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The Challenge [Mass Market Paperback]

Edith Layton
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (Mar 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061014338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061014338
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,555,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Lucy Stone had been burned once before by the fires of passion and is determined to protect herself, but wealthy, charming Hathaway Wycoff will struggle to win her despite his shadowy reputation.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing read........ 11 May 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lucy is a down to earth and hardworking. She went to America as a young wife with her husband who was a 2nd son who wanted to make his fortune but he died and left her peniless with a young child. She lives and works for his distant cousin who runs an Inn. She meets Wycoff. He is a lord who has come on business to America. He is well known to be disreputable. He is a widower with 2 teenage children. They are drawn to each other but she feels she cannot trust him for his past. She yearns to go back home and gets an opportunity and they meet again. He does everything to support her first without her knowledge ie arranging a maid for her. What i liked about the book was both H/H were matured adults.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best so far 28 Nov 2002
By Susan Smith - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm working my way through Edith Layton's "The C..." series. Excellent, thus far, although I believe this one is the best. Why? Because, for once, we have mature people - a 32 year old heroine and a man in his mid 40s - well set in the Regency world. (Afterall most romance readers are adults and I for one get tired of 18 year old heroines!) Further, we have some transatlantic action which is well done - nothing twee about the English half of the story and nothing unreal in the American half.
I won't summarise the plot again because the one thing I would like to focus on for anyone reading this review, is that as always, Layton has given us a truly wonderful hero. Hathaway (what a name!) Lord Wycoff is a damaged hero but his scars are internal and his "disability" is his past and his reputation. He has, however, truly lovely qualitites which came to the fore in The Choice. Wycoff is a husband who suffered a perniciously unfaithful wife but he is a kind, doting and loving father. He has a mother whom one wants to slap but he is a loving and respectful son to both his father and mother. Wycoff's behaviour, ultimately, disgusts him when he holds up a mirror to peer closely at himself. It is, in the end, as always in the best fiction about redemption, the mirror (eg Lucy Stone) that brings him up sharp and gives him the impetus to find his way back to social and, more importantly, self-acceptance.
Well done, Edith Layton - as ever you have given us a well constructed, carefully crafted novel with believeable characters whose actions and thoughts are realistic and moving. A wonderful hero and heroine, some delightful supporting players and a satisfying and thoughtful read. I do recommend this highly.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A profligate lord vows to earn his chosen lady's trust. 1 May 2000
By Joyously Retired Teacher - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hathaway Wycoff has come to America to escape his meaningless life as a profligate and adulterous lord. When he first meets Lucy Stone, he thinks she is a prostitute. But when he finds out the truth about the fair widow, he begins to wonder if he could ever be good enough to deserve her.
Lucy Stone had married young and lived to regret it. She is drawn to the English lord from the first, but past experience has taught her to be cautious. Still, when she discovers that Lord Wycoffe had been a notorious womanizer during his marriage, she is heartbroken. Because even though his first wife is deceased, she would never be able to trust him to be a faithful husband. Above all, she has to think of the best interests of her son, Jamie.
So when her brother-in-law, Baron Hunt, invites her and her son to visit them in England, Lucy jumps at the chance to escape from temptation. What a surprise, then, to find Lord Wycoffe on the same freighter!
An older gentleman (40+) and an adulterer, Hathaway Wycoffe is an unusual--but surprisingly worthy--hero for a romance novel. He explains his reasons for his past behavior, but doesn't use them as an excuse to avoid responsibility. He demonstrates a great deal of humility and patience in his attempt to clear his reputation and make himself worthy for his lady love--although he has no guarantee that she will ever learn to trust him.
Ah, Lucy is a very lucky woman indeed!
A sequel to "The Cad," and "The Choice," this book continues the fascinating saga of a delightful group of Regency-era characters. I must admit I can't wait for Rafe's and Drum's books to appear! Be sure I will be first in line!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!! A hero you'll adore, and a strong, determined heroine 14 May 2001
By Dr W. Richards - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the third book in Edith Layton's series which begins with The Cad. The second book was Gilly's story, and we first encountered Hathaway Wycoff in that book; he was one of Gilly's admirers, a married man and a serial adulterer who could only offer her an affair. At first he seemed to pursue her with that in mind, but later he told her that he respected her too much to take her that way - although he did try to persuade her to go to America with him. He showed himself a true friend to Gilly, though, by giving her some very sound advice on a couple of occasions. We also discovered that he wasn't as wicked as he was portrayed by Society: his affairs had been prompted by his wife's open and unashamed adultery.
The Challenge takes up about a year after The Choice finishes. Wycoff is now in Virginia, contemplating buying land and starting a new life. He'd originally moved to America because he was fed up with unsatisfying affairs and he hoped to find a woman he could love and settle down with - even if that made him a bigamist. However, the death of his wife (before this book commences) leaves him free.
Lucy Stone, an impoverished widow with a nine-year-old son, is immediately taken with Wycoff, and he with her. She works at the hotel where he is staying, and soon they're spending as much time together as possible. But before their relationship can advance, Lucy finds out the devastating truth about him: his adulterous past, which makes him completely untrustworthy in her eyes. While he offers her marriage, she can't believe that he will be faithful; the legacy of her first marriage, to a man who failed to provide for her, leaves her unable to take Wycoff on trust.
So she decides to return to England, helped by her brother-in-law who expresses a very belated wish to meet his nephew. However, purely by coincidence, Wycoff is on the same ship... While they become closer on the voyage, she still refuses him - there is a beautiful, and very poignant, scene in which traditional positions are reverses: Lucy wants to make love, just once, with Wycoff, but he refuses because she won't marry him.
So in order to win her, he has to prove to her that he can be trusted; in order to do so, he sets about retrieving his reputation. Has a man ever tried so diligently to prove himself to the woman he loves?
Definitely a keeper!
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hark The Lady Doth Protest Too Much 16 April 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're interested in reading a few hundred pages about a not-exactly-young widow who resists marrying a rich, handsome, titled, charming, amusing, athletic man who clearly adores her (and to whom she's physically, emotionally, intellectually and romantically attracted), this is the book for you.
If you'd like a plot, look further. Personally, I'd suggest re-reading any Georgette Heyer Regency before spending the time to this novel. Or, if you want an intro to Layton, buy the combo "Marquis ... Abandoned Bride" book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edith Layton is terrific 4 Mar 2014
By Debby D. Flower - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The late, great Edith Layton is one of my very favorite historical romance authors. The book's a keeper and I've read it many times. I just took the opportunity to download it onto my kindle so i can have her with me when I'm travelling. Sorry we won't be getting any new books from this great lady of historicals.
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