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And Then He Kissed Her    by Laura Lee Guhrke order for
And Then He Kissed Her
by Laura Lee Guhrke
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2007 (2007)
Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Viscount Harrison Marlowe has always been a forward thinking man and prone to thumbing his nose at society - particularly since his peers snubbed him and his family after he divorced his adulterous wife. Hiring plain and sensible spinster Emmaline Dove has proven a valuable asset to his successful publishing business. Miss Dove has remained a most loyal employee even after Harry's repeated rejections of her writing. His penchant for stating the truth, not to mention his uncanny business sense, have never led him astray and he insists there are far too many etiquette books already. Moreover, his staff, and particularly Miss Emma, are well aware of his utter distain for such dry and useless drivel.

Emma has always appreciated Sir Harry's open-mindedness in hiring her and is equally thankful her job has given her such valuable insights into the publishing business. After five years in the Viscount's employ, she's also learned that he has very astute business instincts. But in this instance, she vehemently disagrees with his opinion and his repeated rejections of her work leave her increasingly frustrated. The final straw is when Emma realizes he has never bothered to read any of her meticulously researched books. She resigns without notice, leaving Harry's office in complete chaos. While he scrambles to set things right, Emma visits his competitors and is thrilled when her manuscript is immediately snapped up. But her joy at realizing her dream is short-lived once Harry charms his way back into her good graces and she discovers that he is prepared to use whatever means necessary to win her back.

Laura Lee Guhrke proves once again that she is a master of historical romance. The strict manners and mores of the late Victorian era come to colorful life in this well written, briskly paced, and character rich story. Harry is portrayed with just the right amount of rakish charm and the steadfast yet stubborn Emma is also a delight as she sheds her inhibitions and allows herself to go head to head with Harry. And Then He Kissed Her is an irresistible blend of charm, humor and old fashioned romance.

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