Libertine's Kiss (Rakes and Rogues of The restoration #1)
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Libertine's Kiss (Rakes and Rogues of the Restoration #1)

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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  412 ratings  ·  83 reviews
In Libertine's Kiss, award winning author Judith James tells an epic tale of promises made and broken, and love lost and found. “Every once in a great while, there are books I love to the point of wanting everybody I know to go out and buy a copy. Libertine’s Kiss is one of those rare books. This angsty historical is heartrendingly beautiful, featuring beautiful language a...more
Paperback, 375 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Harlequin Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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17th Century Romance (1601 - 1700)
2nd out of 91 books — 22 voters
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215th out of 434 books — 979 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,109)
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SueBee★bring me an alpha!★
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★★★★★! Libertine Kiss (stand-alone). Epic love story with a witty, flamboyant, charismatic, unreachable, beyond handsome playboy hero inspired by the legendary John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester.

“You are too winsome to resist, too innocent to keep, and far too delightful to easily let go”

Libertine’s Kiss is a stand-alone, book 1 in the English Restoration series. Each book has its own H/h, who will reappear in future books.

This is a Restoration period saga about William and Lizzy spanning 164...more
Emery Lee
Having read more than a few Harlequin Historicals in my time, I thought I knew what to expect when I opened this book. I could not have been more mistaken! The sumptuous detail of the setting, the impeccable research on the historical characters, the poetry, and the sizzling eroticism took me completely by surprise.

The main protagonist in LIBERTINE'S KISS, William De Veres, is closely modeled after the real life John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Courtier, playwright, and poet, he was one of the f...more
Chandra
Amazing!
Thank you Sue for the recommendation.
I'll attempt a real review when I'm not on a plane, flying halfway across the country.
Mary B.
Excellent read. A solid 4 stars. I got completely immersed, and it kept my rapt attention from beginning to end. It was the kind of book I read every free moment I could.

Firstly, I would like to say that Broken Wing by this author is one of my top favorite romance novels. And this book definitely had some of the things I love about Judith James' books - an eloquent and flowing writing style, and her ability to convey very deep emotions through the use of dialogue and the description of physical...more
Keri
While not my favorite time to read in romance history this was a good book. Elizabeth and William met as children and quickly became good friends. Elizabeth knew that there were issues as William's home, but never knew the truth until years later. As he goes off to school, he promises Lizzy that he will be back for her. But as Lizzy is eventually married off to a horrible man, she soon looses hope that she will ever see her friend again. But one night a wounded man stumbles to her door and it is...more
Melanie
I reviewed this novel for my blog www.bookworm2bookworm.wordpress.com


I truly thought that Judith James could not write a better book than her "BROKEN WING" one, but I was so wrong. This is one of those books, that you CAN NOT put down and then do something else. A reader is compelled to finish it in one heart renching swoop...unless this particular reader is so darn lucky to have her husband point to a TV screen and catch an IFC movie with Johnny Depp as he plays "THE LIBERTINE" ([...])! So, I p...more
RomanceNovelNews.com
Reviewed by C.M. Lessard for Romance Novel News

Friends from childhood, Puritan Elizabeth Walters, and William de Veres, a cavalier and notorious libertine are now on opposite sides of the English Civil War.

After years of separation, an injured William shows up on Elizabeth’s doorstep but he does not recognize her. She treats his wounds and they engage in an unforgettable night of passion. In the morning he leaves - without asking her name.

Because of William’s allegiance to the exiled King Char...more
LuvGirl
2.5 stars. I am not a fan of Judith James writing style. I don't see the wonderful prose that many other readers see. The dialogue between her characters does not seem authentic. It seems rushed and forced. Maybe I could have bypassed her writing style if the heroine was as fascinating as the hero, but he out shined her by a mile. It's too bad that the heroine wasn't worthy of the match with the hero because his personality was fascinating. The book is worth the read for the hero alone. He remin...more
Kristiej
Have you ever read a book that affected you so deeply, when another book by the same author comes out you are afraid to read it? You’re afraid that the book couldn’t possibly come close to the previous book?

This was the case with Judith James’s Libertine’s Kiss. I was so blown away when I read Broken Wing, I was almost afraid to read Libertine’s Kiss. After just holding it for a number of days though I figured I’d better start reading
Word – I loved it, absolutely loved it. The book starts out wi...more
Mollie
Broken Wing by Judith James was one of my favorite reads in 2010. When I saw Libertine’s Kiss on Netgalley I was ecstatic! Broken Wing was an intense, emotional read and I was eager to try something else by Ms. James. While Libertine’s Kiss is not quite up to Broken Wing’s intensity, it still tackles serious subjects and delivers a satisfyingly sensual tale.

