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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2000
Natalie knows from her own family's experience of the devastation that can be caused by an unfaithful spouse, so she is determined not to fall for Jonathan's good looks and charming manner. However, she needs him to introduce her to a notorious spy-thief that he is acquainted with, so she persuades him to allow her to accompany him on a forthcoming trip to France.
Jonathan knows she is not telling him everything about her motives, but it suits him to have her around, especially since he has been seriously considering the idea of marrying and settling down...and the two of them HAD shared a rather devastating romantic interlude in a garden five years ago. It piques him that she tries to hold herself aloof from him, although she responds fervishly to his passionate kisses. The surprising truth is that he wants more than passion from her...he yearns for her heart more than anything else.
What I enjoyed most about this book is the wonderful description of the hero's love as he waits for Natalie to confess she loves him. You can feel the hurt he feels when she states that she could never marry him. But through it all, his love never waivers, his patience never fails, his faithfulness endures to the end. Natalie is a very lucky woman!
The ease with which the gently-born Natalie managed to escape the protection of her family was a little hard to believe for the period, but this book was so memorable that I forgive the author for her little inaccuracy. Truth to tell, I'd give this book TEN STARS if I could!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 1999
Natalie wishes to meet the Black Knight ( a Robin-Hood type thief), whom she claims to be in love with. Natalie goes to Jonathan, a man she shared intimate moments with, for help. The results are, that she and Jonathan, share an adventure that truly entertains the reader.
Who is the Black Knight? Is love the real motivation for Natalie's wishing to meet him? And, what part will Jonathan play in Natalie's life? These are a few of the questions you ask yourself, as you start to read this book. And, while you may know the answers; the way Ms. Ashworth defines the story, makes it a truly worthwhile read.
There are some flaws in Ms. Ashworth's writing. And, they probably will jump out at you. The unlikely behavior of the heroine, for this particular time period is hard to ignore. However, I chose to read the book as I would any other implausible historical. And many of them are; even those from very seasoned writers. The geographical mistakes, are a little harder to overlook, and could have been prevented.
I would have loved giving this book the top rating. It truly is one of the most romantic books I've ever read. The love scenes are beautiful. The leads truly walk off the page!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2000
Adele Ashworth has another winner in Stolen Charms. Innocent Natalie asks womanizing Jonathon to take her to the Black Knight, a kind-hearted thief whom she thinks she loves. A wonderful and suspenseful trip to France changes their lives more than they care to admit. The chemistry between Natalie and Jonathon builds and ignites a passionate fire. Only a confession of love to each other and to themselves will help them find their true heart's desires. The characters are lovable and the love scenes are sweet and sensual. To a novice romance reader and aspiring writer like myself, Stolen Charms is a delight to read again and again.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2000
I absolutely loved reading this book. OK, so it was not 100% in compliance with the strictest historical documentation. So what, it was close enough, and the superb writing and outstanding characterizations of both protagonists was pure pleasure to read. Great entertainment. I seldom have enjoyed a book more, and I'm fairly picky. Ms. Ashworth could give other authors lessons in how to write a steamy, sensual, yet loving and tasteful love scene. I believe she may be without equal in this area. I highly recommend this book. Enjoy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 1999
This is a really unusual romance. I can't say too much about the plot because the twists and turns are one of the things that make it so much fun. The setting in France is delightful and many of the scenes reminded me of the works of Monet and Renoir.
This is a fun book with a delightful sense of humor. Think of those old MAN FROM UNCLE episodes but set in Victorian times.
The love between the hero and heroine is palpable and the love scenes are scrumptious. STOLEN CHARMS is not only one of the most entertaining historicals I've read this year, it is also one of the most original.
Write fast Adele Ashworth!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2001
After reading her first book MY DARLING CAROLINE, I find this book disappointing. It has none of the spontaniety or flow as in the other book. I found myself impatiently scanning and skipping pages to get to the end.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2002
This book just didn't do it for me. I couldn't relate to or like a main character who is convinced that she's in love with and is destined to marry a dashing celebrity that she's never met (she feels that she knows him because she's read about all of his exploits in the tabloids)! It was also pretty unbelievable that Justin (who was definitely more appealing as a character) was in love with Natalie. Not her best work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Stolen Charms
Adele Ashworth
Avon, Mar 26, 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061905889

