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His Wicked Kiss by Gaelen Foley
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I liked this story of two people who meet in unusual cirumstances and through some adventures find that they're the right people for each other.

Lord Jack Knight is a self-made man, never mind that that started with some letters of marque, now his fortune is mostly legitimate but he's willing to skirt the line, he was born illegitimate and many of his confreres didn't let him forget this, now he's obsessed with staying away from them and his first love who spurned him in favour of someone with a title and better background. While visiting the jungles of South America he happens on the settlement of his old friend Dr Victor Farraday, Victor is away but his daughter, Eden Farraday is there, she's pining for society, for a life, to have a normal life but her father wants to save her from this.

She takes the opportunity presented by Jack Knight to run away and find what London is like, what it would be like to lead a normal life, and he wants to shelter her from it. He wants her to himself and they have to find a happy medium

I liked it, better people politics than most and more interesting characters. There were times that I really wanted to bang heads together though it was well done, she was pretty sheltered and didn't know how to deal with multiple people in a real way, but it was fun and well done. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Nov 8, 2014 |
Heavens above this is one of the original dysfunctional families. I am surprised any of the children grew up to be even half way decent. Lord John "Jack" Knight would have to be the worst of the bunch. He has a huge chip on his shoulder about his family and the ton. They, of course, didn't really treat him very well being the first of the infamous Hawkscliffe Harlots bastard children. For all of Jack's gruffness he is still a loving and compassionate man. He does however jump to conclusions way to much and this causes quite a bit of conflict between him and Eden Farraday. Jack is also very dominant and commanding. He has built an impressive empire and has made more money that his brother the Duke. However, deep down inside he is still the little boy that just wanted his father's love, either one would have been all right. I was glad to read that his uncle Arthur seemed to become a father figure for him. I am sure the young Jack needed a guiding hand to keep him from becoming a ruffian in truth. I think of all the Knight children Jack is my favorite. He is a tortured, wounded man that wants to find happiness and light.

I wasn't sure what to think of Eden at first. She is a oddball for this time period. Her father has kept her in the jungles of South America for most of her life. She is well read, well educated and very compassionate. The compassion is what helps her deal with and understand Jack. She sees him from the first as a wounded lion, which he is. Eden takes matters into her own hands when her father once again refuses to go back to England. She is determined to find a husband and live a normal life. I was surprised that she lost herself in all the glamour and artificiality of the ton though. She is such a well ground person that I thought she would see that most of the fashionable elite are just witless individuals that live to ruin the next unsuspecting person. I was very relieved that she came to her senses even though it was almost too late.

Most of this story is about Jack and Eden. There are small passages that describe what Eden's father goes through on his trip back to England but these don't overshadow the story. They do give the reader an idea about how deranged Connor is though. It is nice to see that Eden's father finally realizes that he was as much to blame for her running away as Connor was. He finally pulls his head out of the clouds and sees the world around him. There is also brief, intense sexual encounters between Jack and Eden. These scenes are passionate and thrilling. They convey the intense feeling that these two people have for each other. I am also glad that Ms. Foley has plans to write more stories about the Knight clad. These are going to be about Arthur's children that are in India. I look forward to reading those books soon as I didn't want this series to end. I have grown quite fond of this whole brood. ( )
  LadyIsis | Aug 30, 2013 |
Decent romance with Jack the pirate and Eden the botonist ( )
  afarrington | Aug 23, 2011 |
His Wicked Kiss was a generally enjoyable book that was a pretty good wrap-up to the Knight Miscellany series. It begins in the jungles of Venezuela which was a rather unique setting for a romance novel, then continued with some high-seas adventure and a quick trip to Ireland, before settling into the usual glitz and glitter of the Regency ton. There are a lot of Gaelen Foley's trademarks present here. She always seems to have a knack for drawing me into the story and making me feel like I'm really there watching events unfold. Her descriptions of the jungle, Jack's ship, and all the little historical details really helped to set the atmosphere. There is lots of action and adventure which Ms. Foley consistently renders in such a way that it feels like a movie playing in my mind's eye. As usual, the love scenes are limited, but those that are present are thoroughly scrumptious and sensual. Eden's deflowering was one long, sexy scene in particular which was quite memorable and really spiced things up. There were a few parts of the story which moved a bit slowly for me, but for the most part, Ms. Foley keeps the pacing going at a pretty good clip, which prevents this 400+ page book from feeling as long as it is. In fact, as I got closer and closer to the ending, I was beginning to wonder how she was going to wrap things up in a satisfactory manner, but somehow she managed to pull it off. All this said though, His Wicked Kiss still ended up probably being my least favorite of the Knight Miscellany series, mainly because in my opinion, the author's characterizations weren't quite up to her usual high standards which left the whole story felling a bit off kilter for me.

