Worth Any Price (Bow Street Runners Series #3)

Worth Any Price (Bow Street Runners Series #3)

by Lisa Kleypas

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Nick Gentry, the most seductive and dangerous man in England, has been sent to find Charlotte Howard, a runaway bride who has disappeared without a trace. But when he finds her, Nick is stunned by the intensity of his attraction to the elusive young woman whose adventurous spirit matches his own.

Determined to escape a forced marriage to a man who will destroy her, Charlotte agrees to an audacious bargain . . . she will become Nick Gentry's bride. But soon she discovers that Nick has secrets of his own, and it will take all her wits and stubborn will to tame his tormented soul.

In the desperate quest to protect Charlotte from the diabolical aristocrat who threatens her, one thing becomes clear:

To save the woman he loves, Nick will take any risk . . . and pay any price.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061793349
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Series: Bow Street Runners Series , #3
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 14,073
File size: 862 KB

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She’s a RITA award-winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women’s fiction. She lives in Washington State with her husband Gregory and their two children.

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Worth Any Price

Chapter One

Three Years Later

As was his long-standing habit, Nick entered Gemma's private suite without knocking. It was Sunday afternoon, the time they met almost every week. By now the familiar scent of the place -- leather, liquor, the hint of fresh flowers -- was all it took to begin the low hum of arousal in his body. His desire was unusually strong today, as his work had kept him away from Gemma for a fortnight.

Since the first night they had met, Nick had followed Gemma's rules without question. There had been no other choice, if he wanted to continue seeing her. They were friends, of a sort, but their interactions were strictly physical. Gemma had evinced no interest in what was in his heart, or even whether he had one. She was a kind woman, and yet on the rare occasions when Nick had tentatively spoken of matters other than the superficial, he'd been gently dismissed. It was just as well, he had realized. He had no wish to expose her to the ugliness of his past or the complex tangle of emotions he kept locked inside.

And so once a week they joined each other in bed with their secrets safely intact . . . the instructor and her ardent student. In the luxurious cocoon of Gemma's gold-papered bedroom Nick had learned more about lovemaking than he had ever thought possible. He'd gained an appreciation of female sexuality that few men acquired . . . the intricacy of a woman's pleasure, the ways to excite her mind as well as her body. He learned to employ his fingers, his tongue, teeth, lips, and cock with both delicacy and strength. Most of all he learned about discipline, and how patience and creativity couldmake even the experienced Mrs.

Bradshaw cry out until she was hoarse. He knew ways to keep a woman balanced on the edge of ecstasy for hours at a time. He also knew how to make a woman climax with nothing more than his mouth on her nipple, or with the lightest brush of his fingertip.

The last time they had met, Gemma had challenged him to bring her to orgasm without touching her at all. He had whispered in her ear for ten minutes, painting sexual images that became ever more exquisitely lurid until she had flushed and shivered beside him.

Thinking of her lush body, Nick turned warm with anticipation, and he strode into her parlor. He stopped short as he saw a young blond man seated on the velvet-upholstered chaise, dressed only in a wine silk robe. It was, Nick noted dazedly, the same robe that he made use of whenever he came to visit Gemma.

She had made no promises of fidelity to him, and he had no illusion that he had been her only lover for the past three years. Still, Nick was startled by the sight of another man in her receiving room and the unmistakable tang of sex in the air.

Seeing him, the stranger flushed and sat up from his relaxed position. He was a stocky, fair-skinned youth, with enough innocence remaining to be embarrassed by the situation. Gemma walked out of her bedroom, wearing a transparent green negligee that barely covered the crests of her rose-brown nipples. She smiled as she saw Nick, seeming not at all perturbed by his unexpected arrival. "Oh, hello, dear," she murmured, as relaxed and friendly as always. Perhaps she had not planned for him to discover her new cher ami in precisely this manner, but neither was she distressed about it.

Turning toward the blond man, she spoke to him softly. "Wait for me in the bedroom." He threw her a glance of heated adulation as he obeyed.

As Nick watched the man disappear into the next room, he was reminded of himself as he had been three years earlier, callow and burning and dazzled by Gemma's sensual arts.

Gemma lifted a graceful hand to stroke Nick's dark hair. "I didn't expect you to return from your investigation so quickly," she said without a trace of chagrin. "As you can see, I am entertaining my new protégé."

"And my replacement," Nick said rather than asked, while a cold feeling of abandonment crept over him.

"Yes," Gemma said softly. "You have no more need of my instruction. Now that you have learned all I can teach you, it is only a matter of time before our friendship becomes stale. I would prefer to end it while it is still enjoyable."

It was surprisingly difficult for him to speak. "I still want you."

"Only because I am safe, and familiar." Smiling affectionately, Gemma leaned over to kiss his cheek. "Don't be a coward, dear. It is time for you to find someone else."

