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When We Touch (Zebra Historical Romance) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A deft mix of history, romance and suspense, this meaty offering from Drake (aka Heather Graham) explores Victorian London's seedy East End, where pickpockets run rampant, "mesmerists" fleece grieving widows and Jack the Ripper prowls for prostitutes. Lady Maggie Graham swore she would never wed again after her husband was killed just two years into their marriage, but when her brother Justin gambles away the family fortune, she finds herself in a predicament. Should she marry the elderly Viscount Langdon, who's infatuated with her, or let Justin find some doddering old woman with deep pockets, even though such a marriage would mean the family title would pass over to their loathsome Uncle Angus? Maggie chooses Langdon once she learns that he will support her efforts to aid the impoverished. All would seem settled were it not for Langdon's dashing nephew James, who's both attracted to and suspicious of Maggie, and Charles's temperamental daughter Arianna, who ends up setting Maggie in a murderer's path. Maggie can be melodramatic and surprisingly self-centered at times, but charismatic supporting characters like her friend Mireau keep her grounded. Although Drake (The Lion in Glory, etc.) only skims the surface of her protagonists' psyches, she manipulates readers masterfully with exciting plot developments and heady love scenes.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The widowed Lady Maggie Graham agrees to marry Viscount Charles Langdon, an older widower. His nephew, Jamie, thinks Maggie is a gold digger with dangerous and potentially scandalous pursuits on the side, especially her tendency to go in disguise to London's East End to uncover charlatan mediums and mesmerists. Even he is smitten, though, by Maggie's beauty and personality, and the attraction is mutual. Charles' daughter, Adrianna, however, loathes her stepmother, a loathing that turns to outright hatred when Charles dies of heart failure on his wedding night attempting to consummate their union. When Adrianna learns about Maggie's work in the East End, she seeks a mesmerist to lure her there to her death, only to become a virtual prisoner herself to his greed and scams. Set at the time of Jack the Ripper's rampage, Drake's extremely complicated tale often reads more like a Victorian mystery than a romance, although it is the growing love (and great, if reluctant sex) between Jamie and Maggie that keeps the reader hooked. Mary K. Chelton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Zebra Historical Romance
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Zebra (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821775472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821775479
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,413,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times and USA Today best selling author, Heather Graham was born somewhere in Europe and kidnapped by gypsies when she was a small child. She went on to join the Romanian circus as a trapeze artist and lion tamer. When the circus came to South Florida, she stayed, discovering that she preferred to be a shark and gator trainer.

Not really.

Heather is the child of Scottish and Irish immigrants who met and married in Chicago, and moved to South Florida, where she has spent her life. (She has, at least, been to the Russian circus in Moscow, where she wished she was one of the incredibly talented and coordinated trapeze artists.) She majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write. Her first book was with Dell, and since then, she has written over one hundred and fifty novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, horror, and Christmas family fare.

She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty-five languages, and has had over seventy-five million books in print. She has been honored with awards from Walden Books, B. Dalton, Georgia Romance Writers, Affaire de Coeur, Romantic Times, the Lifetime Achievement Award from RWA and more. Heather has also become the proud recipient of the Silver Bullet from Thriller Writers. Heather has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, Mystery Book Club, People and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including Today, Entertainment Tonight and local television.

