointed. I felt the book was true to life in that their relationship wasn't perfect. They built up to it regardless (or maybe because) of the past relationship with one another, and it wasn't (at first) your typical "happily ever after" love story. There was heartache, there were struggles, but in the end - love does conquer all.

DISCLAIMER: I received an advanced copy of The Downfall of a Good Girl (LeBlanc Sisters #1) in exchange for my honest review. This has not reflected on my review in any way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a stupid plan.

You want to know why? Because I’m burnt out on writing reviews for 200 page contemporary romances where you can’t really say anything without giving away key plot points.

I can’t tell you that… or that… or even that… GAH THIS IS UTTERLY MADDENING!

What I can tell you is that, once again, I enjoyed this story. The setting and characters were compelling. Again, it was a well written, standard contemporary romance, and again, that’s not a complaint.

This time, former rivals square off in a competition to raise money for charity in New Orleans. Another of my favorite settings for… well… anything. This time though, this time I can vaguely hint about something that I enjoyed. There’s a scene in the supply closet. Tops.

3.5 Stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Page turner! February 16, 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A truly heartwarming enemies-to-lovers story

Vivienne "Vivi" LeBlanc has been chosen as this years "Saint" in the Saints and Sinners Festival - a Mardi Gras fundraising competition. She is very passionate about her involvement in non-profit charities and feels honored to be part of the festivities. She also knows that she's a shoo-in to win. When local boy and international rock star Connor Mansfield is chosen as the "Sinner", her hopes begin to dwindle. His popularity means a lot of money will be raised for charity, but he may win the competition in the process.

Vivi and Connor grew up next door to each other and have been enemies since childhood. Vivi decides to put the past aside and live up to her "Saintly" status by cooperating, but Connor makes it difficult with his mocking comments and double entendres. However, the more time they spend together, the more they both notice a sizzle of attraction. Neither can believe the person they've been annoyed by their entire life is the person they can't imagine being without now.

Mardi Gras, and New Orleans in general, is a fantastic setting for any story...let alone a romance. The competition is also the perfect way to bring Vivi and Connor together and make them realize their true feelings for each other. The dialogue is equal parts comical and touching, and I found the addition of Connor's lyrics help perfectly create the right mood to set the scene up. This was definitely a page-turner! I can't wait to read the next in the series: The Taming of a Wild Child which is Vivi's sister Lorelei's story.

Reviewed at HarlequinJunkie.com
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Sweet with some hot moments
This was a fun, sexy read. I enjoyed the back and forth between Vivi and Connor. Ultimately, that was what made the book for me. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Paris Hansen
5.0 out of 5 stars The Downfall of a Good Girl
The Downfall of a Good Girl by Kimberly Lang was a wonderful story. The setting was New Orleans. They were the beauty queen and the rock star. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Lois Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars I liked it
It was cute. I wish there was a little more development of the characters and their families but aside from that it is a likable love story. Read more
Published 11 months ago by C Cabrera
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish all romance novels were this easy to read...
First, I love Kimberly Lang, she is from my home state of Alabama and reading her books reminds me of reading Nora Roberts. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Anastasia Rodriguez
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and flirty
While not for everyone, I love these quick, fun romances that Harlequin is delivering via the KISS label. Really like the characters and New Orleans setting!
Published 13 months ago by jrs3155
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff
I really really really really like this book. I would definitely recommend it and I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I did
Published 13 months ago by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Steamy
This was an excellent story. Was very steamy and just the kind of romance books I like nice job author
Published 18 months ago by l. king
4.0 out of 5 stars great edition to the Harlequin line...
Title: The Downfall of a Good Girl

Series: Harlequin KISS

Author: Kimberly Lang

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb: "Why would you... Read more
Published 18 months ago by The Book Reading Gals
4.0 out of 5 stars The downfall of a good girl
I really enjoyed this book and how it was written .love the fact that the two feed off of each other enoff for u too want too see what else was gone to happen next .
Published 19 months ago by angela michelle Talbot
3.0 out of 5 stars Summer read
I bough this book when I didn't have too much time to read but wanted something light and fun. This fit the bill. I really enjoy this line of books.
Published 19 months ago by L. Miller
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More About the Author

Kimberly Lang isn't one of those people who always knew she wanted to be a writer. She actually wanted to be a ballerina, but puberty failed to deliver the required swan-like elegance. That dream scuttled, she went on to get her Master's Degree in English - and she has the bartending skills to prove it. At her husband's insistence, she quit teaching in 2007 to write full-time, and in May 2008, sold her first book to Harlequin's London office. That book, The Secret Mistress Arrangement, debuted at number nine on the Borders Series Bestseller list and won the 2009 National Readers' Choice Award for Best First Book.

Since then, Kimberly's books have appeared on the USA Today, Amazon, Borders, and Bookscan bestseller lists, and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. (And, yes, that's really cool.)

She's married to her college sweetheart, whom she affectionately (but appropriately) calls her Darling Geek, and is Mom to the most brilliant and beautiful child on the planet (aptly nicknamed Amazing Child). She started taking yoga-based fitness because she eats way too many jelly beans while writing, and became an instructor once she figured out that spending time with her butt over her head helped spark her creativity. More than one sticky plot point has been solved in the Down Dog position. She has no hobbies because she doesn't have time, but if she did, they'd include knitting, skiing and ballroom dancing, because they sound like they might be fun.

Visit Kimberly at www.booksbykimberly.com for the latest news--and don't forget to say hi while you're there!

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