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Let Love Find You (Anglais) CD – Livre audio, 12 juin 2012

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CD, Livre audio, 12 juin 2012
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--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié.

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Let Love Find You

Chapter One


LADY AMANDA LOCKE SIGHED as she gazed at her reflection in the oval mirror. Sitting at the vanity in the comfortable room she’d been given at her cousin Rupert’s house in London, she imagined she saw a wrinkle at the corner of one eye. She gasped. Did she? She leaned closer. No, just her imagination and the light, but it wouldn’t be long before it wasn’t. She had just turned twenty! The ton would be calling her an old maid soon—if they weren’t already.

She sighed again. Her maid, Alice, pretended not to notice as she pinned the last blond lock of Amanda’s coiffure into place. That wouldn’t have stopped Amanda if she felt like being vocal about her melancholy tonight, but she didn’t. Alice had heard it all and heard it often. Amanda’s whole family had heard it all, and she had a large family. But she was tired of complaining about such a sorry state of affairs, she just couldn’t help it sometimes.

Her first London Season shouldn’t have been such a disaster. It was supposed to be a roaring success. She had expected no less. Her family had expected no less. She was a beauty, after all, even quite fashionable with her blond hair and powder-blue eyes, and she also had the aristocratic bones that ran in her family. She was also the only daughter of Preston Locke, the 10th Duke of Norford. That alone should have had the proposals streaming in. And no one had doubted that she would outshine all the other debutantes that Season two years ago, herself included. But then no one had been prepared for the infamous Ophelia Reid, who had debuted that same year, and no one, not even Amanda, could compare to Ophelia’s dazzling beauty.

It was almost funny, Amanda thought as she looked back on it, how jealous she’d been of Ophelia, so jealous that she’d spent most of that first Season stewing about it and thus ignoring the young men who had tried to get to know her. So really, she could blame that disaster on herself. But of course her emotions got out of hand, especially when she found out her own brother, Raphael, was also falling under the ice queen’s spell.

Ophelia hadn’t even been likable back then! Amanda recalled wondering how her brother could be so dense just because Ophelia was a raving beauty! Ophelia was manipulative, a liar, and spiteful to boot. Anyone with two eyes could see it, which meant every man in London that year wasn’t utilizing both of his eyes, Amanda’s brother included!

Rafe did fall in love with Ophelia, he did marry her, and he did tame the shrew. There was nothing not to like about the Ophelia her brother had married.

That had all been part of Amanda’s first disastrous Season in London. Last year she’d tried to take her brother’s advice to heart and just let love find her. She’d had fun doing so, maybe too much fun. Relaxing, just enjoying herself and the many entertainments, she’d found that she actually liked some of her beaus, could even call them friends now, but not one had ever pulled at her heartstrings. So before she knew it, her second London Season was over and she still hadn’t found a husband.

Now, at the beginning of her third Season in London, she was quite desperate. Something needed to change this year because she obviously wasn’t going about husband hunting the right way. She wasn’t as silly and flighty as people thought, but even she knew that she gave that impression sometimes.

“You’re bored already this Season, aren’t you?” Alice said as she stood behind her.

Amanda frowned as she met the maid’s eyes in the mirror. Was the problem that simple? Bored all day long, and then when she finally had something to do in the evenings, she was so pleased she overreacted, behaving a bit more effervescently than she ought to?

She didn’t try to deny it. “It’s different here, not a’tall like at home in the country, where I’ve got so much to occupy me.”

“Your aunt made a suggestion the other day. Why didn’t you agree?”

Amanda rolled her eyes. “Help with that sewing class her friend started? I love needlepoint, but not enough to teach it to little girls who’d rather be out fishing.”

Alice couldn’t hold back her laughter. “I really don’t think most little girls have fishing on their minds like you used to. But you should find something to do while we’re in London instead of counting the minutes until the next party. Going from utter boredom to utter excitement isn’t a good balance under any circumstances.”

Amanda managed not to sigh again, but of course she was ready to leave the house and was already beginning to feel the excitement. Tonight could be the night she met her future husband. Well, it could happen. So she merely nodded to her maid and decided that thinking up a project to occupy her during the day could wait until tomorrow when she felt bored again.