"No one could follow you," he said gruffly.

That earned a tender laugh and another kiss. "That shows you still have much to learn." A wicked smile gleamed in her clear brown eyes. "Go find a woman who is deserving of your talents. Take her to bed. Make her fall in love with you. A love affair is something everyone should experience at least once."

Nick gave her a sullen glance. "That is the last damn thing I need," he informed her, making her laugh.

Drawing back, Gemma casually unfastened her hair and shook it free. "No good-byes," she said, depositing the hairpins onto the table by the chaise. "I much prefer au revoir. Now if you'll excuse me, my pupil is waiting. Have a drink before you leave, if you like."

Stunned, Nick stood immobile as she drifted into the bedroom and closed it with a firm click. "Jesus," he muttered. An incredulous laugh escaped him at having been so lightly dispensed with after all they had done together. Yet he couldn't summon any anger. Gemma had been too generous, too kind, for him to feel anything but gratitude.

Go find another woman, he thought numbly. It seemed an impossible task. Oh, there were women everywhere, cultured, common, plump, lean, dark, fair, tall, short, and he found something to appreciate in all of them. But Gemma had been the only one with whom he had ever dared to unleash his sexuality. He could not imagine how it would be with someone else.

Make someone love him? Nick smiled bitterly, thinking for the first time that Gemma didn't know what the hell she was talking about. No woman could love him . . . and if one ever did, she would be the greatest fool alive.

