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One Week as Lovers (Zebra Historical Romance) [Mass Market Paperback]

Victoria Dahl
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Aug 2009 Zebra Historical Romance
Even after finding his betrothed in the arms of another man, Nicholas, the Viscount Lancaster, knows he must wed. Propriety - and the dire state of his finances - decrees it. At least a visit to his country estate provides relief from playing the role of loving fiancee, as well as a surprising encounter with Cynthia Merrithorpe. Once his childhood companion, Cynthia has grown into a lovely, alluring woman - one who's undertaken a daring ruse to avoid being sold into a miserable marriage. When Nicholas left for London to assume his new title, Cynthia was forced to put aside her girlish infatuation. Now he's returned, more wickedly attractive than ever. And this time, Cynthia is determined to experience the pleasure she's dreamed of for so long. But with a man like Nicholas, seduction is only the beginning of a sensual journey that will tempt them both to defy convention, and uncover the very heart of desire...

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Zebra; Original edition (1 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1420104829
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420104820
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 10.6 x 16.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 690,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A sizzling love story...she keeps the pages flying with a strong pace and powerful sensuality."-Romantic Times on TO TEMPT A SCOTSMAN." --Romantic Times

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her best Historical yet! 28 Aug 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Impoverished Nicholas Canley, Viscount Lancaster, plans to save his family by marrying for money, but his plans are shaken when he finds his fiancée with another man. So when news reaches him of the tragic death of a neighbour, and childhood friend, he seizes the chance to return to the country. For the first time in ten years.

Cynthia Merrithorpe is dead. Well, that's what she's convinced everyone to believe. How else is a girl to escape marriage to a detestable man when her step-father is so eager to sell her off? And now Nick's come home, the man she's loved since childhood, right when it's too late to help her.

Except nothing is as simple as Cynthia thinks. And while Nick might look and act the same, something's wrong. Something has changed. Perhaps Cynthia isn't the one who most needs saving after all?

Nick (first glimpsed in A Rake's Guide to Pleasure) is a wonderful hero - sweet-natured, thoughtful, yet deeply scarred by his past. He struggles to always do the right thing, and please everyone, while battling his demons. From start to finish I wanted him to succeed and be happy. Not because he was a broody, swoon-worthy hero, sweeping all before him, but because he deserved it.

Cynthia, by contrast, is a strong, no nonsense girl. She knows what she wants and she knows how to get it. But she's no fool. She's perfect for Nick, listening to his objections (about anything), blithely ignoring them and going ahead anyway.

Yet Dahl doesn't make anything easy for them. Nick's troubles can't be taken away by the all-encompassing power of love - nor is Cynthia stupid enough to think they will.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 18 May 2013
By M. Day
Format:Kindle Edition
A pleasant read for a wet weekend. Standard plot which was enhanced by good characters. Yes the heroine had fallen for the hero when she was eleven and he was fifteen but she understood it was a crush. The romance comes from the earlier friendship turning to love when they meet as adults. He went rushing back, on hearing of her demise, because he needed an excuse to escape from a situation he couldn't handle.Americanisms get me too so I was amused when checking the Oxford English Dictionary to read that 'kidding' in the context used here originated in the early 19th century. The story is set in 1847.

Historical novels are escapism. Whilst we all appreciate a measure of accuracy I don't think many want exact replicas of the times. It would be hard work reading some Victorian writers who have not survived the times. Dickens is the exception not the rule.

This novel is pure escapism and as such it suceeds very well. Enough villains to make one shudder, a growing love twixt hero and heroine, humour, drama and a good HEA. What more can one ask for? Good valuetoo if bought as an ebook.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshingly different type of heroine 6 Mar 2013
By Caz
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characterisation was excellent and Cynthia was a refreshing and engaging heroine. I'm glad that the writer didn't take the easy option of having the treasure be a vast fortune which would solve all the H&H's money problems and mean that Lancaster didn't need to marry an heiress after all - I felt that what she actually came up with was far more meaningful.

