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The Charade [Mass Market Paperback]

Laura Lee Guhrke
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 8.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

March 1 2000 Sonnet Books
Honor, freedom, liberty...those were mere words to Katie Armstrong, a savvy thief and indentured servant on the run in colonial Boston. For the sake of survival, she agreed to a British lord's bribe: unmask the identity of the patriot known as John Smith, or be returned to her brutal master. But soon the cagey John Smith was making the same threat -- unless she spied for him. Katie planned to play both men against each other...until, masquerading as Smith's mistress, she lost her heart to the seductive stranger she had set out to undo.
Ethan Harding's steely heart was ready to risk anything to end British tyranny -- even if it meant taking on the false identity of John Smith, putting his own life in jeopardy, or blackmailing a beautiful and terrified young woman. And if that woman's angelic face made other men spill their secrets, so much the better. But now, Katie Armstrong's charms were about to betray his heart and his cause -- and his desire for the elusive temptress would turn the tables on everyone and everything he had pledged to protect.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In the early months of 1775, Boston is seething with unrest ready to explode into revolution. Into this climate of hostility appears accomplished liar and thief Katie Armstrong, a runaway indentured servant. When two men observe the attractive young woman successfully plying her skills in the market, she has no choice but to do as each one bids in order to retain her precarious freedom. The ruthless Viscount Lowden forces Katie to spy on subversive colonial activity in hopes of learning the real identity of John Smith, a revolutionary leader who is constantly thwarting redcoat activities. Ethan Harding, a wealthy Tory sympathizer, forces Katie to spy for his side, and establishes her in elegant surroundings. Both men control Katie by threatening to return her to her sadistic master if she fails, but promise her freedom if she succeeds. Katie's dangerous existence becomes even more critical when she falls in love with Ethan--and discovers John Smith's true identity. Guhrke's (Breathless) cast of engaging characters, the well-researched historical background and a fast-paced plot provide a perfect context for the clever repartee and romantic tension between Katie and Ethan. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Laura Lee Guhrke isn't one of those lucky authors who knew from her childhood onward that she wanted to be a writer. As a child, she was sure she was going to be a marine biologist when she grew up and study the iguanas on the Galapagos Islands. Then she dissected her first (and last) frog in high school biology class and decided that a different career choice was in order. When an English teacher told her she could never be a writer because her stories were "too sappy", Laura vowed that someday she would prove that teacher wrong and become a writer, but her parents wanted her to go to college first (mainly so that she wouldn't spend her lifetime living in their house with no gainful employment while writing the Great American Novel).
It took four years of college studying business, and seven years on the corporate fast track before Laura decided it was time to fulfill the vow she'd made to herself and prove her English teacher wrong. She wrote her first novel in 1991, had her first published novel in 1994, and now has six published historical romances to her credit. For her 1997 book, Conor's Way, she has been honored with the Romance Writers of America RITA Award for Best Historical Romance. Her latest book, The Charade, is a March, 2000, release from Pocket Books.
Laura loves writing historical romance because she has always wanted a time machine and this was the closest she could get. Historical romance enables her to go back in time, experience excitement and adventure, and capture the hearts of handsome heroes, all without leaving the safety and comfort of her home, dishwasher and cable tv.
Laura lives in Eagle, Idaho, a small town outside the state capital of Boise, and when she's not writing, she helps her parents run their construction company (which explains why they wanted her to get that business degree). She loves living in Idaho because she gets to ski and fly fish, and because she doesn't have that big-city, over-an-hour-each-way commute to work. Besides, her golden retriever, Sam, would HATE living in a big city because you can't chase pheasants and roll around in the mud when you live in a big city, and according to Sam, there would be no point to life if you couldn't roll around in the mud.
Laura loves hearing from readers, and you may write to her at P.O. Box 1143, Eagle, ID, 83616, or you may e-mail her at

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical romance Feb. 21 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In 1775 Boston, two individuals, unaware of one another, observe runaway Katie Armstrong pick the pocket of a British soldier. Dandy Ethan Harding thinks the thief is quite good at her trade. Amoral Viscount Lowden feels he can blackmail the robber into spying for him. Lowden learns that Katie is an indentured servant who spent time in Newgate. He provides Katie a choice of being returned to her vicious Virginia owner or learning the true identity of John Smith, master spy for the Sons of Liberty.

Through a perfectly done ploy, Katie works for a tavern owner where anti-British activity occurs even though John Smith objects. As Katie and John spend time together, they fall in love. She soon realizes that the dandy Ethan and her beloved John are the same person. She also cares for the friends and family of her kind employer. If she turns in John or his associates, Kate will have destroyed her heart. If she does not, she will be dead.

THE CHARADE is an exciting Revolutionary War romance filled with a taste of Boston on the final days before the fighting began. John-Ethan is an American Scarlet Pimpernel. Katie is an intriguing character who learns that reaching out and caring for others and being cared for by others are human needs. The support cast, including real historical figures, provides extra insight to the era. Laura Lee Guhrke triumphantly makes 1775 Boston seem vividly bustling with life and energy.

Harriet Klausner
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3.0 out of 5 stars Another Romance Author Goes Formulaic.... June 10 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Guhrke's work is getting steadily less original and decidedly more within the standard romance formula. As I got further and further into this novel, my interest kept waning because I felt I could exactly chart the course of events in the story: Hero spy and heroine counter spy, during American Revolution, work at cross purposes and then same purposes while they fall in love. Guhrke's earlier work, especially CONOR'S WAY, and secondly, BREATHLESS, were a lot more original. Unfortunately, many romance readers buy the formula romance again and again without any boredom factor setting in to ruin it for them. I wish I were one of them but, alas, the formula is really grating upon me at this point. Guhrke's a good writer but needs a better mouse trap IMHO.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it! March 11 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was really a good book. One of those you just don't want to put down until it's finished! I thought Katie was a wonderful character, not too perfect or refined, but still capable of having a sensitive level. The attraction between her and "John" was marvelous. Seeing the transformation of Katie from a hardened street thief to someone who really cared about "John" was special. I liked the love scenes, very romantic but not overly graphic. (Some things are better left to the imagination.) And even though there was the fairly typical misunderstanding between the two lovers, they weren't kept apart for very long. I was happy about that. I'm now looking for other books by this author. Enjoy!
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