guardian-angel

Guardian Angel

By: Julie Garwood, Linda Marrow

LKR 921

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Mass Market Paperback : 384 pages
Publisher : Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group (January 1990)
ISBN - 10 : 0671670069
ISBN - 13 : 9780671670061
Product Dimensions : 4.19 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.02 (d)
Subjects : Romantic Fiction Themes, Historical Romance, Character Types - Fiction

About the author :

With tens of millions of books in print and numerous New York Times bestsellers, Julie Garwood has clearly earned a position among America's favorite fiction writers. Her reputation as a masterful storyteller is solidly founded in her ability to deliver stories with appealing characters, powerful emotions, and surprising plot twists. Readers claim that it's the humor as well as the poignancy of her novels that keep them laughing, crying and thoroughly entertained. Ms. Garwood lives in Leawood, Kansas and is currently working on her next novel. When her schedule allows time away from family and career, she devotes her efforts to promoting literacy, and especially enjoys sharing her love of reading with student groups.

For more information, visit Ms. Garwood's site at www.juliegarwood.com


New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood takes breathless sensuality to thrilling heights in this unforgettable adventure of passion and intrigue.

The Emerald flew across the seas, carrying the pirate Pagan — despised by the ton, whose riches he plundered, and beloved by the poor, whose plight was eased by his gifts.

The Marquess of Cainewood vows to hunt down the pirate wretch in revenge for his brother's death. But when Jade, an enchanting vision of rippling red hair and eyes of jewel-green, appears at his door to beg desperately for his protection, the Marquess agrees to keep her safe from the villains who want her dead. Jade is infuriating, exasperating, and gorgeous; Caine is noble, strong-willed, and powerful. No woman has ever befuddled him so, nor so deeply aroused his desire. But as Jade answers his knowing caresses with an innocent, wild abandon, they are drawn into a web of treachery that will test the very heart of their love!

When beautiful Jade appeared on the doorstep of the Marquess of Cainewood desperately begging for his protection, Cain had no choice but to follow her every wish. No woman had ever befuddled him so, nor so deeply roused his desire. But soon the two are drawn into a web of treachery that will test the very heart of their love.

From Chapter One

"Holy Mother of God," Monk whispered. "You cannot be serious, dear lady."

She didn't take her gaze away from Caine when she answered the tavernkeeper. "I'm very serious, my good man. Do you think I would have ventured out into this part of town in the middle of the night if I weren't serious?"

Caine answered her question. "I think you've lost your mind."

"No," she replied. "It would be much easier if I had."

"I see," Caine said. He was trying to keep his temper controlled, but the urge to shout at her made his throat ache. "When would you like this...this...?"

"Task?"

"Yes, task," Caine asked. "When would you like this task done?"

"Now."

"Now?"

"If it's convenient, mi'lord."

"If it's convenient?"

"Oh, dear, I'm so sorry," she whispered. "I didn't mean to upset you."

"Why do you think you've upset me?"

"Because you're shouting at me."

He realized she was right. He had been shouting. Caine let out a long sigh. For the first time in a good long while, his composure was completely shattered. He excused his shameful condition by telling himself that anyone with half a mind would have been caught off guard by such an outrageous request. She looked so sincere and appeared to be terribly fragile, too. Hell, the woman had freckles on the bridge of her nose, for God's sake. She should be home under lock and key with her loving family protecting her, not standing in this seedy tavern calmly discussing her own murder.

"I can see how distressed I've made you," she said. "I really do apologize, Pagan. Have you never killed a woman before?" she asked. Her voice was filled with sympathy.

She looked as if she felt sorry for him now. "No, I've never killed a woman before," he grated out. "But there's always a first time for everything, now isn't there?"

He'd meant the comment to be sarcastic. She took it to heart. "That's the spirit," she rushed out. She actually smiled at him then. "It really shouldn't be too difficult for you. I'll help, of course."

He wanted to throw his head down on the table. "You're willing to help?" he strangled out.

