Midnight Angel

Midnight Angel

by Lisa Kleypas

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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A noblewoman of frail beauty and exotic mystery fakes her own death to escape the gallows. And now she must flee. In disguise and under a false identity, she finds unexpected sanctuary in the arms of a handsome and arrogant yet gallant British lord—who must defy society to keep her safe . . . and overcome a tragic past to claim her as his own.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380773534
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/01/1995
Series: Stokehursts
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

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.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

London, England

Lady Alicia Ashbourne wrung her hands nervously. "Luke, I have wonderful news. We have found a governess for Emma. She's a splendid young woman; intelligent, beautifully mannered ... perfect in every way You must meet her at once and see for yourself."

Lord Lucas Stokehurst, the marquess of Stokehurst, looked up with an ironic smile. "So that's why you invited me here this afternoon. And I thought it was for my charming company."

For half an hour he had been plied with tea and small talk in the drawing room of the Ashbournes' Queen's Square estate. He had been close friends with Charles Ashbourne since their days at Eton. Charles was a sociable man who had the rare gift of always seeing the best in people -- a gift that Luke did not share. Discovering that Luke would be in London for the day, Charles had invited him to take tea when his business was concluded. As soon as Luke entered the drawing room, he had known from the Ashbournes' expressions that they were going to ask a favor.

"She's perfect," Alicia repeated. "Isn't she, Charles?"

Charles agreed with enthusiasm. "I would say so, m'dear."

"Since you had such poor luck with the previous governess," Alicia continued, "I've kept an eye out for a suitable replacement. You know how fond I've always been of your daughter, and since she has no mother of her own ..." She hesitated. "Oh, dear. I didn't mean to remind you of Mary."

Luke's dark face was expressionless. Several years had passed since the death of his wife, but it still hurt to hear her name. It would hurt until the day he died. "Go on," he said evenly. "Tell me about thisparagon."

"Her name is Karen Billings. Although she has lived most of her life abroad, she recently decided to make her home in England. She's staying with us until we can find her suitable employment. In my opinion, she's mature enough to provide the discipline Emma needs, but also young enough to befriend the child. I'm certain that once you meet her, you'll see how right she is for the position."

"Fine." Luke finished his tea and shifted on the brocade settee, stretching his long legs. "Send her references to me. I'll look through them when I have time."

"I would, but ... there's a little problem."

"Little problem," Luke repeated, lifting one dark brow.

"She has no references."


A touch of color rose from the lace collar at Alicia's throat. "She prefers not to answer questions about her past. I'm afraid I can't tell you the reason. It's a very good reason, though. You must trust me on that point."

After a short silence, Luke began to laugh. He

was a handsome man in his mid-thirties, with black hair and vivid blue eyes. His face was more notable for its masculinity than its beauty with a stern mouth and a nose that was well-shaped but a little too long. The smile he wore most often was that of a man who mocked his own importance. He had an air of cynical charm that others strove to copy. When he laughed, as he was doing now, the laughter never quite reached his eyes.

"Enough said, Alicia. I'm sure she's a fine governess. A treasure. We'll let some other family have the good fortune of employing her."

"Before you refuse, you must at least talk to her-"

"No," he said flatly "Emma is all I have. I want the best for my daughter."

"Miss Billings is the best."

"She's your latest charity project," Luke countered sardonically.

"Charles," Alicia pleaded, and her husband joined in the debate.

"Stokehurst," he said mildly, "what harm would it do to meet the girl?"

"It would be a waste of time." There was no mistaking the finality in Luke's tone.

The Ashbournes exchanged a glance of dismay Gathering her courage, Alicia approached him in a few halting footsteps. "Luke, for the sake of your daughter, won't you meet this woman? Emma is twelve years old ... on the verge of some rather wonderful and terrifying changes. She needs someone to help her understand herself and the world around her. You know I would never suggest someone who was unsuited for the position. And Miss Billings is such a special person. Let me run upstairs and fetch her. I promise it won't take long. Please."

Luke scowled, pulling his arm away from her hand. In light of her insistence, he couldn't very well refuse. "Bring her down before I change my mind.,

"You darling man." Alicia hurried out of the room, the elaborate draperies of her skirts swishing behind her.

Charles went to pour him a brandy. "Thank you. It's kind of you to indulge my wife in this matter. I don't think you'll regret meeting Miss Billings."

"I'll meet her, but I won't hire her."

"You might change your mind."

"Not a chance in hell." Luke stood and made his way past a multitude of tables cluttered with handmade ornaments and posy vases. He joined his friend at the carved mahogany sideboard and accepted the brandy snifter. Gently he swirled the amber liquid and gave Charles a wry sideways smile. "What's going on, Charles?"

"I don't really know," came the uncomfortable reply. "Miss Billings is a complete stranger to me. She appeared on our doorstep a week ago. No belongings, no baggage, not a shilling as far as I can tell. Alicia welcomed her with open arms, and won't tell me a deuced thing about the girl...

What People are Saying About This

Heather Graham

Charming...I enjoyed it thoroughly.

