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The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe [Mass Market Paperback]

by Sabrina Darby
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Price: $3.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Book Description

August 14, 2012


A beautiful young woman—preferably one with no connections, who won’t ask too many questions—to spend two weeks in the North of England with an obstinate, aloof, and utterly handsome man.

Must love dogs, fixing up crumbling castles, and gorgeous and complicated war heroes who may or may not be hiding hearts of gold under their gruff exteriors.

Must not, under any circumstances, fall in love . . .

Simpering misses need not apply.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sabrina Darby has been reading romance novels since the age of seven and learned her best vocabulary (dulcet, diaphanous, and turgid) from them. She currently resides in Southern California with her husband and son.

You can join her mailing list by visiting:

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Impulse (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062230727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062230720
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,477,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sabrina Darby has been reading romance since the age of seven and learned her best vocabulary (dulcet, diaphanous, and turgid) from them. She started writing romance the day after her wedding when she woke up with an idea for a Regency; she's been back in the early 19th century ever since.

You can join her mailing list by using the following web address:

You can also find her online at:

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely, satisfying novella August 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The story of a wounded hero and a fallen woman, who find themselves unable to resist loving each other. This novella is the perfect little bite of romance...beautifully crafted and deeply satisfying.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unaccountably Moved August 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This little story might be the best Regency Romance I've read this year. Don't let the adorable back cover copy fool you. This is a serious, heartfelt, emotional story that had me near tears several times. It was as sweet and genuine as the hero himself. And this is to say nothing of the prose. Sabrina Darby writes beautifully. Her language is a delight to read aloud--which I did, at several points. I left this story both moved and grinning ear to ear.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique take on mistresses July 31, 2012
By Letitia
Format:Kindle Edition
-- A Romantic Book Affairs Review

Rating: C+ ... Heat: Warm

John Martin has a problem. Or so his mother thinks. Mrs. Martin decides to hire someone to seduce him, in order to get his mind back on women and marriage and heirs. Enter Angelina Whitcombe, a recently unemployed actress and currently unprotected mistress.

Angelina leaves London to seduce John, which is not as easy a task as she thought it would be. Angelina sits outside his ruined castle day after day, trying to engage him. From the very first, she never keeps her past a secret. She even goes so far as to boldly proposition him. But John is not so easily won over, so each day she appears at the castle and gradually makes her way inside it and him.

John is trying to adjust after horrors seen at war. He needs the physical activity and intense labor of restoring the castle to keep his mind occupied. The castle, once a refuge, becomes invaded by Angelina. She sweeps in and haunts him. Gets him to open up about events that happened on the battlefield, thus unburdening him some.

The growth between Angelina and John felt stunted at times, however. There was an overall lack of dialogue between the two. It didn't feel like they did so much talking as internalized thinking. It would have helped the story along, deepened their connection, to see them actually communicating instead of reading how they're feeling.

This is a short tale, as the title implies. The plot is a little bit crazy and a lot bit kooky. Which is not at all a bad thing. Angelina was charming, her insecurities made her relatable. John had quiet strength and his reclusiveness was endearing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An utter pleasure to read July 8, 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
On the first day, she left him with her name.
On the second day, her story.
On the third day, a touch.
On the fourth day, a kiss.
On the fifth day, her heart.

Every day, they built on the tentative connection, on the very small impression of the first meeting but the seduction isn't one-sided -- as Angelina slowly chips through John's defenses, John also melts Angelina's cynicism with his sincerity and kindness. But even a change of heart cannot change who Angelina is, a whore, a prostitute, a woman completely unsuitable for John.

This novella reminded me of Cinema Paradiso , except the roles were reversed: it is the woman who must prove her constancy to the man (and it didn't take Angelina 100 days to convince John). And Angelina isn't there to show her constancy, she's there to do a job she was hired to do: seduce John and make him interested in women again. All for the sum of one hundred pounds.

In some other play, she'd stay here in his castle, be beloved by him. Love him. Even the word itself made her chest tighten. Plays of love, where all ended well, were not particularly fashionable at the moment. Skewering wit and social commentary, or at least a good tragedy, were far more favored among the populace. Accordingly, her life was more a Sheridan play.

She slid away from him, stretched out, and stared up at the royal blue light of a night about to break into day.

So she loved him. What did she know of love? This was nothing like that first desperate infatuation of her youth, when all she cared about were feelings and dramatic gestures. It was nothing like the sophisticated flirtations and meaningless companionship of her time with either Alverley or Lord Peter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars refreshingly different December 14, 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The packaging and title of this short but delightfully different romance is a little misleading. The cover is boring/run of the mill, the title is a bit quirky, but inside you'll find a moving and unusual story of healing and love. The hero is a scarred soldier tortured by the horrors of war. The heroine is a mistress fallen on hard times, but thankfully she isn't pilloried by the events of the book or by the hero for her past. These two meet under rather contrived circumstances, but the author makes sure to establish their connection, the friendship and love that grows between them. I was totally won over by the characters. Their chemistry was great. And, what with their meeting being founded on the heroine's deception of the hero, I wasn't irritated by a denouement of overblown betrayal and rage once the hero discovers her deception. I'm only sorry that this wasn't a full length novel. This could have been a truly brilliant romance if the story had had more room to develope. In short, this was entertaining, but therein lies the problem. It was too short!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Ruined castle, ruined man?
Angelina and John meet because she has engineered the whole situation, but then their relationship evolves.....Can they get past her deception? Read more
Published 1 month ago by Barbieheart
5.0 out of 5 stars Angelina Whitcombe
Angelina leaves the failure of her theater career in London, taking an assignment as a temporary mistress to Captain John Martin, ordered and paid for by his mother. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Linda Larsson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe
Note: I read an ePUB copy, so page references may differ.
Another exquisite story by a new favorite author, Sabrina Darby, this novella takes place in 1816 Regency Yorkshire... Read more
Published 4 months ago by M. Almaguer-Marino
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, Sizzling, and Satisfying
I love this gem of a novella. Mother dearest thinks if she can get her shy, scarred son seduced, he'll then be ready to marry (a woman of the right sort, of course) and beget... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Beverly Diehl
5.0 out of 5 stars The Language of the Body
Beautifully written tale of two ruins creating a world. Actually three ruins--one made of stone. Gorgeous writing that explores class, pain, desperation and honesty in the face... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Balint
4.0 out of 5 stars Good,quirky regency
Lovely take on a regency - the heroine , Angelina, is hired to seduce the hero, which is a nice, quirky unusual beginning. Read more
Published 14 months ago by F C Johnston
4.0 out of 5 stars Short but so sweet
A tiny story with a big heart. I enjoyed this quick read romance about an unlikely couple who falls in love dispite some huge obsticles.
Published 16 months ago by KBT
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Short
Too Short. Other than length the book was really a good read Darby writes well but I felt like there was more that could have been added to the story because it definitely left me... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
I think Sabrina Darby is a very good writer and this book was well written. I am going to look for more of her books.
Published 16 months ago by TeRenDe
4.0 out of 5 stars Like Jane Austen but Steamy
If Jane Austen was less "repressed", this could have been her book.

When Angelina Whitcombe stumbles upon the crumbling castle in a clearing, she is unsure what she will... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Teressa Morris
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