She had to admit she was nicely decked out for not one but two parties tonight. Amanda did one last twirl in front of the full-length mirror to make sure nothing was out of place. It wasn’t. Her maid was superb in that regard. The pale pink of the new evening gown highly suited her and was perfect for her mother’s rubies at her neck and ears.

She didn’t look any different from how she had during her first Season, when she’d thought she’d be the first among her friends to get engaged and she hadn’t ended up engaged a’tall. Let love find you, it will, you know, Ophelia had assured her. Yes, but when? How long was she supposed to wait for that magical moment to happen?

Amanda went downstairs to see if her cousin Avery had arrived yet. The second of Aunt Julie’s three sons, Avery had his own flat in London now, but Amanda had sent him a note in the afternoon, informing him that she was in need of a chaperone tonight, since Aunt Julie’s oldest son, Rupert, and his new bride, Rebecca, hadn’t yet returned from Norford as Amanda had hoped they would. And Aunt Julie’s third son, Owen, was too young at sixteen to be anyone’s escort.

Amanda had stayed at the St. John household last year for the Season as well, since her father didn’t own a town house in London. And she could depend on two of her St. John cousins as well as their mother to serve as her escorts, even if none of them were ideal. But now her old friend Rebecca Marshall was part of the household, too, having recently married Rupert St. John, and she was ideal.

Amanda had been delighted by the news of Rebecca and Rupert’s marriage. Rebecca would make a perfect chaperone because Amanda could actually have fun with her. But Becky had surprised Amanda by flatly refusing at first, claiming it didn’t seem right because she was several years younger than Amanda. But Amanda’s stubbornness had kicked in—she could be quite tenacious without even realizing it—and she’d convinced Becky to agree. But then Becky had hied off to the country without a by-your-leave, putting Amanda back at square one with her old choices.

She so hoped her old friend had returned by now. She wasn’t worried that Rupert would want to tag along. He’d had his fill of balls and parties. He’d been Amanda’s escort in the past and never failed to cause a stir, as handsome and flirtatious as he was, which tended to make every other gentleman present quite jealous, and jealous men didn’t want to dance. That was why she only asked Rupert to chaperone her as a last resort.

His mother, Julie, was just as bad! She’d raised her three boys on her own after her husband, the last Marquis of Rochwood, had died, and she tried to be both mother and father to them, which, unfortunately, had turned her into somewhat of a bully. As Amanda had told Rebecca recently when she’d been trying to talk her into being her chaperone, “While Aunt Julie will agree to accompany me to parties, she’ll also spend the entire night grumbling. And believe me, there aren’t very many men who don’t quickly retreat after receiving one of her scowls.”

Rebecca had made a good point though: if Amanda’s beaus could so easily be intimidated by her aunt, then they weren’t for her. Amanda had to admit she’d been glad when a few of the more obnoxious ones had been scared off by Aunt Julie.

Amanda had almost reached the bottom of the stairs when her steps slowed. She wondered if Avery had arrived yet. While he never minded escorting her—at least he never complained about it—he usually had to cancel his own plans to do so, which made her feel bad. Occasionally, he wasn’t available because he was out of town.

She supposed she should have waited to dress for the evening until she had received confirmation that he was coming. Now she started to panic. Aunt Julie would be furious if she had to dress at the last minute to join her. But Amanda had already canceled two engagements because of Becky’s absence. She simply couldn’t cancel the two tonight, not when one party was being given by one of her closer friends, and the other by her sister-in-law, so Amanda had decided to attend them both—but not without an escort!

It wasn’t Avery who appeared in the parlor doorway, drawn out by her loud sigh, but the man standing before her made her forget every one of her woes.

“Father!” She flew into Preston Locke’s open arms. “What are you doing here? You never come to London except on business.”

He gave her a brief hug before he set her back to explain, “I consider this business, family business. I came to find out what your cousin Rupert was doing here while his new bride was in Norford. You do know they didn’t even bother to inform me of their marriage?”

Amanda winced for her cousin’s sake. Her brother, Rafe, had done the same thing, married Ophelia Reid on the fly, as it were, without telling the family first, and their father had been quite put out about it.

“Well, that would explain why Rue left so suddenly today,” Amanda said, giving her father a knowing grin. She could just imagine how that conversation between annoyed uncle and admonished nephew had gone. “So he’ll be bringing Becky back to London, d’you think?”

“I would imagine.”

“Soon, I hope? Perhaps even tonight?”

