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And Then He Kissed Her [Mass Market Paperback]

Laura Lee Guhrke
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Feb. 8 2007 Avon Historical Romance

An expert in etiquette, Emma takes her pristine reputation most seriously.

But the devilish Lord Marlowe is determined to prove that some rules of proper behavior are made to be broken . . .

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Product Description

From Booklist

Emmaline Dove has been the perfect secretary for publisher Harrison Marlowe. Keeping the rakish viscount's professional and personal lives running smoothly is challenging, but Emma hopes that, some day, working for Harry will lead to getting her own book published. But so far Harry has rejected Emma's literary efforts, claiming "etiquette books don't sell." When Emma discovers Harrison didn't even bother reading her work, she snaps. Resigning her position, Emma sets out to find someone who will appreciate both her and her writing. RITA Award-winning Guhrke crafts a sparkling and deliciously fun romantic battle of wits in the first in a new Victorian series, and it is an irresistible, laughter-laced treat. John Charles
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Laura Lee Guhrke spent seven years in advertising, had a successful catering business, and managed a construction company before she decided writing novels was more fun. When she's not tapping away at her keyboard, Laura spends time relearning how to ski, mastering the wakeboard grab, and trying to actually hit a golf ball.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice romance, a light read. June 26 2009
By Hayley Cann TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's a good book. It won't make it to my favourite shelf but it was well written and evocative.

The romantic conflict lingers a bit too long and gets resolved a bit too quickly at the end but it's still a good read, both characters are interesting and well fleshed out. Worth buying, not worth keeping if shelf space is at a premium.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  89 reviews
134 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect example of what a good romance should do March 4 2007
By K. Hinton - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Viscount Harrison Marlowe has caused a scandal among the peers of the realm: first with his divorce from his American wife, second with his decision to go into trade and work as a publisher, and third with his assertions that women should be treated equally to men and, accordingly, his employment of a female secretary. With the editorials he publishes in his newspapers that widely discredit the institution of marriage, and his firm proclamations that he will never wed again, Harry does not seem like the sort of gentleman that a lady would go after. To the contrary, however, the women of the ton see him as a challenge and each believes that she will be the one to finally bring this stray dog to heel.

Miss Emmaline Dove, Harry's female secretary, is usually the one who winds up being the bearer of bad news to the string of mistresses and broken hearts that Harry tends to leave in his wake. She organizes his schedule, runs a good deal of his business, as well as shops for the presents that he will eventually send his lady friends when he no longer requires their company. Though she is a lady in the truest sense of the word, and her propriety is her pride and joy, Emma continues to work for Harry in the hopes that he will eventually publish the line of etiquette books that she writes under the pseudonym of Mrs. Bartleby. When it becomes clear that he will never do so, and that he has in fact never even read her work and instead rejects it without review, Emma quits her position and throws Harry's entire world into a tailspin.

And Then He Kissed Her is one of the best romances I've read this year and had all of the elements that will keep me coming back to more of Guhrke's work. First of all, the novel flowed in an easy-to-read, quick-paced, and well plotted format which is more rare than you would imagine. Everything seemed to happen in a logical order, and even though it was more than 200 pages before Emma and Harry even had their first kiss, the entire wait was fraught with sexual tension and heightened arousal so much that I couldn't wait for them to finally touch each other. Harry and Emma were both well thought out characters who developed over the course of the novel. Emma starts off as a pious, on-the-shelf spinster who puts propriety before her own happiness and is so consumed with keeping up appearances she cannot stop to think about what she wants for her own life. Meeting Harry, and falling in love with him, allows her to let go of the defenses she's erected and to realize that she does deserve happiness, even at the expense of her own reputation. Similarly, though Harry starts off as the worst sort of cad, a man who will send a woman a bracelet when he's done with her and just say good riddance when she wants him back, he eventually becomes the sort of man who would be worthy of a woman of Emma's style and grace. The relationship between these two and the way they teach one another to grow and become better people is a perfect example of what a good romance should do, and the happiness I felt for them and genuine sorrow when the book was over is the exact way that I should feel if a romance novel has done its job.

I picked up And Then He Kissed Me because Julia Quinn recommended it on her web site and, as she's one of my favorite romance authors, I'll usually try anything she gives a stamp of approval. She was right on target in this instance, and I'll definitely add Laura Lee Guhrke to my list of go-to authors in the historical romance genre.
69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Perfect Heroine March 16 2007
By E. A. Montgomery - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really thought Carla Kelly's "Beau Crusoe" was going to be the best and most original book I read this month, but "And Then He Kissed Her" is a strong contender. Somehow Laura Lee Guhrke has taken a handful of elements I dislike and turned them into something sublime. Her heroine is not an independent lady in the 'I don't need men, oh my goodness I'm in trouble, help me!' mold. She's a real person. She does her best at her job, works toward her goals, lets her mind wander when the boss' girlfriend rattles on, and lives her life. She's in the rut of office routine while dreaming of success as an author. She likes her apartment, she likes her cat, (and so do I, which was shocking enough) she's content. Until realizing how undervalued she is by her employer shakes her loose from her routine. Suddenly, like many of us have, she's reevalutating her choices and making new ones. She's not dissatisfied with herself, she doesn't doubt her capabilities, she realizes she needs to seek employment where she's valued, so she does. There's no grand plan to seduce the boss - she walks away without a backward glance. I love her. When he runs after her with promises of obscene salaries, she chooses self respect and her new employer. When he doubts her abilities, she ignores him. Making me love her even more, she's able to see her own work clearly. She's not spunky or overconfident, she's just assured. She's good at what she does and she knows it. If he never figures that out, it's fine with her. His loss. Did I mention I loved her? You will too.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I got teary eyed around 4:43 AM.... April 7 2007
By Nina - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
... then finished the book a little after 5 am. The loss of sleep was well worth it!