William and Elizabeth shared a brief but intense friendship as youngsters before William was shipped off to school, promising to return. Yea...more
Jody
This is a very sensual story involving two people trying to turn fantasy into reality. Ever since they were children, Elizabeth Walters and William de Veres have lived their lives fighting battles and slaying dragons, some real and some imaginary. With her Puritanical upbringing, Elizabeth was set to always be a victim. From those who condemned her religious beliefs to an abusive husband, she was persecuted. The only person to teach her strength was William de Veres. As children he told her fair...more
Gaile
On the eve of civil war in England, young William De Veres meets a neighboring girl, Elizabeth Walters.
War separates them. Elizabeth is forced to marry a puritan she doesn't want. Years later they meet again
but William doesn't recognize her. More years pass when Williams comes across her at the court of Charles I vainly trying to petition for her lands back. This time he recognizes her at once and they take off where they left off except --- molested by a childhood tutor, William has carried his...more
Aly is so frigging bored
I loved this book! It was very well written, had engaging characters and the history was, most of it anyway, accurate. Judith James is a wonderful author and I can't wait for the next book she writes :)


Quote:
"I will start by telling you this. I have always known you, even when I didn't, and I am going to know you forever. I have always been with you, and I have always kept you with me, even when I tried to forget I will not go away, even if you send me, and I will see you again even if you say n...more
Caroline The HEA Lover
(This was originally posted on Book Lovers,Inc)

This books is set during a period of history that I didn’t know much about, the Civil War and the Restoration. I started reading Libertine’s Kiss and I just couldn’t stop. I am now fascinated by this period and by the reign of Charles II. I think Judith James’ writing might have something to do with that *wink*. I love her style! I already loved Broken Wing (My review here) but now after reading Libertine’s Kiss she’s on my Auto-buy list!

The hero Wi...more
Farrah
This review also appears on my blog at http://www.thegoldenruleof666.blogspo...

Libertine's Kiss was not what I expected it to be. But in a good way. It was a pleasant surprise.

The story idea itself is interesting to me. I find a lot of Regency and Medieval romances, but the Restoration period is less covered within the genre. So, this book already had a unique point to get me interested. Then, though it doesn't mention it in the summary, we have a "best-friends to lovers" story, which I absolute...more
Gaby
Set in England during turbulent times - from Cromwell's bloody reign through the return of King Charles II - Libertine's Kiss captures the political uncertainty and violence of the period and places each romantic lead firmly in different camps.

The story begins with William de Veres, a loyal subject of Charles Stuart, who has entered England to raise funds for the Stuart's return. With the royal funds practically depleted, de Veres has to resort to highway robbery and other dangerous methods. As...more
Bluefly
Da appassionata di letteratura e storia della Restaurazione inglese, non vedevo l'ora di leggere questo romanzo, sperando di non restarne delusa. La James si ispira dichiaratamente, per il personaggio di William de Veres, a Lord Rochester, geniale poeta libertino alla corte di Carlo II, stemperandone il cinismo, illuminando di un po' di romanticismo il suo ben noto lato oscuro. Il risultato è ottimo, perché ne esce un eroe da romance e non da tragedia, ma un romance colto, intelligente, ben scri...more
Barbara
It was nice to read a historical romance set in England that wasn't set during the Regency. James did a very good job with her Restoration court setting. The Cromwells are gone and King Charles II now sits on the throne. Known by some as the Merry Monarch, his court is a font of licentious behavior and William de Veres, Lord Rivers, is its poet laureate and leading libertine.
And to this court comes Elizabeth Walters, hoping to have her lands restored to her. Our Elizabeth is also the childhood s...more
Cynthia Roberts
I've been trying to step outside of my comfort zone and found this Napoleonic historical a truly enjoyable read.
Regan Walker
Another Amazing Historical Romance from James!