Worth Any Price. Copyright © by Lisa Kleypas. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Worth Any Price 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 131 reviews.
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
This book has a swoon-worthy romance, a wonderfully tortured hero, and a heroine with the strength to heal him while standing firm against her own demons. It's a delightfully engaging story that kept me riveted and on the edge of my seat. Even readers who don't usually read historical romances will find a multitude of reasons to enjoy themselves. There's not a lot of stuffy language and the dialogue is easy to relate to. Nick's reasons for being the bedeviled soul that he is are heartbreaking and tragic. Lottie's reasons for running are typical but her perseverance and cleverness isn't. She'd rather die than face what her parents have in store for her. She's like a willow, she'll bend but won't break and that holds her in good stead throughout this tale. Ms. Kleypas has a way of reaching a reader's emotions and bringing her characters to life. She sets up the hero's point of view with a unique and interesting opening sequence. I enjoyed the brief wisdom from Gemma and how it plays out later in the book. In fact, it's what makes this story so hot and passionate. The legacy of that temporary character brought many moments of enjoyable lovemaking and scenes that I wanted to read again and again. Not because of what Nick and Lottie do, but the sentiments behind them, and the feelings that drove the hero and heroine are what made them memorable. Not to mention their coming together in all those unique places and positions, and those seductive whisperings that tantalized my imagination. From innocence to loving debauchery, all was well done and it mattered to the plot. And because Ms. Kleypas wrote such endearing characters, I cared whether or not they found happiness. The villain generated a couple of different feelings from me. As first, I feared his power, not unlike Lottie. But towards the end, I felt pity. He was a man who truly didn't know what love was. He was a twisted and manipulative person with some serious mental issues that prevented him from being the man he could have been. Being a peer and rich couldn't buy happiness. I actually felt sad for him. On the other hand, Lottie's parents were whacked. I think they were worse and should have the villainous label attached to their behavior. How dare they! And their reactions to Nick's offers made me fear for the rest of Lottie's siblings. When her father finally opened up his mouth, I rolled my eyes. Too little, too late. Thank goodness she had Nick. Other secondary characters were important. Sophia, Nick's sister, and her husband Sir Ross were instrumental in moving the plot along. So too was Sir Grant. In fact, some of the more amusing and adorable scenes and dialogue occur with them interacting with the hero and heroine. There is light drama and action and a bit of suspense to keep a reader flipping the pages. The burgeoning romance between Nick and Lottie was sweet in its tentative steps but when they finally got over the initial hurdles, the author allowed a reader to explore Nick's emotional depths and needs. I even liked the part when he tied up Lottie and introduced her to his other kind of desires. It certainly made an impact and was one more good reason to not put the book down until the end. The epilogue showed Sir Ross in a different light during his dialogue with Nick. It was cute and when Nick realized exactly what Sir Ross meant, it was really funny. Read the full Review at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
PinkGirlie More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. I found it extremely touching, romantic, and thrilling. I have enjoyed the entire Bow Street trilogy, and I think this one might just be my favorite. I wanted to give the hero a great big hug! I loved how Nick is NOT a gentleman and makes no apology for the fact, and I love how Lottie accepts and loves him the way he is. This is very much a keeper for me, and one I will no doubt be re-reading in the future.
lovenovels More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this one and I loved it. To the people that gave this book negative reviews, may I ask why? This is a historical romance, it was very romantic with the main charecters sharing a deep love for each other. It also contained interesting historical facts about the time period. What else where the negative reviews looking for from this book? Ignore the negative reviews, this was a very sweet touching book. Its an easy read that will take you back in time, to 'another world'. You will defintely become absorbed in the love between the two main charecters, and will probably be sad to see the book end. I definitely was! If you like romance, you'll love this one! a lisa kleypas all the way!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
theshadowknows on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The only aspect of Lady Sophia's Lover that I liked was the thief-taker Nick Gentry, Sir Ross's arch nemesis. He seemed like a compelling character - dashing and dangerous but still with a soft spot for his sister. So I was interested to see how his own story would turn out in Worth Any Price. Sadly my complaints against Kleypas' style and the way she packages her romances were still reaffirmed here, though Worth Any Price was still palatable - at least more so than the few others by her that I've read. Nick Gentry has been recruited as a Bow Street Runner and, under the commission of Lord Radnor, he's on the trail of Radnor's runaway bride Charlotte (Lottie) Howard. When he finally catches up with Lottie, Nick's trials and tribulations in love begin. Love is a trial to him because he has a dark secret that makes intimacy difficult. I didn't find his dark secret all that terrible or traumatic, but neither did his handling of it interfere pointlessly with his romance with the heroine (as was the case with Again the Magic, which drove me crazy). He does keep Lottie at a distance a bit, but from the start there's not much substance to or enough conviction behind the conflict, and their happily ever after is a guarantee (which makes for a bland romance, but at least it wasn't aggravating.) I'm sure I was supposed to take his deep dark secret much more seriously than I did, but since his emotional trauma is dealt with so superficially, I was able to enjoy the book more than if I had taken him seriously (if that makes any sense.) Basically I had low expectations, and so I wasn't disappointed. My other complaint is that Nick's charm and bad boy persona, as introduced in Lady Sophia's Lover, and in which I was able to believe, peters out in the course of Worth Any Price, which charts Nick's reform, his transformation into Lord Sydney at the hands of Sir Ross, and his taming under the influence of marriage. I really liked the first part of the book, when Nick is still a Bow Street Runner, still his own man, still reckless and a little dangerous. After marriage and his reentry into society, however, and the struggles with his past and his dark secrets, he becomes much less interesting. Actually, I feel sorry for him, beset as he is on all sides, trapped and manipulated to change "for his own good." This turn of events is endorsed in no uncertain terms by the end of the book, when Nick accepts that it has all indeed been for his own good. He realizes that he¿s happy with this wife, his marriage, his new life as Lord Sydney. I won't presume to say which life he should have chosen or gainsay his belief in his happiness, but I will protest how heavy handed the book is in reinforcing how "right" the hero is to become Lord Sydney, and how "wrong" he was in his former life as naughty Nick Gentry. Enough about Nick. Like I said, I really liked him in the first part of the book, before his marriage to the heroine. As for Lottie, she's been living under cover as a lady's maid in the country for two years. When Nick finds her, there's that trademark instant connection, but I like their chemistry and for a brief while, their romance grabs my interest. Lottie seems like a capable, resourceful young woman with some spunk. She's been able to look after herself this far and best of all refuses to become a martyr for her family, whose hopes for financial stability rely solely on her marriage to Lord Radnor. I particularly liked that she doesn't have to rely on the hero to rescue her from the dire straights she inevitably finds herself in by the time of the book's climactic (that is, melodramatic or hair raising, depending on your perspective) finale. Not that she actually has to do anything to extract herself from her difficulties, but I liked how her problems were resolved without any knight in shining armor theatrics from Nick, while he in turn has his own harrowing brush with death in order to realize how much he has to live f
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She is an excellent writer however i do not like reading Jesus/Christs name as slang
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all the books in this series. Great characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What can I say, except that it was everything I expect in a novel and I did not want for it to finish! In my opinion, this one is hard to beat as far as Regency romance goes. LORRAINE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sexier than her other books.... so realistic. One of the top five romamces ive read, for sure
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
L.K. has outdone herself. I have read all of the Bow Street series and I am in love. The characters are 3 dimensional, the guys ate hot, and the love scenes are to die for. I have become a fan and hands down Nick and Lottie are my favorite couple.
MollyJG More than 1 year ago
Even when you really do't want to be involved in the story you get pulled in. You end up loving the people in it and hoping they do wonderful things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this at least twice as it is on my keeper shelf along with all her books. My favorite of the series because the hero is not of the cookie cutter variety found mass producted in so many historical novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first introduction to Lisa Kleypas's writing and I loved it so much that I couldn't to read everything else heartwarming and funny this author does not disappoint
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read almost all of Kleypas' books over the last few months. I really enjoyed this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing, thrilling read I highly suggest reading it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lisa rocks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago