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The Virgin's Secret (Lost City) Mass Market Paperback – April 28, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Launching a series of adventure-flavored historical romances, Alexander (Seduction of a Proper Gentleman) describes Victorian-era amateur archeology as a cutthroat business. Gabriella Montini, mourning her slain brother, is determined to continue his quest for a priceless ancient seal that could help locate the lost city of Ambropia. When Gabriella breaks into the home of a man she suspects of hiding the seal, his brother, handsome adventurer Nathaniel Harrington, catches her and insists on joining her mission. Episodes of skulking and confrontation ensue through the ballrooms, mansions and bedrooms of London. Gabriella is a likable heroine with a few secrets of her own, and Nathaniel proves easy to love. A pleasant subplot describes Gabriella's reunion with her late mother's family. Two additional seals and Nathaniel's two brothers will presumably require two sequels. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

#1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award-winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was more fun than real life. She is the author of thirty-one novels, and her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Victoria lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her long-suffering husband and two dogs, in a house under endless renovation and never-ending chaos.

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Product Details

  • Series: Lost City (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Original edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061449474
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061449475
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life. She turned to writing full time and is still shocked it worked out.

Since the publication of her first book in 1995, she has written thirty-one full length novels and six novellas. Find a complete list on her website and chat with her on facebook

The Perfect Wife--originally published in 1996 and reissued in March 2008--hit #1 on the New York Times list. Sixteen of her books are bestsellers hitting the New York Times, USA Today and/or Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. With books translated into more than a dozen different languages she has readers around the world and has twice been nominated for Romance's Writers of America prestigious RITA award. In 2009 she was given a Career Achievement Award from RT Bookclub and was named Historical Storyteller of the year in 2003. In 2008 she was the keynote speaker for the Romance Writers of American annual conference in San Francisco. Victoria credits much of her writing success to her experiences as a reporter.

Her years as a broadcast journalist were spent in two radically different areas of the country: Nebraska and West Virginia. In West Virginia, she covered both natural and manmade disasters. She was on the scene when a power plant construction accident in a small town left 52 men dead. She once spent the night on a mountain waiting to learn of the fate of coal miners trapped in a mine collapse. Victoria was producing a newscast when her husband (who worked at the same television station) and several other journalists were held hostage by a disturbed Vietnam veteran. In Nebraska, she reported on the farm crisis and watched people lose land that had been in their families for generations. She covered the story that was the basis of the movie BOYS DON'T CRY and once acted as the link between police and a gunman who had barricaded himself in his home. Her investigative work exposed the trucking of New York City garbage to a small town dump in rural Nebraska.

During her journalism career, Victoria covered every president from Ford to Clinton. She knows firsthand what it feels like to be surrounded by rising floodwaters and inside a burning building. She's interviewed movie stars including Kevin Costner, ridden an elephant and flown in a governor's helicopter. She's covered a national political convention and Pope John Paul II's historic visit to Denver as well as small town festivals celebrating everything from walnuts to Glen Miller. Her work was honored by numerous organizations including the Associated Press who called a feature about a firefighter's school "story telling genius". It was the encouragement she needed to turn from news to fiction. She's never looked back.

Victoria is a former president of the Omaha Press Club and in 2009 was named an OPC Face on the Barroom Floor. A caricature portrait of her joined previous faces including presidents, sports figures and politicians in a tradition that began in 1971.

Victoria claims her love of romance and journalism is to due to the influence of her favorite comic book character: Lois Lane, a terrific reporter and a great heroine who pursued Superman with an unwavering determination. And why not? He was extremely well drawn.

Victoria grew up traveling the world as an Air Force brat. Today, she lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and her dogs. Victoria had two bearded collies, Sam and Louie (named from characters in one of her books). Sam (on the left), the best dog in the world for 13 ½ years, passed away in September 2010. Louie took on the position of loyal companion and did a fine job even though he doesn't understand that kitchen counter surfing is not allowed! Now he's been joined by Reggie, king of the lilacs.

They all live happily ever after in a house under constant renovation and the accompanying parade of men in tool belts. And never ending chaos. Victoria laughs a great deal--she has to.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Detra Fitch on April 30, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Enrico Montini found an ancient Akkadian seal with reference to the Virgin's Secret of the lost city of Ambropia. It is one of three seals that (together) would reveal the location of the city itself. When Enrico went to present the seal to the Antiquities Society he discovered it had been stolen and a false seal left in its place. Enrico was discredited and died shortly thereafter.

