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The Kiss of a Stranger Paperback – January 3, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Sarah Eden's newest book, The Kiss of a Stranger, is a perfect treat to tempt the sweet tooth of any Regency romance devotee. After a unique beginning, the book bubbles into a beautiful marriage of emotional turmoil and shadowed love.

Catherine Thorndale's world is abruptly thrown into confusion when a handsome stranger scandalously, and unexpectedly, kisses her in a country garden. Enraged by the encounter, Catherine's uncle insists this gentleman, Lord Crispin Cavratt, marry his niece immediately to save her reputation.

Trapped between a marriage she did not ask for, and a life with her abusive uncle, Catherine has little faith in what the future holds for her. She expects to suffer the same careless loathing from her new husband she has felt from her uncle, especially as he strives to annul their new marriage.

However, Crispin is not entirely what he seems. His distanced cynicism masks feelings that not even he is willing to face. As he is forced into the role of Catherine's temporary protector he begins to see the beauty her tattered soul really holds.

With the help of those closest to him Crispin launches into a life he did not expect, and a love he cannot live without.

Eden is a self-proclaimed Jane Austen addict who has been fascinated by the Regency era from an early age. She has written award-winning short stories and was a 2008 Whitney Award Finalist for her novel Seeking Persephone, another historical English romance.

A true romantic at heart...I harbor a weakness for the Regency Era in history, Eden said. She has painstakingly researched this period to create for her characters a well fashioned vision of their world.

This book is peppered with beautiful dialogue. Crisp and witty banter between the main characters is enthralling. Eden has a gift of balancing sardonic humor with breathtaking heart ache.

The Kiss of a Stranger is a book readers will happily devour. --Melissa DeMoux, The Deseret News

About the Author

Sarah M. Eden read her first Jane Austen novel in elementary school and has been an Austen addict ever since. Fascinated by the Regency era in English history, Eden became a regular in the Regency section of the reference department at her local library, painstakingly researching this extraordinary chapter in history. Eden is an award-winning author of short stories and was a Whitney Award Finalist for her novels Seeking Persephone and Courting Miss Lancaster. Her other regency romance novels include: Friends and Foes, An Unlikely Match, Drops of Gold, Glimmer of Hope, and As You Are.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc.; 1st edition (January 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608611752
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608611751
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (301 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah M. Eden read her first Jane Austen novel in elementary school and has been addicted to historical romance ever since. With a degree in research and a fascination with history, Eden loves delving deep into history. Eden is an award-winning author of short stories and has been a Whitney Award Finalist for her novels Seeking Persephone (Covenant Communications, 2008) and Courting Miss Lancaster (Covenant Communications, 2010). You can visit her at www.sarahmeden.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Judge Tabor TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
*Spoilers*

This author is a good writer - no doubt about that and there were some admirable qualities about Crispin and certainly about Catherine. However, the downside of the story had to do with what I considered to be "less-than-heroic" behavior of Crispin based on the following:

Less.Than.Heroic.Behavior #1: After Crispin was caught kissing Catherine (who he had never met before but considered her fair game because she was dressed so poorly he thought she was a servant) Crispin stood by while Catherine's brutal uncle slapped her so hard twice that her face was bruised and her lip bled.

While in London, further Less.Than.Heroic.Behavior. took place:

Catherine confided in Crispin she had to wear spectacles due to the fact she was imprisoned in a dark room without any candles for 13 months shortly after her uncle became her guardian and when she was let out of said dark room, her uncle further damaged her eye through brutality. Even though Crispin was very grieved about these facts, he still didn't step up to the plate and be the Big Hero we have come to expect from our Main Guy. Instead, check out the following:

Less.Than.Heroic.Behavior #2: When Mean Uncle came to town, Crispin invited Mean Uncle to a family dinner in his London Home and allowed him to threaten Catherine privately and then verbally abuse her at the family dinner.

