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Monday Puzzler > Monday Puzzler - January 1, 2018

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message 1: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1185 comments Wow! Happy New Year book buddies!
(technically it is New Year on east coast of Australia!)
I read this book and really enjoyed it. I liked that it wasn't love at first sight for both Hero and Heroine. I enjoyed the growth of both characters!
xxxxxx

No one who glanced at Heroine Lastname would ever imagine that she had a guilty, secret pleasure. Her countenance was plain, made more so by the spectacles perched on her nose. Her hair was light brown and fashioned into a functional bun at the nape of her neck. All her dresses were varying shades of beige, brown, or gray. Her height was average, and her figure was usually concealed beneath a loose-fitting work apron of heavy canvas. Her voice was low and pleasant to the ear, with nothing strident in its tone to evoke anyone’s attention.

No one judging her by her appearance would dream that Miss Heroine Lastname had the rather salacious habit of staring at her employer’s naked chest whenever she had the chance, although most women would have agreed that Hero Surname, Duke of FancyName, had a chest worth looking at.

Heroine rested her elbows on the sill of the open window and lifted the brass spyglass. Using the instrument was awkward when she was wearing her spectacles, so she pulled them off. After setting the gold-rimmed pair on the windowsill, she once again raised the spyglass to her eye. Through its lens, she scanned the archaeological site in the distance, searching for Hero amid the workmen. She always thought of him by his Christian name.

In speech, she called him “your grace,” just as everyone else did, but in her mind and her heart, he was always Hero. He was talking with Mr. B, the excavation architect, and Sir Neighbour, the duke’s closest neighbor and quite the amateur antiquarian himself. The three men stood in a huge pit of excavated ground amid the crumbling stone walls, broken columns, and other remnants of what had once been a Roman villa. At the moment, they appeared to be discussing the mosaic pavements beneath their feet that had been uncovered by the workmen that morning.

The moment she froze the spyglass on Hero’s tall form, she felt that familiar twist of her heart, that addictive mix of pleasure and discomfort. It was a combination that in his presence always tied her tongue and compelled her to withdraw into herself until she seemed part of the furniture, but when she watched him like this, she always longed to be the subject of his full attention.

Love, she thought, should be a pleasant thing, warm and tender, not something that hurt one’s heart by its intensity. Heroine felt that intensity now as she watched him. When in residence at FancyName Hall, he was wont to spend two or three hours each day working alongside Mr. B and the men on the excavation.

Sometimes, if she was not on the dig and he found the August afternoon exceptionally warm, Hero was compelled to remove his shirt. Today was a very warm day. To Heroine, he almost seemed a part of the Roman excavation around him, for Hero was one of those rare men who looked like a living statue. With his uncommon height of over six feet, with his broad shoulders and sculpted muscles, he could have been a Roman god carved of marble, were it not for his dark brown hair and tanned skin.

She watched him as the three men continued their discussion of the floor, and she felt that odd, melting sensation that came over her every time she saw him this way, a sensation that somehow made breathing difficult and made her heart race as if she had been running. Sir Neighbour bent to move a heavy stone urn that was blocking a portion of the mosaic from their view, but Hero stopped him and lifted the urn himself. Heroine was delighted by this gallantry, which only served to reinforce her high opinion of him.

A duke he might be, but he wasn’t so over-proud that he would stand by and let a much older man like Sir Neighbour injure himself. Hero carried the urn to the cart nearby, placing it beside a crate filled with broken pieces of wine amphorae, bronze statues, fresco fragments, and other discoveries.

At the end of the day, the pieces would be taken to the antika, a building nearby where artifacts were stored, until Heroine could repair, sketch and catalog them for Hero’s collection.

The sound of footsteps coming down the corridor toward the library brought Heroine out of her clandestine observations. She pushed the ends of the spyglass together, collapsing it. As she moved away from the window, she shoved the spyglass into the pocket of her skirt.

By the time Maid, one of a dozen maids in the duke’s employ at FancyName, entered the library, Heroine was seated at her desk with a text on Romano-British pottery open before her, pretending to be hard at work.

“Thought you’d like some tea, Miss Lastname,” Maid said, setting the teacup and its saucer on the edge of Heroine’s large rosewood desk, beside the stacks of books on Roman antiquities and Latin.

“Thank you, Maid,” she answered, trying to sound absorbed in her book as she turned a page.

The maid turned to leave, saying over her shoulder, “Didn’t think you could see a thing, miss, without them spectacles. Seems t’me they don’t do you much good sitting over on the windowsill.”

The maid disappeared into the hall and Heroine lowered her flushed face into the open book before her.

Caught again.


message 2: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Hill | 487 comments That’s cute....I have not read it before!


message 3: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1917 comments Mod
I have a guess...

Happy New Year!


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan (susaninaz) | 1018 comments Oh, I think I've read this one. She is so cute with her crush, then Hero lets her know that he is a person with quirks, faults, and a sense of self-importance. Bummer. Then she gets him back...


message 5: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2093 comments Mod
Such a great book!


message 6: by Janga (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
One of my favorites!


message 7: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (staceyissassy) | 1276 comments I think I've read this one, but I'm not 100% sure.


message 8: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1185 comments Can’t see it in your Read books list 😜


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan (shaydock) | 707 comments I want to read as soon as the reveal occurs


message 10: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (staceyissassy) | 1276 comments Stacey is Sassy wrote: "I think I've read this one, but I'm not 100% sure."

Hmmm...maybe it was something similar, then. 🤔


message 11: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1185 comments Stacey is Sassy wrote: "Stacey is Sassy wrote: "I think I've read this one, but I'm not 100% sure."

Hmmm...maybe it was something similar, then. 🤔"


Or maybe you forgot to mark it as read?


message 12: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (staceyissassy) | 1276 comments Leigh-Ayn wrote: "Stacey is Sassy wrote: "Stacey is Sassy wrote: "I think I've read this one, but I'm not 100% sure."

Hmmm...maybe it was something similar, then. 🤔"

Or maybe you forgot to mark it as read?"


Could easily be either of those posibilities... 😉


message 13: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (nikanne) | 222 comments I've no idea but it sounds cute.


message 14: by Leigh-Ayn (new)

Leigh-Ayn | 1185 comments The books is Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke
It is book 1 in the series. I enjoyed this book as it wasn't "insta" love for the hero and heroine (although the heroine was infatuated with the hero in the beginning) It shows great growth on both characters parts and that love sometimes takes a second or third look!
xx


message 15: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (staceyissassy) | 1276 comments Leigh-Ayn wrote: "The books is Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke
It is book 1 in the series. I enjoyed this book as it wasn't "insta" love for the hero and heroine (although the heroin..."


I have definitely read it but it was a long time ago. I think I'll re-read it to refresh my memory and add a rating. Good one Leigh-Ann. :-)


message 16: by Manda (new)

Manda Collins (manda_collins) | 1917 comments Mod
I got one! It's been years since I've read it too. But it's a lovely book.


message 17: by Janga (new)

Janga | 1070 comments Mod
I think it is Guhrke at her best. I recently read her new one, and I liked it. But still think Guilty Pleasures and some of her Bachelor Girls books are her best work. Guilty Pleasures is my top favorite, one I go back and reread every few years.


message 18: by Dls (new)

Dls | 2093 comments Mod
I think Guilty Pleasures and And Then He Kissed Her are her best.


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Laura Lee Guhrke (other topics)