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Midnight Angel 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 71 reviews.
Tessa_M More than 1 year ago
I have read almost all of Lisa's books and have been rarely disappointed. This has the same elements as the rest...romance, suspense, humor and drama. The characters were developed well. The heroine is strong and the leading man is masculine and will do anything to keep his lady.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lisa Kleypas writes awesome books! They're funny, romantic and always end so well. I love them all!
Historical_Romance_Junkie More than 1 year ago
I really like this book. Being an avid Lisa Kleypas reader, this was definitely off-beat in comparison to some of her more regarded books (a.k.a the beloved 'wallflower series'). A devastating occurrence that shows up a lot in the culturally correct novels is that the author tries to strain the authenticity of the 'exotic' culture which can sometimes come off EXTREMELY foreign and hard to flow with at a first read, but beautiful, ms,kleypas gets the balance right between Russian background and beloved English woo-ing. The characters were very compelling and in my opinion I smell a sequel book in the making. Nikolas Angelovsky would be a devestating (in a good way) character to see develop and the book sets up the perfect prelude to a 'woo-ing' of Emma. But this is way off subject.. back to Midnight Angel. I didn't really understand the significants of the hook, as in silvery, sharpe HOOOK. I mean, yea it tested my superficiality , reading intimate love scenes while biting back my own skepticism at the aquirdness of a hooked hand, or lack thereof, since we're so use to the anotomically correct english love stallions (lmao). But It was beautiful how Tasia didn't mind it or become scared of it. I enjoyed the action and drama. Always a plus in romance novels. It was also refreshing to have the male character profess his love first and well before a proposal of marriage. The internal conflicts were developed nicely, and described wonderfully throughout the book. The imagery was very realistic and I felt jarred with dead on descriptions of feelings and emotions I sometimes felt. Its not exactly my favorite, but as i kept reading, it grew on me, and by the end, I found myself enjoying the book and sorry to see it end.... I deinately see this book as GOOD READ!!! check it out =).. and plead with ms.kleypas to give us the story of Nikolas and Emma!!!! we know its coming <3!!!!! recommendation: GOOD Offbeat historical romances, away from the TON and season seeking innocents, are hard to come by. Lisa Kleypas has a few that are really well done. If you liked Midnight Angel, try some of these similarly off beat romances =)
Jenson_AKA_DL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Accused of a murder she has no recollection of, Russian princess Anastasia is waiting for death. In a desperate escape she travels to England where she becomes the enigmatic Governess for the spirited Emma Stokehurst. The only problem is Luke, Emma's widowed father who wants nothing to do with beautiful mysteries who bewitch him against his will.As with all of Kleypas' romances I found this to be a very engrossing story. I think this may be one of her earlier ones but I didn't find that it suffered for that. The characters were all well done and I enjoyed all of them. I like that Luke was able to re-think his actions and admit he is wrong once he has cooled off. I was also quite intrigued by the descriptions of St. Petersburg. England is a familiar enough setting for historical romances, but the foray into Russia was something new for me. I liked the way she described the land, its people, sights and even sounds and smells without overburdening the reading with too much description. The romance between Luke and Tasia was well done. The only little quibble I had is that when Luke found out Tasia's real age he seemed quite taken aback, but the age didn't stop him at all in his seduction. I liked Tasia quite a bit. I usually would find such a refined and religious main character annoying, but for some reason it seemed to work in this story.I was certainly left with a desire to read the sequel and look forward to Emma's story as well.
bhryk0 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy Lisa's books, I am trying to read them all, if I can get hold of them. This one had to borrowed from another library as our library did not have a copy. It was worth the wait.Anastasia had been imprisoned for killing her betrotherd Michail, but she has a memory loss of the occasion. Her maid gives her a draught that puts her in a death sleep and with her Uncle's help she goes to England where she starts working as a governess for Lord Lucas Stokehurst. He has employed her reluctantly at the request of his best friend Charles. He has said she could stay a month but Tasia as "Miss Karen Billings" wears her way into his heart which has been closed since his wife Mary died some years ago.I did not want to put the book down until I had finished it.
onyx95 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Knowing she was going to be put to death for a murder she didn¿t know if she had committed, Anastasia "Tasia" Kaptereva found a way of escape from the Russian prison she was in. Coming to England was her only hope, her cousin, Lady Ashbourne, could help her find a way to avoid being found by Prince Nikolas Angelovsky, the brother of the prince she supposedly murdered, but could she really pull of living as a governess. A temporary governess was all Karen Billings was suppose to be, but she was in trouble. The kind of trouble that she needed security from. Lord Lucas Stokehurst was willing to try to help her for his friends the Ashbournes, he wanted answers, wanted to keep her out of his mind, he just never realized how dangerous getting what he wanted to could be for her and for himself. What a great twist on the classical `damsel in distress¿ story. The Russian accents jumped off the page at me as I read this one. These characters are a bit distant at times, the story is a little hesitant and choppy, but in the end it was a very likeable cast that ended with a fun tease for the next of the Stokehurst family (Prince of Dreams) stories, which I may have to check out - eventually.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read by this author and now I'm hooked. This book is not your typical frilly romance. It was more like a Jane Austin book with hot chemistry. Very well written. The only thing I didn't like was the male lead having lost a hand. This bothers me in any romance I've read. It is just too awkward in the love scenes and it throws me off. He brushed her cheek with his hand ect... constantly brings the injury to the forefront....still a great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy all of Lisa Kleypa's novels. This one was a little different, I could have done away with some of the chapters from the "past". Other than that it was a nice story.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I havent even finished reading the book and i want to put it down. I am only on page 118 and the hooked hand male lead and his pale skeletal leading lady are boring me to tears. This is a real sleeper. Dont waste your time. I love lisa kleypas ,but this one sucks.
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Lula1967 More than 1 year ago
I love Lisa Kleypas, but this is the first book of hers I've not bothered to finish. I actually thought that sections were missing because one minute the characters would be talking and then with no transition, the characters were deeply in love....with no build up/plot development. Just not a well written book.
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