In 1847 Natalie Haislett finds London totally boring, especially the obnoxious swains that seem to cling to her. Natalie wants romance and adventure, but knows she will find little of either among the Ton. She is infatuated with the notorious Black Knight, a jewel thief renowned for his daring throughout aristocratic Europe.

Natalie asks Jonathan Drake, a close friend of the Black Knight, to introduce her to her dream lover. However, after years of working as a secret agent for his government, a weary Jonathan just wants to settle down in a boring English relationship with no surprises or adventure. When Natalie asks Jonathan to take her to France to meet the Black Knight, he shocks himself by agreeing. They cross the channel pretending to be a married couple. As they near their destination, Natalie and Jonathan fall in love. He knows he must persuade his beloved that a lifetime together will provide both of them with plenty of action.

Readers who enjoy a humorous Victorian romantic intrigue will relish the reprint of Stolen Charms. The story line is filled with tension as the couple battles with one another and with external forces. The lead protagonists are a darling daring duo and the support cast makes Victorian England and France feel as if a reader visit has occurred. However, what makes Stolen Charms a delightful tale is Adele Ashworth's ability to portray the conflict inside Natalie; society trained her to act in a certain proper way, which wars with her inner soul. Her love for both The Black Knight and Jonathan further reveal her conflicting desires.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 30, 2007
Adele Ashworth has a way with words that are almost lyrical. Her love scenes are so well written and border line erotic, which after reading them, most would need a fan or even maybe even a tear will come to your eye.
Stolen Charms does have a silly premise but what makes this book so good to read are the two main characters. Jonathon and Natalie are wonderful, humorous and their feelings for each other are beautiful.
When Jonathon finally realizes his feelings for his lady, his demeanor and over impression about women and himself change, which is lovely to see because he is the typical lofty "I'm always right" male. They don't consummate their relationship till almost the end, but when they do, it goes on for over 30 pages of descriptive lovemaking that only a master at this genre can do. This story is more of a character study if anything because the plot is very unbelievable. Natalie is an unmarried English miss who goes with Jonathon to Paris for some mysterious reason of her own. But their interactions and seductive talks which are basically foreplay make it so good!
We are also introduced to one of Ashworth's most incredible characters in that of Madeline. She is heroine in the semi-sequel to this story called the Winter Garden, which to date is Ashworth's masterpiece and one of the best romances written in years.
Stolen Charms is overall witty and very beautifully written. Enjoy the path to love with Jonathon and Natalie. It is well worth the read.


My Darling Caroline
Winter Garden
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 11, 2013
Natalie has a desperate need to have a personal issue resolved, and the Black Knight is the man to handle it. Problem is to get to this phantom righter of wrongs; she must have Jonathan Drake take her to him. Drake it seems for some reason is willing to do that but the rendezvous has to take place in France, seriously?

Jonathan designs a pretend marriage for them so that moving about the cluster of people they encounter there are no questions of propriety. Natalie plays along while waiting for the introduction, she desperately needs, and Jonathan plays cat and mouse with her emotions. They are drawn to one another and chemistry is at times too much to hold back from the want of one kissing to the brink of satisfaction.

Natalie will give Jonathan anything he requests to end the nightmare she is forced to live with but is the gift as priceless as her love. Jonathan has had many women in his life but has never had the want of a woman as he does for Natalie.

Adele Ashworth has the gift of drawing each reader to a sigh of gratification with one statement....and yet he wanted you. An author has to know how to write the romance of a relationship with Ms. Ashworth is well versed in.
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