“I highly doubt it.”

Amanda sighed.

Preston chucked her chin. “What?”

“I was looking forward to having Becky as my chaperone tonight. Now I’m stuck with Avery again.”

Preston frowned thoughtfully. “Isn’t Becky a bit young for that—?”

“No, no,” Amanda quickly interrupted. “She’s married! You know that makes it quite acceptable.”

Preston gave her a doubtful frown, which started her squirming. He was a big man, tall, strapping. She and her brother, Rafe, both got their blond hair and blue eyes from him, though Preston had a little gray at his temples, which quite annoyed him. But he rarely lost his temper, didn’t even appear to have one. He could exert such a calming influence on friend and foe alike that it was quite difficult to maintain a temper in his presence. He didn’t argue his points, he got them across in a reasonable manner, and if he was proven wrong, he’d merely laugh about it and go on from there. The only exception was how he dealt with his siblings. Where his sisters were concerned, he enjoyed pulling their cords, was quite the tease in that regard. Her brother had gotten that from their father, too, much to her annoyance.

Before her father actually forbade her to rely on Rebecca as her chaperone just because she was a few years younger than Amanda, she said, “You did know that Becky was a maid of honor, right up till she married Rue? That’s where he met her, at the palace. But having served in the royal court, she’s more a stickler for proper etiquette than anyone I know.”

“No, I didn’t know, on either count. Your aunt Julie is still your best—”

“She doesn’t like going to these parties. She’ll go, of course, but you know how she is when she doesn’t like something,” she mumbled.

Preston sighed. “I wish she had remarried instead of practicing being a curmudgeon.”

“She wishes the same thing about you,” Amanda said, then sputtered, “Not the curmudgeon part!”

Was that actually a blush climbing his cheeks? Surely not. It wasn’t as if the family didn’t know why he chose to stay single after his wife had died. He’d loved her too much. He’d preferred to honor that love and not try to replace it. Actually, she and Rafe had concluded that their father didn’t want to be disappointed in a second wife after having been so happy with the first. They could hardly disagree. They didn’t want their mother to be replaced either. But they did want their father to be happy, so if he did find someone who could make him that happy, they certainly wouldn’t object. He just wasn’t looking. He already knew all the unattached ladies at home and wasn’t interested in any of them, and he rarely came to London, where he might meet someone new.

But he was here now. She wondered . . .

“By the by, I sent Avery home,” Preston said matter-of-factly. “I’ll be your escort tonight, m’dear. I want to see for m’self the current crop of eligibles and what’s taking you so long to make up your mind.”

Although it was quite hard to utter a delighted squeal and a groan in the same breath, Amanda managed it just fine. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Présentation de l'éditeur

#1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Lindsey’s dazzling new tale of a desperate debutante whose family hires an innovative matchmaker to ensure her marriage features one of Lindsey’s most beloved heroines: Amanda Locke, sister to dashing Rafe Locke from the “elegantly sensual” (Booklist) The Devil Who Tamed Her!

London society has its very own Cupid. Renowned horse breeder and occasional matchmaker Devin Baldwin pairs eligible young ladies with suitable gentlemen based on his theory of animal magnetism. Unafraid of ruffling the ton’s feathers, this darkly handsome Cupid doles out tips for bettering one’s chances of meeting a mate that are as pointed as the love legend’s sharpest arrows!

Lovely Amanda Locke, the daughter of a duke, is everything a nobleman could desire, yet she enters her third Season still searching for a match. Gossipmongers’ tongues are wagging, and her mystified family is considering drastic measures to find her a husband. But the insufferable advice of this Cupid fellow is the last thing Amanda wants.

When an earl passionate about horses becomes the target of her husband hunt, Amanda knows it’s time to overcome her fear of riding. With her sister-in-law Ophelia hastening the romance along by arranging riding lessons, Amanda is soon taking instruction from infuriating Devin Baldwin. Astonishingly, in her daily encounters with Devin—who treats her as an ordinary young woman, not a prize to be won at the marriage mart—Amanda experiences passion for the first time. Now, her search for a match takes her in an unexpected direction as she finds herself falling in love with Cupid himself.

