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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars

on 1 March 2003
"After the Kiss" is an unusual love story set in Regency England. Margaret Esterly is a young widow who lost her husband and all their belongings in a tragic fire. She tries to build herself a new life in a quiet little village far away from London and her past.When poverty threatens she decides to sell the only valuable object she has, one of the scandalous journals of an ancient traveller. She arrives in London to the elegant townhouse of the buyer who is hosting a masked ball for the ton. Margaret cannot resist the temptation to quietly move up the terrace steps and have a glimpse at the colourful gathering through the windows.Michael Hawthorne, the Earl of Montraine is taking the air on the terrace and he notices the young woman in the shadows. They exchange a few witty comments and he mistakes her for one of the guests.The air is sizzling around them and suddenly they share a passionate moment. Margaret flees and Michael finds himself alone in the dark fascinated by a mysterious stranger.Margaret cannot recognise her own immoral behaviour. She is a virtuous widow who needs to concentrate on her future livelyhood. Unfortunately she needs to sell another volume of the journal and she travels to London again.Michael is a practical man full of logic and he doesn't understand why are his dreams and days full of the mysterious woman. He forces himself to forget and concentrates on the young society debutantes.But his feelings and his curiosity are stronger than his will and he surprises Margaret by his intentions. Both leading protagonists are strong individuals clearly acknowledging their situation and standing in society. Margaret boldly decides to collect some memories for her meager future and Michael wants to find a logical explanation for his infatuation. The book has a very emotional and very sensual storyline. The author is well aware of her characters and she describes their innermost feelings and sexual relationship in deep detail. Margaret and Michael are real humans proudly accepting their emotions and fate.
AFTER THE KISS is a historical romance, which takes your breath away. It is written by a talented author who knows how to capture the reader's attention and keep it there until the end.
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on 5 December 2000
This is a classic love story that intimately exlores the characters and their evolving love story. Set in the early 19th century, Margaret, a poor widow, is pursued by an earl. Michael is your typical aristocrat who will eventually marry for money to save the family home etc. But he glimpses Margaret and is filled with lust and so embarks on an affair with Margaret. This is a sensual and passionate love story between the two characters. Both are strong and independant individuals whom you like and admire. It is a joy to read their romance. However,there is also a mystery to solve which adds to the drama and mystery. This is truly a sensitive and satisfying romance which I would highly recommend. Ranney is a deep and passionate writer whose characters have strength and individuality, so that each of her stories have a twist as well as a sensual and erotic feel. I would also recommend My Beloved.
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on 18 June 2015
While I liked this book, it's a bit too wordy! The characters think too much, the author ponders too much and any action is dispensed with in a few short words. I'd have preferred it if the balance of words and action had been reversed.
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on 14 January 2001
Some love stories are good, some are very good but this story leaves you stunned at the depth of emotion it is boundless. Well done Karen Ranney now I have another book to add to my small pile of KEEP books.
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on 19 April 2002
I found this book after searching for Regency romances, but it's not what I expected. It lacks the amount of historical detail and the humour that Regency romances usually provide. The biggest surprise was the explicit sex scenes. They were well written, but almost pornographic. That's fine if it's what you're looking for, but it's not what I expected from a Regency romance, and I wanted to warn other prospective readers.
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