There were some problems in terms of there being rather a modern feel to some of the dialogue, and the Americanisms which always annoy me and which, for some reason, never get picked up in proofing. Surely some copy editors across the pond know we don't always speak the same language?

The romance worked well, and I thought Nick and Cynthia's HEA was well-deserved.

I seem to have read books 2 and 3 in this series and missed book 1, which I must rectify immediately :)
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars You certainbly are kidding! 31 May 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When reading this book I swear I could hear the sound of Georgette Heyer spinning furiously in her grave. When the words "you are kidding" appear no less than three times in the mouths of different characters I am glad Georgette is dead. And when a heroine flings her nude body at the hero - often - in times when women were supposed to be chaste, and pregnancy meant women deserted by their own families, words fail me. Apart from the Americanisms and 21st century speech patterns, you also need to suspend belief with this story such as an 11 year old girl falling desperately and forever in love. That though they have not seen other for many years and he has not thought about her in all that time, that the hero instantly returns to his estate on hearing of her "death". The secret of the hero's torment - sex abuse, yes a spoiler and I don't care! - was signalled way before it was revealed. Sorry, could not finish this book and am amazed I didn't throw it across the room. But the other reviewer loved it -- different strokes!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but her first two were better. 9 Aug 2009
By Old Latin teacher - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Victoria Dahl's first two historical romances (To Tempt a Scotsman, A Rake's Guide to Pleasure) were superior to this one. This romance seemed a bit disjointed, going off in so many directions: looking for a lost treasure, playing at ghosts, traveling to Nick's friend's estate, (that of the duke from the previous historical romance by Dahl), gambling to increase the income generated by the treasure hunt, fighting a duel, just to mention a few, rather than developing better the emotional problems of Nick and the relationship of the hero and heroine. And I beg to differ with the reviewer who said there are no villains in this book. I believe a sexual abuser of children qualifies as a villain. And the idea of this being a "fun" historical romance with a romantic triangle among Nick, Cynthia and Imogene is not accurate either. Imogene, the daughter of a rich "cit", hardly figures in the story, other than as a mistake on Nick's part. A nit I have to pick with the author is her resolution near the end of Nick's financial problems by having him work with his friend, the duke. Why didn't he ask his friend for help right from the get-go, rather than try to marry money? Oh, well, one doesn't really read this type of book expecting logical behavior on the part of the heroes and heroines.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hero makes this a good novel, almost four stars 17 Aug 2009
By Melissa - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is my first novel by Ms. Dahl so I had no background information on the hero, Nicholas, Viscount Lancaster. Apparently he was in a previous work. This novel moved unevenly with many plot devises such as ghosts, hidden treasures, and a runaway heroine, however the characters are very interesting and unique. The male protagonist is honorable and heroic.

Heroine Cynthia Merrithorpe is likable but she also has a quick temper, lashes out when she is frustrated and can be as stubborn as the day is long. She is not overly insightful and has a terrible habit of making assumptions. Yet she is very empathetic when it comes to hero Nick and this makes her faults more tolerable. Nick and Cynthia have grown up together and when they reconnect they start an instant friendship.

Nick is engaged to a woman who does not love him nor does he love her but she is rich and he needs the money to support his mother and siblings. Cynthia is aware of his engagement and disheartened to know that he will marry without love.

Cynthia has her own problems though, namely a sadistic man intent on marrying her. This man plays a part in Nick's life too and it is impossible not to despise this villain. Cynthia believes she has a solution for both Nick and her money problems and that is a hidden treasure stashed away long ago by her deceased uncle in the cliffs around Nick's estate.

Cynthia and Nick have a combustible relationship. They are smart but also secretive. Cynthia pales in comparison to Nick when it comes to personality. Nick has more depth and his haunted past is evident in and out of the bedroom. Nick and Cynthia's intimate trysts are gut wrenching at times but also the best written scenes in the novel.