Less.Than.Heroic.Behavior #3: Crispin failed to give Catherine protection by having his servants keep Mean Uncle out of the house allowing further brutalizing of Catherine by Mean Uncle when he came into their home - he hit her so hard her face was bruised and lip bled and she had severe bruising on her neck and arms.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By OLT TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
(This review may be SPOILERISH.) Yes, this is a clean and wholesome (I guess) story and that is admirable, but it's very lightweight, repetitive and somewhat nonsensical. In addition, the characters are not fully fleshed out and most seem to be caricatures. And there is not one original plot point in this.

Hero Crispin, Lord Cavratt, kisses a badly dressed young woman whom he mistakes for a maid. His motivation for this is to annoy a certain Miss Bower, whose flirting with him is getting out of hand. Naturally, he is forced by the young woman's uncle to marry her. So they marry, saying, well, we can always get an annulment later. (Like that's as easy as returning a purchase to a store is nowadays. Not!)

To her credit, eventually the author has Crispin realize that an annulment is not that easy to obtain. But to my puzzlement, at the same time, Crispin and his new wife Catherine are out and about, going to society gatherings, pretending an affectionate marriage. If an annulment is the ultimate goal, shouldn't Catherine be shuffled off somewhere and not show her face until it comes through?

The next problem for me is the heroine Catherine. She's a victim of abuse and, as such, lacks much personality. Always anxious to please and not disappoint, she opts for being unnoticeable in society. That's understandable. What's not understandable is her sly way of unexpectedly showing some personality or spunkiness when least expected. For example, with a rather cutting riposte at a dinner party, or surreptitiously adding cream to a lactose-intolerant person's tea, or showing off her musical ability by playing the same piano piece as the well-regarded (but not that great) pianist who exhibited before her and humiliating the other woman by doing it so much better.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kristen on March 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Kiss of a Stranger is literally the kind of book that I couldn't put down. I kept looking for a stopping place so I could go to bed. But every time I thought a good conclusion was just around the corner, I read myself right into a new tremendous twist. It's a great adventure set in the Regency era (but published this year), layered and complex, and while it tackles some heavy topics like physical punishment of women in Regency times, the humor keeps the story moving as light as the fairy cakes that Crispin loves to eat. This story is thoroughly entertaining and I highly recommend it.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By E&M on January 6, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This is my first book from this author and after reading it I look forward to reading her other books.
I enjoy clean Regency books and after reading the Kindle sample I purchased it.

In The Kiss of a Stranger, Miss Catherine Thorndale is strolling through a garden in an inn when Lord Cavrat scandalously kisses her. Her uncle, a tyrannical man, forces Lord Cavrat to do right by her and marry her. I was immediately drawn to the characters, especially Catherine.

The dialogue is witty, clean and there were some humorous parts in it. There is some misunderstanding among themselves which could have been easily solved by communicating. Sometimes I got a little fustrated with their lack of communication so if I could I would have given it 4.5 Stars.

Eager to read about Lord Cavrat's friend, the Earl of Lampton, who is mentioned in this book. Im glad his story releases in 2012.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mathilde on June 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story between Lord Cavratt and Catherine begins with an unexpected kiss among some hyacinths. Lord Cavratt envelops the shocked Catherine in a surprisingly mind-blowing kiss in an attempt to thwart the relentless romantic pursuit of one annoying Miss Bowers.

What Crispin (Lord Cavratt) doesn't see coming is that he is forced into marriage with Catherine by her malevolent uncle who witnessed the kiss. Crispin agrees to marry Catherine there on the spot with a view to obtaining an annulment at an appropriate time. Only thing is, he's started falling in love with her. The concept of the story is cute, although definitely not new. Sarah Eden has a strong writing style, including loads of humorous dialogue between hero and heroine, which I like. I have to say, though, I was disappointed in this book mainly because of the constant repetition. Every chapter repeated the one before, with Lord Cavratt assessing his feelings and telling himself that Catherine wants an annulment. I also think she ran from the room crying just too many times for my liking!

Overall, the book is well written, but it is my opinion the story lacked depth, the main premise being 'does she or does she not want an annulment'. I would have preferred that Crispin and Catherine declared their feelings much earlier, then read about their subsequent romantic journey, facing the gossip-mongering ton and her sadistic, gluttonous uncle together as a married couple.
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