Heather loves travel and anything that has to do with the water, and is a certified scuba diver. She also loves ballroom dancing. Each year she hosts the Vampire Ball and Dinner theater at the RT convention raising money for the Pediatric Aids Society and in 2006 she hosted the first Writers for New Orleans Workshop to benefit the stricken Gulf region. She is also the founder of "The Slush Pile Players", presenting something that's almost like entertainment for various conferences and benefits. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kristi Ahlers on January 22, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was a great Victorian romance that had many different twists and turns and took the time to build the relationship between Jamie and Maggie.
Maggie has found herself set up for marriage to a very nice but still just the same, old man. She must make this match since her twin brother has mad a hash of the family finances, and Maggie feels that it's better for herself to make a match for convenience sake then her brother doing the same and never marrying for love as she once had. See Maggie is a widow she married far beneath her station when she married her love Nathan a police officer who was killed in the line of duty. She wants her brother to experience love as she did. She also feels that she will never find love like that again so she is the perfect choice to make the sacrifice. What she was not counting on were the feelings that Lord Jamie makes her feel. Her soon to be husbands great nephew makes Maggie feel a whole lot of emotions and one of those emotions is attraction!
Jamie wants to dislike Maggie it would make things so much easier if he did. Problem is he finds that despite her forays into Whitechapel and the work she does with the poor, he still finds her attractive and this is something that does not sit well with him at all. His problems don't stop there, he has been asked to not only watch out for Maggie by his uncle, but Queen Victoria has asked him to look into the horrible murders that have been plaguing the East End. At first he thinks he has two assignments imagine his horror when he finds out that the two are actually intertwined and the Maggie may be the next victim.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Y. Collins VINE VOICE on February 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When We Touch is a well-written story. I'm all for female characters with minds of their own, and Maggie's got one. I was surprised to read about how Maggie went to the worst part of town to lecture the people on the use of condoms! Plus it's exciting to read about a super-hot man trying to expose the beautiful woman as a gold-digger while fighting his own attraction to her (and losing the fight!). Most of all, this story exalts love after loss, bringing hope to those of us who think we'll only have it once in our lives. Do this for yourself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 31, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the enlightened late nineteenth century, widow Maggie Graham learns from her Uncle Angus that she and her twin brother Justin are broke due to her sibling's gambling and that his debt could lead to Newgate if not paid off soon. Angus says that wealthy elderly Viscount Charles Langdon mentioned his interest in Maggie's welfare. He would make an ideal husband that would eradicate the Graham debt though her first reaction to her kind fiancé is that he looks more like a corpse than a living person.
However, Langdon's nephew Jamie is appalled with the nuptials between his beloved great uncle and a gold digger who scandalized all by once marrying a commoner. Though attracted to his "aunt", he wonders if she is a deadly black widow as rumored when Langdon dies. As Jamie and Maggie become acquainted over what is best for Langdon's recalcitrant daughter, they also become embroiled in the Ripper case and end up falling into an unwanted love.
WHEN WE TOUCH is an exciting Victorian romance that fans will appreciate due to its deep look at the late nineteenth century (especially female options) and a strong cast anchored by the lead couple. The story line is fast-paced with no one quite like they first appear. The Ripper subplot adds danger and a sense of the era so that the audience receives a powerful historical police procedural inside a charming romance between two combatants.
Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Regan on September 26, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Set in Victorian England after the death of Prince Alpert, Maggie, Lady Graham is an independent woman. Though she had her pick of the ton, she fell in love with a police officer and married him. After two years of wedded bliss, he was killed in action. Now the still young and beautiful Maggie lives with her brother Justin and her friend the author Mireau. Her passions are helping the poor women of the East End, mostly prostitutes, and exposing the spiritualists who would fleece the poor in spirit. But her brother's gambling debts force her to accept her uncle's plan for her to wed the old but very illustrious Lord Charles Langdon, friend of the Queen, who has coveted her since her first Season. Prior to the wedding, murders have begun in London that are causing panic everywhere. No woman is safe certainly not one like Maggie who goes to the unsafe parts of the town for her work among the poor. Meanwhile, she and Lord Charles' nephew, Jamie Langdon, have found they cannot resist each other. Though she is falling in love with Jamie, to save her brother and the family, she intends to wed the old but kind Lord Charles and to make him a faithful wife. But before they are wed, she and Jamie know a night of passion. All of the characters become absorbed into the melee that is Jack the Ripper and the story is well told though at times I did find myself skipping over some of the historical parts that seemed to just take too much away from the romance between Jamie and Maggie. Shannon Drake (pen name for Heather Graham Pozzessere) does a good job of capturing a turbulent time in London's history and giving us an insight into what it must have been like. Her work is well researched, well written and her romance compelling. This is the 7th in her "Graham" saga tales though less related that the earlier ones--see my other reviews. Also, I believe this is a prequel to Shannon Drake's "Wicked" (followed by Restless and Beguiled).
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