I have become a huge fan of Judith James whose romances show careful attention to historical details, a wit and originality in dialog--and always promise an enthralling tale. I just don't get the low reviews. I can't see them at all. James is a psychologist (among her other occupations from the past) and her characters are complex, the men have troubled pasts and the women are made strong by difficult circumstances. Generally the women save the men a...more
Kimm
Libertine’s Kiss is my first Judith James read. I’m happy to report that I enjoyed the book. I found it a pretty fair read. What set this book apart from my typical reads is that it was set in the court of Charles II, a much more flamboyant and seemingly promiscuous age (although really, doesn’t each era have it’s own fair share of promiscuity?). Although I tend to stick to Regency reads, I really liked the flavor of this story. Something different once in a while shakes things up a bit and Libe...more
C.
I’ve been saying for a while that I wish more historical romance authors would plumb new, under-explored eras for their potential. The overwhelming majority of historical romances are Regency romances — and there’s nothing wrong with those, I adore them (clearly), but they do make up a hefty chunk of the market. What’s left tends to be vague medieval tales — often not set with any specific historical framework in mind, but dropped rather blindly into Ye Olde Englande or Bonny Scotland, with only...more
.þµŋψà. [Punya Reviews...]
May 15, 2012 .þµŋψà. [Punya Reviews...] rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves a real rake's obsession with his childhood sweetheart, falling hard for her later
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashlyn Macnamara
In twenty-first century terms, William de Veres would probably be labeled an alcoholic and a sex addict. Fortunately for him, he inhabits the seventeenth century where he is known to Charles II's court as a libertine. In Libertine's Kiss, Judith James has turned him into a romance hero.

And damn, if she doesn't make it work.

Deep inside, William is actually a romantic, idealistic man, but he hides it beneath a veneer of cynicism. He shows his true self to only one person, Elizabeth Walters. As chi...more
Jerelyn
I really like Judith James ability to write the tortured hero. The hero in Libertine's Kiss is based on John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, one of Charles II's cronies. Through the English civil war and finally the restoration, William has lost his soul long before he comes to Charles court in exile. Only a childhood love has kept a sliver of decency alive within him. Elizabeth his lost childhood love finds him on her door step, injured and takes him in, but long years have caused him to forget her....more
Leslie
After having read and enjoyed Ms. James previous books I was looking forward to reading this, her latest release. The time period is not one of the more common periods found in historical romances. While I like Regency and Victorian settings, I also enjoy something different. The fact that the characters are inspired by real people from history made me curious enough to look up information on them. And left me curious as to how they would be portrayed in the novel.

William de Veres is a true rake...more
Bird
This is the second Judith James book I've read, and the second one I've loved enough to give a 5-star rating.

It has many of the things I like in historical romances: childhood-friends-to-lovers plot, intriguing time period, strong yet sweet heroine, heart-wrenching emotion (I cried more than once while reading this book), and steamy sex scenes.

Probably my favorite parts of the book were the flashbacks to their childhood together. They only knew one another for about a year in their adolescence,...more
Samantha
3.5-stars
No surprises, but simply good reading. I will read anything James decides to write, because I know she's one of the few romance writers that I can count on to be consistently on top of her game.
I love that she doesn't shy away from including wonderful tidbits of history, which unlike some other reviewers I find fascinating rather than dull. In the end, it's always about the hero and heroine. While some of the antics in this one ran on the immature side at moments, I was a totally taken...more
Jackie
2.5. James' prose is truly bad -- did this author never meet an "and" she didn't like? Did no one ever teach her to write a subordinate clause?

100 pages of backstory before the actual story gets started is also a bit of a plotting problem. Once at court, the story picks up; I truly enjoyed the scene between the heroine and King Charles.

Basing your main character on the Earl of Rochester, then making him give up all the things that make Rochester appealing in order for him to match up with romanc...more
Lynn Spencer
There are books I rather like and then, every once in a great while, there are books I love to the point of wanting everybody I know to go out and buy a copy. Libertine's Kiss is one of those rare books. This angsty historical is heartrendingly beautiful, featuring beautiful language and a fantastic setting with a smart heroine and a deeply tortured, flawed hero who turns out wonderfully.

This is a partial review. You can find the complete text on All About Romance: http://likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/...more
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1716081
Judith James, is an avid reader and history buff who grew up in Montreal Quebec. She is also a bit of an adventure junkie and has travelled, worked and lived many places, including the Arctic and several of the places she writes about. Variously employed as a trail guide, horse trainer, and clinical psychologist, she's had the opportunity to live out many of her dreams. She’s even found the perfec...more
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“He spoke to her, though, if only through his verse. One night in the banqueting hall, just before a ball, he responded to requests for a verse by raising his glass high. Though he spoke to them all his eyes were on her.

"Tis not that I am weary grown
Of being yours, and yours alone,
But with what face can I incline
To damn you to be only mine?"

She walked out before she heard the rest.”
3 likes
“He groaned and leaned his forehead against hers, “You drive me mad, Elizabeth. I dream I am holding you every night. I wake in a sweat, aching and disappointed. Dreams of you have replaced my nightmares, but they leave me empty and restless and my body on fire. I can't even remember why we argued. I don't care how things went wrong.” 3 likes
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