Taken by Storm
Heiress Lady Ariadne St. Aubyn is on the run. She wants nothing more than to get the last of a rare breed of racehorse safely away from her wastrel brother before he and every reward hunter in England can catch her.
But when the fiery noblewoman convinces the reluctant veterinarian to oversee the health of her equally temperamental stallion, both Colin and Ariadne find themselves caught up in a wild chase across Regency England in which love, passion — and the Fastest Horse in the World — are all part of the stakes. A treat for animal lovers everywhere!
For some odd reason that he couldn’t explain, Colin wasn’t surprised to find the same young woman who had piqued his curiosity and plagued his thoughts from the moment he’d seen her sitting astride that same stallion, waiting for him outside in the street.
No, not surprised at all.
“Colin Lord,” he said, taking off his hat and bowing. “And whom do I have the pleasure of addressing?”
“How gallant you were today, saving that little boy’s dog as you did!” she said hurriedly, ignoring his question. “I commend your persistence, your skill, and your knowledge. I have never seen anything quite like it in my life. You were magnificent. Simply brilliant!”
“Where did you learn such a thing, sir? You must be appropriately educated.”
“VeterinaryCollege, London. I graduated from there, and did an apprenticeship with Delabere Blaine— ”
“Ah yes, the VeterinaryCollege. My father, God rest his soul, had great faith in the future of the veterinary art and gave much money to support that institution. Always said it was a pity that France had a veterinary college before England did . . . After today, I can certainly see why he harbored such belief in your profession. Your knowledge far surpasses that of the common farrier and I think you’ll do quite nicely.” She smiled nervously, and glanced over her shoulder down the darkened street. “Are you ready to leave, Mr. Lord?”
“Why, yes, leave. I trust Simon and Daniel told you that I have need of your services, and that there is no time to be lost. We must be on her way, and immediately.”
“To be fair, Madam, your two lackeys here were not entirely forthcoming or persuasive in their attempts to convince me to accompany you. I understand that you want something from me—”
“Yes, but I am willing to pay handsomely for it.”
“And I also assume that you are the ‘employer’ whose whereabouts were unknown to your two friends here.”
“Well, yes, but—”
“They said something about Norfolk, sick horses, and payment. Pray, madam, do not keep me in suspense.”
She was obviously not accustomed to such direct and relentless questioning, and he saw her pause for a moment before she finally tightened her mouth, stood up, and pulled off her cap. In the lantern’s soft glow her hair tumbled down, gleaming rich and red and lustrous, like a warship’s new copper. She drove a hand through it, obliterating the flat imprint left by the cap and making the glossy tresses spring and bounce to life around her shoulders. For the first time, he saw her features in all their glory—the impudent little nose, the high cheekbones, the saucy tilt to her perfect mouth. Her skin was the color of his mother’s finest china, her eyes alight with piquancy. She was more lovely than he’d imagined, and he suddenly found it too hard to breathe.
“What?” Her eyes sparkled, and he caught the challenging, almost teasing, note to her tone. “Have you never seen a lady before?”
“Not . . . garbed so charmingly.”
It was a bold reply, and he saw her brows shoot up, the quick burst of color in her cheeks before she quickly turned her back on him and moved to stand beside the stallion, her hand stroking the horse’s muzzle with rapid, nervous movements.
REVIEW: This story is a revision of the paperback version and the author herself had said that she had “extensively revised” it from the original. As I never read the earlier version, I can only comment on this one, and in my opinion, this is such a heartwarming, sweet and utterly cute romance story.
It truly melted my heart. Our hero Colin is such a mix of Alpha & Beta hero that comes of so human and likable that I just wanted to hug the guy!
Ariadne was a perfect little minx for him and someone with an enthusiastic, flirty and charming nature like hers was the only one that could draw him out of his suppressed state.
Their little adventure is a mix of expected to the unexpected [and no, I’m not going to tell you what that is!].
The author’s knowledge of horses is clear and she makes even someone like me that knows nothing of horses, wishing to learn more of those scary beasts!
This is a lighthearted, fun and entertaining book, yet sensual as well. I loved the adventure, suspense and despite its predictability, it had some surprises and I loved the suspense built with it [not going to tell you that either!].
This should be a fun, fast-paced and steamy summer read and I highly recommend it to all, but animal lovers especially! To buy it, click on the cover!
AUTHOR BIO: Bestselling, multi-award winning and critically acclaimed author Danelle Harmon has written ten books, previously published in print and distributed in many languages throughout the world. Though born and raised in Massachusetts, she and her husband, a native of southwest London, were married and lived in England for several years.
These days, Ms. Harmon and her husband make their home in New England with their daughter Emma and numerous animals including four dogs, an Egyptian Arabian horse, and numerous pet chickens. Danelle welcomes email from her readers and can be reached at her Email or Facebook.