Delivering the “potent, sexy chemistry” (Booklist) and witty repartee for which she is adored, Johanna Lindsey shines with this sparkling new novel. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

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Par mimi1971 le 1 décembre 2013
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
Fabulous book, the story is excellent just like the reste of Lindsey's books. I recommend this book to all fans of Johhanna Lindsey.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x9d3cee88) étoiles sur 5 167 commentaires
72 internautes sur 74 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9e11ba20) étoiles sur 5 Who wrote this? 15 juin 2012
Par A. Callis - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I have been a long time fan of Johanna Lindsey. Her early books are wonderful. Recently there has been a sharp decline in the quality of the stories and the development of the characters. They have become formulaic and boring; the characters talk and talk and say and do nothing of interest. This is the last book of hers that I will buy in hard cover, and possibly the last one ever. There just isn't anything very interesting about the story - no real tension or hook. The characters are shallow and not very likable. The main plot revolves unbelievably around a Duke's daughter who "boo hoo" can't find a husband after looking for 2 years. She meets up with "Cupid" an illegitimate son who raises race horses but has a sideline of helping people find the right match based on common interests - oh and as a very minimal side story, someone may be trying to ruin or kill him. A weird variety of side plots are thrown in willy-nilly and characters come and go. We are expected to be interested in all the bland conversations of a myriad of minor characters who listen as the heroine bemoans her fate, whines about being afraid of horses, and debates which of two men (neither of whom has much to recommend him) she will marry. Of course it is obvious from the start that she will end up with "Cupid." The characters just don't ring true in any way. Their actions and conversations don't fit the time period or even sound like real people. Honestly, I can't believe this was written by the same author as the earlier Lindsey books. There is just nothing here. Boring Boring Boring.
53 internautes sur 58 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9e11be28) étoiles sur 5 Horse breeder, beautiful girl...sound familiar? 16 juin 2012
Par Natale R Williams - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I just got done reading Johanna Lindsey's latest novel and as I pushed my way through the novel, I couldn't help but reminded of another book she wrote. Man of My Dreams. It was about a Duke hiding out as a horse breeder, who falls for the spoiled beautiful girl who wants to marry a duke. Needless to say if you are familiar with this book, then this book will just fizzle before your eyes. At least there was conflict and sizzle with Devlin and Meghan in that book! There was no spark between these two characters. And I was so hoping for something to make me laugh or even cry. The side story of the attempted killing of Devin Baldwin was so minimal and yet too much of the end revolved around it. There was no build up to it. And Amanda spent so much time whining about not knowing what love was it made her shallow instead of Miss Sunshine as she was referred to at the beginning. IF someone out there reads or attempts to read this book is out there, read Man of My Dreams first. You'll see what Lindsey is capable of writing. This was just painful in comparison.
39 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9e11bea0) étoiles sur 5 Disappointed...AGAIN 19 juin 2012
Par BobbiL - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle
I am so disappointed with this book. What happened to Johanna Lindsey? It use to be a "must read" for me. I couldn't wait to get home to read the books of old. The last two attempts at novels have been disappointing. It is with much sorrow I must take Lindsey off my "must read" list....
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9fe8424c) étoiles sur 5 OH NO! 19 juillet 2012
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format: Relié
TRUTHFULLY, this book sucks! I've read all of Mrs. Lindsey's published books. I am not sure why she's writing poor scripts. I am SO happy I borrowed this book from the library. Devin and Amanda seem like characters from two different time periods thrown together. I am disappointed and wish that the next book written by her will have her usual special touch. Please don't waste your money on this book.
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9fe84384) étoiles sur 5 Book was written by a computer program? 11 mars 2013
Par Vicky Vo - Publié sur
Everyone is entitled to her own opinion. Still..I can't understand how this book can get more than 1 star. I don't like not finishing something I've started. For bad books, that means I flip through and fly to the end. A few times I'll review the sections I skimmed to see if I missed anything. For this book it was character development or story advancement, just a bunch of dialog fillers and useless descriptions of clothes, food, drawing rooms, etc...

I especially dislike characters who appear in more than one story to have such a drastic change. Ophelia, who first appeared as a conniving, selfish character, now is a paragon of virtue and thoughtful generosity. Yes, authors can 'reform' someone, but in this and many more instances of these 'linked' books, Lindsey turned a great, complicated and interesting character into a wooden, boring one. But then, all the characters are wooden and boring in this book.

Sure hope Lindsey's next book returns her to her former glory. It's promising that she's finally leaving England and going back to the Wild Wild West.
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