"Certainly."

"You have lost your mind."

"No, I haven't," she countered. "But I'm very desperate. This task must be done as soon as possible. Do you think you could hurry and finish your drink?"

"Why must it be done so soon?" he asked.

"Because they're going to come for me sometime soon, perhaps even yet tonight. I'm going to die, Pagan, by their hand or yours, and I'd really rather determine my own end. Surely you can understand that."

"Then why don't you just kill yourself?" Monk blurted out. "Wouldn't that be much easier than hiring someone else?"

"For God's sake, Monk, don't encourage her."

"I'm not trying to encourage her," Monk rushed out. "I'm just trying to understand why such a pretty would want to die."

"Oh, I could never kill myself," she explained. "It would be a sin. Someone else has to do it. Don't you see?"

Caine had taken about all he could handle for one evening. He bounded to his feet, upsetting the chair in his haste, then planted the palms of his big hands on the tabletop. "No, I don't see, but I promise you I'm going to before this night is over. We're going to start at the beginning. First you'll begin by telling me your name."

"Why?"

"It's a little rule I have," he snapped. "I don't kill anyone I don't know. Now tell me your name."

"It's a stupid rule."

"Answer me."

"Jade."

"Damn it, I want your real name!" he commanded in a near roar.

"Damn it, that is my real name," she replied. She had a thoroughly disgruntled look on her face.

"You're serious, aren't you?"

"Of course, I'm serious. Jade is my name," she added with a shrug.

"Jade's an unusual name," he said. "Fitting, though. You're proving to be a rather unusual woman."

"Your opinion of me isn't at all relevant, sir. I hired you to complete an assignment and that is all. Is it customary for you to interview your victims before you do them in?"

He ignored her glare. "Tell me the rest of your name, or I may strangle you."

"No, you mustn't strangle me," she replied. "I don't want to die that way and I am the one doing the hiring, if you'll remember."

"What way did you have in mind?" he asked. "Oh, hell, never mind. I don't want to know."

"But you have to know," she argued. "How can you kill me if you don't know how I want it done?"

"Later," he interjected. "You may instruct me in the method you've chosen later. First things first, Jade. Are your parents waiting at home for you?"

"It's doubtful."

"Why?"

"They're both dead."

He closed his eyes and counted to ten. "So you're all alone?"

"No."

"No?"

It was her turn to sigh. "I have a brother. I'm not going to tell you anything more, Pagan. It's too much of a risk, you see."

"Why is it a risk, miss?" Monk asked.

"The more he knows about me, the more difficult the task will become. I believe it would be very upsetting to kill someone you liked. Don't you, sir?"

"I ain't never had to kill someone I liked," Monk admitted. "As to that, I ain't never killed anyone. Still, your theory makes sense to me."

It took all Caine had not to start bellowing. "lade, I assure you that won't be a problem. At this moment, I don't like you at all."

She took a step back. "Well, why not?" she asked. "I haven't been half as insulting as you have. Are you just a cranky person by nature, Pagan?"

Copyright © 1990 by Julie Garwood

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly

Garwood fails here to integrate romance and mystery elements as effectively as she did in The Bride. There's too much heavy breathing in the book's first half, too many convoluted political intrigues in the second. The year is 1815. The Marquess of Cainewood, hunting London's slums for the pirate Pagan whom he assumes killed his brother, traps instead a seemingly despairing young woman named Jade, who seeks to hire Caine to commit a murder--her own. Caine offers her protection instead, little suspecting that she is Pagan and her real object is to stay close so that she and her followers can defend him: traitors in the War Office, who tried to slay her brother as well as his, may now be after Caine too. The couple's stormy romance gets off to an instant if ludicrously implausible start that very first night, when Caine wanders into Jade's bedroom and finds her uncovered and completely naked. By the time their respective brothers reappear and the pursuit begins for the renegades, it's much too late for the reader to take any serious interest in the villains or their tiresome schemes. (May)

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