This wonderful romantic story is about Harry (Viscount Marlowe), who is a handsome, charming, unconventional and inconsiderate rake, has a preference for dark haired, emotional can-can dancers as mistresses, believed that the sanctity of marriage is equivalent to being in hell and believed in making his own fortune by way of owning several publishing companies. He doesn't much care for what society thought of him or in general. Infact, to prove a point, he hired a female secretary because he believed that a female can make a living in a man's position and he even paid her a salary that is equal to a man's. That secretary was none other than the prim and proper Emmaline (Emma) Dove. Emma, a girl- bachelor and a spinster, surpassed all his expectations. She was the most efficient, reliable and obedient employee he's ever hired. She had his company running like clockwork. She kept track of all occasions and appointments, purchased gifts for his female relatives and even his mistresses which also included parting gifts once he tire of them!

Harry made Emma off limits to him because she was so good at her position as his secretary and truth be told, he found her to be as dry as sand, with no sense of humor, passionless, too even tempered and well, kinda' plain. Emma on the otherhand, found him to be insincere, inconsiderate, an awful scoundrel and just the kind of man that a lady should NOT fall for. Especially when she had to be the one who ended up having to dump Harry's paramours on his behalf. She worked for him for five years only in hopes that one day, he will publish her writings on etiquette. The thing is, he never did. And on her 30th birthday, she discovered that he had never intended to do so. That was her breaking point and decided for once in her life, to abandon her sensibility, and an employer who took her for granted and...quit! Harry refused to accept her resignation because the workplace was just chaotic without her. He had to get her back. Shockingly, his attempts made him the receiving end of a very fiery temper...hers! And well, after five years of having Emma as an employee, he never really knew her at all. And getting to know the real Emma was an intriguing endeavor indeed. One he was oh, so willing to make...

I love, love, love Harry and Emma's story! The main characters were so well written and their backgrounds, described so poignantly, that one can understand why Harry and Emma had such strong beliefs. It's easy to feel for them both. I laughed and I cried and I relished each and every word. I appreciated the fact that the book was about the hero and the heroine and there were no ridiculous subplots to take the focus away from them. It is a true love story devoid of exaggerated misunderstandings that would frustrate a reader like myself. I am not a big fan of prolouges and epilouges, however, I was actually wishing that Ms.Laura Lee Guhrke included both just so I could read more. This book was an absolute pleasure. Infact, I've read and re-read the last chapter 3 times already. And sighed every time...
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A strong beginning but a weak ending Jan. 21 2009
By C. Young - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book started out strong but lost its way towards the end. The author did a good job depicting how Emma and Harry came to know each other and how they gradually threw aside their misconceptions and started seeing each other in a different light after having worked side by side for 5 years. Harry is a charming and likable hero and Emma an intelligent heroine. Some of their dialogue during the first part of the book sparkled, and the sexual tension was palpable.

But then it all went down hill. Harry, while likable, never really became a full-fledged character despite his backstory because the author never bothered to explore his motivations and tell us what he's really thinking other than the fact that he lusts after the heroine. And the about face both he and Emma did - she being willing to set aside her ingrained sense of propriety and he being willing to reverse his stance on marriage - was too abrupt for it to be believable. It is as if the author suddenly discovered that she's already more than 300 pages in and needs to close things off, and so did it by tacking on a cliched and convenient ending. Instead of showing us how they fell in love, the author ended up telling us through 1 or 2 chapters in which Harry and Emma did mundane stuff such as going fishing and meeting for illicit trysts. And then suddenly he's proclaiming his love for her out of the blue. This lessened the book's emotional payoff and made it a somewhat dissatisfying read.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it now! March 15 2007
By EllieWhit - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is a must-have for historical romance fans! If we had any question about her staying power, Laura Lee Guhrke proves herself for good in this latest, refreshing read.

With just enough smolder and sexual tension, this book keeps you riveted and makes those pages turn. Both characters are an utter delight, completely dynamic and wonderfully original. You'll fall in love with the charming Harry and as for Emma--you'll be cheering her on, all while admiring her spunk and wit.

Double A+ for plot on this one. Guhrke takes us out of the same old Regency setting we've read 1,999 times before and brings us instead to late 19th century England, where Harry is a publisher and Emma an aspiring writer. Both Harry and Emma learn quite a bit about themselves on their journey, and their gradual redefinitions of who they are is masterfully done.

In all, this book is fresh and delightful, and you'll fall in love again every time you read it. Thank heavens there's still a romance writer out there we can count on!
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