Right from the start of the series, Jack has been an enigma. He was often mentioned in previous books, but never put in an appearance. That's because he's been in a self-imposed exile for twenty years and basically refuses to come home to his family in England. Instead he's been sailing the high seas, making a name for himself both as a captain and as a businessman. Now a feisty stowaway and a secret mission have him reluctantly heading back to the place he despises most. Jack was a very hard man for me to figure out. We never really know why he has stayed away from his family for so long until this book, but I can't say that his reasons really resonated with me. The book began with him showing shades of a deeply tortured hero, but I don't think that promise in his character was fully realized. I couldn't quite figure out why he felt he had been treated so much more badly in his childhood than his other three illegitimate brothers. I fully understood all of them in their own stories, but Jack, at times, came off as a man who had a chip on his shoulder and was simply angry with the entire world. He also seemed to feel the need to sometimes flaunt his “bad boy” persona, which I think only alienated people further. Oftentimes, it was him who was pushing them away, even though he claimed it was the other way around, and if Eden hadn't been there to smooth things over with his family, he probably would have been temperamental with them too, even though they were nothing but nice in welcoming him back into the fold. In these moments, it seemed like he was acting a bit childish and just needed to get over it. Maybe if the author had given more specific examples of the things he had endured, rather than just saying that everybody rejected him, I would have been more sympathetic, but as written, I just couldn't quite see how things were so horrible for him and why he didn't trust anyone. That's not to say that I didn't like him at all, because there were times when he could be quite appealing. It just wasn't in the moments that I described above.

Eden was a young woman with a dichotomous personality as well. She had spent half her life in the jungle with her doctor/naturalist father and as such she was quite well-trained in survival skills. She also could be quite daring (She stowed away on Jack's ship in an attempt to return to England and prevent her father from going on a potentially suicidal scientific mission into the Amazonian interior.), and quite feisty (She stood up to Jack's sailors when she was found and wasn't afraid to give Jack a piece of her mind on a number of occasions.). She was a bit of a geek as well, having extensive scientific and medical knowledge of jungle plants. On the one hand, she was something of a female Tarzan, but on the other, she was a little obsessed with her fairy tale fantasies of life back in England. She devoured the fashion magazines that her cousin sent even though they were a year old by the time she received them, and was constantly daydreaming about her Prince Charming and attending balls. She realizes pretty quickly that she's apparently more attracted to the “bad boy” type than the city dandy when Jack makes her all hot and bothered right from the start. Eden was also quite gentle and patient with Jack, seeming to understand him better than he understood himself. In fact, she was more patient with him than I probably could have been, although she did have her limits and gave him the cold shoulder when he made a dumb move even though he reversed course later. Ultimately, I felt like she gave into his whims a little too easily though, considering that in my opinion, he was being rather irrational. Overall, I guess she was a fairly likable heroine, just not one that I connected with on a really deep level.

Perhaps because I didn't fully connect with the hero and heroine themselves, their relationship wasn't quite perfect for me either. Jack does a bit of ping-ponging, beginning the story as something of an arrogant cad who exhibits his “pirate-ness” by simply taking what he wants. The bathing scene after Jack discovers Eden stowed away on his ship would have been extremely sexy if it hadn't also been skating perilously close to that big no-no for me – forced seduction. Not only did it have that old-school feel to me because of Jack's ungentlemanly behavior, but also because Eden, who was initially pretty embarrassed and intimidated, suddenly started eating it up. His actions are explained later when Eden figured out what his game was, but it still didn't quite work for me. From there until near the end of the book, Jack became a near-perfect lover and husband, never forcing Eden even when she was angry with him and denying him her bed, and always being gentle, loving and passionate. He was also very courageous and heroic in saving Eden's life more than once. Then, in a fit of jealously, he turned into a bit of a brute again, doing something totally scandalous in public and then essentially blaming Eden for it instead of owning his own feelings. I can't say that I was entirely sure why they fell in love either, because initially their interactions seemed like mere lust, but I will concede that after they married, Jack and Eden seemed more like a loving newlywed couple. Ultimately, I may not have always respected or understood their actions, but they were still far more likable than some romance couples I've read.