Gabriella, Enrico's sister, believes the seal was stolen by one of the Harrington brothers. While searching the Harrington's library, she is caught. The Harrington brothers are sons of the Earl of Wyldewood. After hearing Gabriella's tale, Countess Wyldewood insists they help Gabriella in her quest. Believing Gabriella alone in the world and in financial trouble, the countess offers her a room in their home. Nathanial "Nate", the youngest, agrees to help Gabriella. Nate and Gabriella had danced at a ball recently and their attraction to each other is demanding. So while residing in the same home they can not only keep an eye on each other, but also team up to learn the identity of the real thief and recover the seal to clear the Montini name. And perhaps, if Fate smiles upon them, Gabriella and Nate may take a leap of faith.

***** This is the first of a series about three brothers. Though they are sons of an earl, these brothers love to explore the world and discover artifacts, much like Indiana Jones. I can only hope the two other brothers' stories will be as exciting as this one is. The author created the heroine, Gabriella, to be loyal, brave, and incredibly intelligent. No wimpy lady for this exhilarating adventure. I could not help but admire the earl's entire family. Each member is totally unique in their own way. The author even goes so far as to give each their own set of quirks and personality. Victoria Alexander has outdone herself yet again! Brava! *****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Andrea W on May 1, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are some authors who are guaranteed to make me shed a tear while reading their emotionally written story and there are some authors who never fail to make me smile and even laugh while reading the witty banter in their delightfully, sexy romp. Victoria Alexander always delivers on the latter. With The Virgin's Secret, Ms. Alexander does just that and begins a new series about an aristocratic family of treasure hunters.

Nathanial Harrington and his brothers, Sterling and Quinton, have longed for adventure from the time they found their great-grandmother's journal in an old trunk when they were children and discovered that their distant relative had been a smuggler (The Perfect Wife). Since then, Sterling had become the Earl of Wyldewood while Nate and Quint went on to complete their studies and travel abroad searching for antiques and antiquities in foreign lands. The discovery of those artifacts and what they represent is Nate's motivation, while the money they would bring in from museums or collectors is Quint's drive. Despite their differences, they make a great team. Their sister's coming out brings them both back to London and, unbeknownst to them, another adventure.

After her half brother's humiliation and untimely death, Gabriella Montini makes it her mission to restore his reputation. A year before, Enrico Montini claimed to have found an ancient Akkadian seal that made reference to the location of the Virgin's Secret, the lost city of Ambropia. When he presented what he thought was the seal to the Validation and Allocation Committee of the London Antiquities Society, he was discredited when it turned out to be fake and he lost his temper in the process.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cb VINE VOICE on June 9, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I took this book everywhere I went for 24 hours - so if I had a spare moment I could escape back in time. Nathanial Harrington comes from a large boisterous family. His brother is an Earl and his family has been treasure hunters for generations. Gabriella Montini wants to find her deceased brother's stolen artifact and she finds herself breaking into Harrington family home ... only to be caught. The treasure hunt, multitude of evil character, the romance and the knowledge that this is only the being of a great series made for his a delicious book. Looking forward to her next book Believe( due out - Nov 24, 2009)

If you enjoy this genre I would also suggest; Vexing the Viscount (Leisure Historical Romance), Sins of a Wicked Duke (Historical Romance) and Confessions of a Little Black Gown.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Irene M. on April 30, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In the first book of her new and captivating adventure-styled series ~ THE VIRGIN'S SECRET ~ Victoria Alexander once again delights her readers with an engaging and humorous romance between a deliciously charismatic hero and an equally fascinating heroine whose secrets are divulged in a tale that comes complete with a light murder mystery, a hint of blackmail, a dash of larceny and an intriguing assemblage of possible bad guys thrown in for thrills.

Sometimes the only option we have is a leap of faith...

When Gabriella Montini decided to break into the London home of the nefarious Harrington brothers to search for evidence to prove the fortune-hunters were involved in the theft of an artifact that could confirm the existence of a long lost civilization...

She didn't expect to get caught--or invited to remain in the house as a guest of their mother, the Dowager Countess of Wyldewood.

For two of the Harrington brothers were included on the list of men accused by her brother, archeologist Enrico Montini, of stealing his discovery--a priceless seal of Ambropia--and replacing it with a fake; thereby causing the loss of his good reputation with the illustrious Antiquities Society. Furthermore, the men on that list could quite possibly have been involved in Enrico's suspicious and untimely death. But when the brothers deny being involved the Countess believes her sons are innocent, yet that kindhearted and compassionate lady still wants to help Gabriella, who, aside from her trustworthy servants, is all alone in the world.
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