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Secret Ways [Hardcover]

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New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and History. Currently residing with her Western-author husband, Larry Jay Martin, in Missoula, Montana, Kat has written over thirty bestselling novels, including Historical, Romantic Suspense, and Contemporary. Over ten million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in a dozen foreign countries. Among her many awards, Kat has won the prestigious Romantic Times Magazine Career Achievement Award. She is currently working on her next novel.

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Her name was Vermillion. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fans will not be disappointed. 31 Mar 2003
By Huntress Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Vermillion Durant's destiny seems to be that of her beautiful and famous relatives, that of a courtesan. Even her name is spicy and enticing. Yet she prefers to think of herself as simply "Lee", a much more innocent and free young lady than she is expected to be. However, she is resigned to her fate, believing that is what her beloved aunt needs her to be.
However, Vermillion is suspected of being more than a temptress, but also of being a spy. To uncover the truth, Caleb Tanner will masquerade as a simple groom and try to get close enough to see whether or not she is responisible for secrets making their way to France. Caleb is shocked to learn that Lee is nothing like what he expected. The real woman is someone that he can not help but love. Vermillion finds herself attracted to this man as well, but believes such a match would never work. Even when she finds her true identity, the situation appears hopeless.
The complexities of war and of the 'ton are equal, and when meshed become a tangle that only skillful minds can fathom. With Ms. Martin's long heralded skill at delivering a sensual romance, this novel gives readers a most unique heroine. Wise and innocent simultaneously, Vermillion is somewhat like the younger days of Elizabeth Taylor, while Caleb is the kind of hero readers have grown to love. Fans will not be short changed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A page turning historical... 23 May 2003
By iheartjackbauer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Vermillon 'Lee' Durant is preparing to follow the destiny of all the female Durants as a courtesan. By day she is Lee, a carefree innocent who loves horses and kittens. At night she transforms herself into Vermillon, a seductress that needs to choose her protector by her nineteenth birthday. Though she thought she had come to terms with her destiny, she soon finds that she is far from sure if she wants to spend her life as a mistress. When she meets Caleb Tanner, the new head groom at Parkland, she finds someone who can ignite the fire deep within her. As the weeks pass, she realizes that she has to be independent, even at the cost of her aunt's dissapointment.
Captain Caleb Tanner has been assigned to Parkland in as a groom to try to uncover a traitor to the Crown. He didn't count on meeting someone as seductive as Vermillion nor as innocent as Lee. Though Vermillion and Lee are one and the same, only Caleb has uncovered the true person she is.
Though Secret Ways isn't has emotional as Martin's previous historicals, it is still an easy read that you will want to finish. Caleb and Lee work together to uncover a traitor which is a little unbelieveable, but the sexual tension between them is undeniable. Also unbelieveable is the fact that Lee is a virgin, which is what all our heroines in historicals are. It was a change from historicals where the heroines were a part of the ton, as Lee had more freedom to do what she wished. I have had a hard time lately getting into historicals, but I'm glad I took a chance on this one!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not horrible, but disappointing compared to her other books 19 Jan 2009
By bijou2311 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have to admit that I really enjoy most of Kat Martin's other books, however this one feel flat in my opinion. The story was predictable, something that I don't hate as long as the story is well told and the characters are likable. But honestly, I just wasn't that crazy about the characters.

Caleb lies to everyone, and no one but Vermillion is upset - why isn't her aunt or one of her friends upset? I certainly would be. Then he LIES AGAIN. As for Vermillion/Lee, she wasn't my favorite character either. I like that she was loyal to her family and that she wanted to make them happy, but there is such a thing as taking it too far.

As for the traitor, that wasn't much of a surprise. And all the timing was just a little bit too coincidental. So that part of the story didn't add anything for me.

All the above makes it sound like I hated the book, but I didn't. I was just disappointed in it compared to her other books. If you are a fan on Kat Martin, check this one out of the library or borrow it, and it is not an awful read. However, don't make this your first Martin book. Just my suggestion.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Redemption. 6 Feb 2004
By MaryGrace Meloche - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Just when I was about to dive off the Kat Martin bandwagon, she writes this little treasure. I'm not saying this book is phenomenal, but it is enjoyable.
Our heroine, Vermillion Lee Durant, is a trained connoisseur in the art of pleasuring a man. Throughout the lustful London male society, an unknown detail stays hidden -- Vermillion is only trained. As yet, she has not practiced her satisfying skills. She will remain a courtesan student until she turns nineteen; at the conclusion of this birthday ball, Vermillion will choose her first lover.
The youngest son of the Earl of Selhurst, Captain Caleb Tanner, a British officer, has been called back from the Spanish front. He is an expert horseman and will act as an undercover spy in the Durant stables. His mission is to uncover the traitorous traitor who has been leaking information to the Napoleon military.
I appreciated the length Kat Martin employed for sexual tension -- all the luring glances, aching desires, illicit kisses -- were paced for the reader's total enjoyment. Such longing earns the word romance. The stable scenes are delightful. Gently written was the soft and assuring manner Caleb used to help "Lee". Their competitive horse-race "the contest" is assembled with innocence and fun. Martin allowed such tender moments to help the reader overlook the anxious times our two lovers are forced to suffer.
Kat Martin's two lovers may not see eye to eye, but at least, they are not fighting, demeaning, hating, and then regrettably making love - the usual Martin outline. Kat Martin, if you are out there in author land, your writing skills are extraordinary, but please keep your war machine and arguing lessons in the skim mode.
Grace Atkinson, Ontario - Canada.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Kat Martin Novel!! 10 May 2003
By Kristi Ahlers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ms. Martin is back and has managed to again pen an historical romance that has plenty of historical detail, engaging character's, with steamy romance that Ms. Martin is known for.
Vermillion "Lee" Durant is eighteen, and beautiful and is getting ready to follow in her aunt's footsteps, to become the toast of the demirep. Problem is, Vermillion is not sure that that is the kind of lifestyle that she wants to lead. She loves the outdoors, raising, and racing her horses. She doesn't think that when the time comes on her 19th birthday that she can choose a protector. Especially since none of her suitors interest her in the least. There is also the added problem in the fact that she is finding herself drawn to the new groom in her stables, Calab. He is everything a servent should not be. He is arrogant, assertive, and just too good looking for Lee's peace of mind. Still he awakens not only her heart, but her young body to passion.
Calab Tanner is not what he seems. Calab Tanner is an Officer for the British Army, and he is undercover to unveil a spy. Calab is sent to Parklands, Vermillion's home with her aunt becasue it looks as if the spy operates from that small estate. Calab is set in his mission, but what he does not count on is being attracted to a possible spy, and not being able to walk away from that attraction. Eventually he won't be able to fight his feelings for Lee, and realizes that there are actually two women in one. Vermillion the potential member of the demimond, and Lee the young, kind girl that calls sevants friends.
Together Lee and Calab hunt for the spy, and fight their mutal attraction to each other. But, what happens when the past finally catches up to the present and Vermillion finds out who her father really is, and Calab is sent back to the front to fight? Will Calab choose Vermillion over his military career? You will have to read the book to find out.
This story was well paced, and kept my interest until the end. I love to read stories where the herorine is strong and capable, not a milk and water miss. Calab is a true hero from the top of his head, to the tips of he toes, still he can recognize a prize when he sees it. The chemistry between Lee and Calab is scorching and is believable. If you are a fan of this very talented author, you won't want to miss this one!
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