His Wicked Kiss has a number of secondary characters and does reunite the entire Knight clan although not all of them have their own lines. It also introduces their Uncle Arthur, a sea captain like Jack. Readers will get a bit of background on his three children and another mention of Knight family friend Ian Prescott (first introduced in Lady of Desire), all of whom are a part of the spin-off Spice Trilogy. There are a number of other stand-outs, from Jack's loyal crew who are something of a family to him, to Eden's father who is also hiding away from the world just like Jack. I don't think I'm giving away too much here by saying so, because it was pretty obvious from the outset of the story that he was being set up as the villain, but I just didn't find Connor to be a very compelling bad guy. In the previous books of the series, the ne'er-do-wells really came alive for me, but aside from the very end, Connor never jumped off the page as truly frightening or evil. His villainy was played as some sort of mental madness that had very little rhyme or reason except that he had somehow become obsessed with Eden. Much like the hero and heroine, he too, in my opinion, was lacking in his characterization.

While I would definitely say that some of the characters in His Wicked Kiss needed more depth for me to fully appreciate them, it wasn't really a bad book overall. I may have spent some time questioning certain parts, but there were at least an equal number of passages that were quite enjoyable to read. Gaelen Foley has a lovely writing style that quite simply makes for pleasurable reading. That alone tends to mask some of the other story weaknesses. His Wicked Kiss is the seventh and final novel in the Knight Miscellany series, and although it wasn't the best book, it was still an agreeable story. I'm now looking forward to learning more about those Knight cousins from India (The Spice Trilogy) to see if they can live up to the “wicked” reputation set by their London relatives.;-) ( )
  mom2lnb | Apr 1, 2011 |
In the seventh installment of the Knight Miscellany series, a high seas adventure, Foley is deft as ever. This Regency romance begins in the jungles of Venezuela, where British native Eden Farraday lives with her father, Dr. Victor Farraday, as he looks for medicinal plants—but she pines for London, the company of 'normal people' and the chance to find a husband. When her father reneges on his promise to return to England, Eden finds her own way out of the jungle. Rakish Lord Jack Knight—the black sheep of the Knight family—is boating down the river, after a meeting with Bolivar's rebels, when he encounters Eden. He refuses to take her aboard his London-bound ship, but undaunted, Eden rows down the river after him and stows away. When Jack discovers Eden, he installs her in his cabin for his own amusement; contrary to his intention, he becomes infatuated, and their relationship begins to break down Jack's hardened facade. Foley maintains the delicious tension between Jack and Eden throughout; that, along with the mystery of Jack's past, propels the novel (following One Night of Sin ) to an exciting conclusion. (Publishers Weekly) ( )
  juntaobrien | May 5, 2010 |
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--William Blake, from "The Book of Thel," 1789, Plate 3, Line 26
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345480104, Mass Market Paperback)

From emerald jungles to the high seas to the glittering ballrooms of Regency London, beloved author Gaelen Foley tells a sweeping, sensual tale of the ruggedly handsome Lord Jack Knight and the passionate beauty who lays claim to his heart.

An English rose blooming in the untamed jungles of South America, Eden Farraday lives a life of independence–unheard of for a lady–with her doctor-turned-scientist father. But Eden misses England desperately. When the dangerous and darkly charming Lord Jack Knight sails into her life, she seizes her chance to return to civilization, stowing away aboard his London-bound ship.

Roguish and charismatic, a self-made shipping tycoon with a shadowy past and a well-guarded heart, Jack is sailing on a vital secret mission. When the redheaded temptress is discovered aboard his vessel, he reacts with fury–and undeniable lust. Forced to protect her from his rough crew, the devilish Lord Jack demands a scandalous price in exchange for Eden’s safe passage across the sea. As his wicked kiss ignites an unforgettable blaze of passion between them, Jack and Eden confront a soul-searing love that cannot be denied.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:28 -0400)

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An English rose blooming in the untamed jungles of South America, Eden Farraday lives a life of independence - unheard of for a lady - with her doctor-turned-scientist father. But Eden misses England desperately. When the dangerous and darkly charming Lord Jack Knight sails into her life, she seizes her chance to return to civilization, stowing away aboard his London-bound ship. Roguish and charismatic, a self-made shipping tycoon with a shadowy past and a well-guarded heart, Jack is sailing on a vital secret mission. When the redheaded temptress is discovered aboard his vessel, he reacts with fury - and undeniable lust. Forced to protect her from his rough crew, the devilish Lord Jack demands a scandalous price in exchange for Eden's safe passage across the sea. As his wicked kiss ignites an unforgettable blaze of passion between them, Jack and Eden confront a soul-searing love that cannot be denied.… (more)

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