I was not overly fond of this novel's ending. It seemed a bit too far fetched and out of character for an aristocrat and I wondered about Cynthia's impatient nature even in the last chapter. All in all though, a nice read with a wonderful hero.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light, breezy 4 1/2 star book. 19 Sep 2009
By denak - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In my opinion, this is the perfect book to read on a nice Fall day.

Ms. Dahl suceeds in creating two characters that the reader will cheer for. The book is simultaneously light and serious. There are some funny parts in the book and some very serious parts. Ms. Dahl writes about a subject that is very rarely mentioned in romance novels and by doing so, fleshes out Nick's character making him more than "just a pretty face." Moreover, Ms. Dahl doesn't take the easy way out by having Nick or Cynthia inheriet from a mysterious relative. Nick has to find a real world solution to his problem and that,to me, makes it a better book.

The only drawback to this book is the last 10 pages or so. The book really does end around page 340. Then Ms. Dahl moves the action (or should I say inaction) to New York. The only reason I can think of her doing this is so that she can introduce the cast of characters for her next book. I think this was a strategic mistake.

So, if one can ignore the last few pages of the book, I recommend this book. Nick and Cynthia's story is worth it.


So, if you want to read a
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Love this author - great escape read - Enjoy! 26 Oct 2009
By cb - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was amazing fun book to read - Nicholas Viscount Lancaster is broke and finds his fiancé in another man arms - he decides to leave town for awhile to morn his childhood friend Cynthia Merrithorp. Cynthia faked her suicide to escape and very EVIL man who she was suppose to marry and pretends to be a ghost at Nicholas home where she is hiding. When Nicholas discovers that Cynthia is not dead and she has a plan to find a buried treasure and escape to America he offers to help. This story made me smile and laugh and had some very heated scenes - Enjoy.

If you enjoy this author I would also suggest; A Rake's Guide To Pleasure (Zebra Historical Romance)& To Tempt A Scotsman (Zebra Debut). She also writes contemporary romance novels which are excellent; Start Me Up, Talk Me Downand looking forward to Lead Me On - due out January 2010!
4.0 out of 5 stars Tortured Hero, Sassy and Willful Heroine 16 May 2014
By Kristina H - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dahl definitely delivers on this one. This isn't my favorite Dahl book, but it's a very, very good romance. (I prefer her contemporaries since I think she has a more modern voice.)

ONE WEEK AS LOVERS opens with the hero, Viscount Nicholas Lancaster, discovering his fiance in the arms of another man. He knows that he can't break off the engagement because she is a heiress, and his family is drowning in debt. When the news comes that Cynthia Merrithrope, Nick's old neighbor, had died, Nick decides to take a break from the London life and return to his roots. When he discovers that Cynthia isn't exactly dead, but fleeing an unwanted suitor. As they devise a way for Cynthia to escape her fate, Nick hides a hell of a secret from her as they fall into lust and love.

Cynthia is a great heroine. She's willful, flawed, and active. Nick, however, makes the story. Everyone knows him as a cheerful, but debt-ridden Viscount Lancaster. Nobody knows what dark secrets lay under the amiable exterior, until Cynthia gets a bit too close. Most readers will be thoroughly charmed by Lancaster's wit and thoughtfulness, and sympathetic to his darker side. Usually, I find tortured heroes overwrought and melodramatic, but Dahl does a good job with Nick. He's definitely tortured, but it doesn't take over the story.

The sec scenes are pretty typical for Dahl--graphic, steamy, and the guys know what to do with a woman. That being said, I felt like there was less variety here than in most of her books (mostly due to some of Nick's hangups). I found myself missing her usual diversity in well ... positions. (C'mon ... the sex is a big part of why we read these books.)

Otherwise, the plot is fairly exciting with lots of devices, but it could get a bit messy at times. The ending is bit drawn out and somewhat unsatisfying. The characters were engaging, even though I wanted desperately for Nick to tell Cyn his secret. The prose is fairly good, but I've seen Dahl do even better.

Recommended to anyone who likes historicals, strong heroines and tortured heroes.
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