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e-book It Begins with a Kiss (A Drakes Rakes Short Story)

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Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Explore Now. Buy As Gift. Rather than the safe haven the girls' families presume it to be, the school is intent on making its charges conform to the rules-by any means necessary. For Fiona, the only thing worse than staying at the dreaded "Last Chance Academy" would be abandoning the friends she's made there. But when she receives word from home that her sister is in trouble, Fiona plots her escape. A devoted spy in service to the Crown, Alex Knight takes his duties very seriously.

His latest assignment-to ensure that the incorrigible Fiona remain safely at school-turns out to be far more of a challenge than he expected. After matching wits with the fiery Scottish beauty, he learns that the greatest danger of all. This download includes a sneak peak from the first book in the Drake's Rakes series, Barely a Lady!

Story word count: 13, Excerpt word count: 12, Product Details About the Author. Eileen is an addicted traveler, having sung in some of the best Irish pubs in the world. Eileen also writes as Kathleen Korbel and has over three million books in print worldwide. Born and raised in Missouri, she lives in St. Louis County with her husband Rick and her two children.

Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. The Witches Sabbath awaits! With a terrifying cast of characters and filled with scary stories that With a terrifying cast of characters and filled with scary stories that are actually pretty funny. This collection includes:Lady Locombatch: a woman who wants to desperately get rid of her husband. Alien Armada of Death: an old man who's View Product. Picturesque Shenadoah Falls, Virginia, seems like the perfect place to relax and regroup before heading back to real life.

Ashes and Rubble: Short Stories. Ashes and Rubble is a collection of fiction short stories that poignantly describe the plight Ashes and Rubble is a collection of fiction short stories that poignantly describe the plight of girls and women in various parts of the world. With Chekhov-like story telling, each short story conveys nuances of humor, tragedy, oppression, joy, pain, Well-matched intellectually, and kindred spirits when it comes to their desire to protect those they love, they have great chemistry, and Ms Dreyer writes and develops their relationship extremely well.

Twice Tempted is a well-paced, compelling page-turner that boasts a secondary cast every bit as strongly drawn as the central couple. View all 4 comments. Maybe it was because I read this one hot on the heels of my favorite in the series, but this one was just okay.

Dreyer also did a decent job of dealing with neurodivergent character, but there were some flaws. It's clear that Mairead is intended to be somewhere on the autism spectrum, and for the most part her difference is handled gracefully. She is fully realized as a secondary character and! A woman deserving of love and sex just like the neurotypical! Quite frankly, they seem like the only professional spies in this damn series. I would dearly love to see Barbara kick his ass and, as the Mindy Project would say, his heart ass.

Dec 15, Emily rated it really liked it Shelves: genre-historical , virgin , rake , betrayal , series. Fiona Ferguson and her twin Mairead have been thrown out of her Grandfathers home, but this isn't the first disastrous situation Fiona has been in and she has a plan. When Drake's Rake Alex Knight and Chuffy Wilde show up to tell them of their brother's turn of fate, they find they were thrown out on the street. Fortunately Alex and Chuffy are able to locate them, but find all of them embroiled in a deadly game with an assassin.

Alex has been married once before and finds himself drawn to Fiona, Fiona Ferguson and her twin Mairead have been thrown out of her Grandfathers home, but this isn't the first disastrous situation Fiona has been in and she has a plan. Alex has been married once before and finds himself drawn to Fiona, but is he willing to go down that road again?

Chuffy finds Mairead enchanting and a bit odd, but he relishes in her company. Two sisters and two friends are about to embark on a fantastic ride. Nov 20, Jen Davis rated it it was ok. Several times, I was tempted to put it down; even more often, I was tempted to skim ahead. And though I did make it to the end, it only got marginally better for me before it was over. There is a great deal of background stuff that is obviously rooted in prior books, so if you have not read the series before, be warned. Fiona and her twin Mairead are turned out by their grandfather after news comes that their brother Ian died a traitor.

The women spent years on the street growing up and their grandfather figured they were never good enough not to tarnish the family name anyway. When his best friend Alex comes to share the happy news, however, he finds the twins gone and he makes it his mission to find them. You see, Alex has held warm feelings for Fiona for four years, since he brought her to her grandfather. And kissed her. Even though he was married.

And she was 16 and he was This does not sound romantic to me, but maybe this was in an earlier book and played off as less disturbing at the time. But some bad guys burn down their home and they have to turn to Alex for help. The biggest, though, in the early chapters was the dialogue.

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Two characters Chuffy and Lady Bea speak in bizarre word fragmented sentences. It drove me bonkers. Then there was the seemingly baseless affection between Alex and Fiona that made them moon for each other out of the gate. From a meeting four years ago? While she was a teen and he was married? Then there is the lack of communication they had with each other: too many secrets, which led to the inevitable misunderstandings. Plus, I thought the whole spy element was weak, maybe because this was set up in previous books.

But everyone knew who the Lions were, except maybe me, but I get that they were bad guys going against the crown. And they blackmail people. They were too removed as villains, though, just nameless faceless guys with nefarious intent. All of that, I disliked. Nothing made me root for these characters, together or apart. The sex was beyond weak. And the secondary romance was just as bad. WHY did Mairead fall in love with Chuffy? And WTF was up with the lady assassin who smelled like oranges who killed one dude then disappeared? What was the point of that? Not for me. But I guess if you read and liked the other books in the series, you might feel differently.

Oct 16, Elena rated it liked it Shelves: arc , historical , romance , adult , reviewed. Usually I find Eileen Dreyer's heroines wonderful and her heroes abysmal. This time, she seems to have split the difference and I just kind of shrugged my shoulders at them both. Thanks to Edelweiss and Forever for providing me with a review copy. Oct 05, Elis Madison rated it really liked it Shelves: bad-guys-galore , authors-to-follow , add-a-half-star , distorted-self-image , intrigue-is-good , part-of-series , she-knows-her-way-around-a-sword , era-regency , martyr-complex , like-the-author.

Twin sisters, one a savant, shady secrets, dashing spies, code-breaking, and villains galore! What's not to love? Sep 18, June rated it really liked it Shelves: books. Rating : 3,5 stars Oh well I must admit that I didn't get the deciphering code part but I quite enjoy the book and like the characters, especially Chuffy, he's funny. May 04, Jo My House of Books rated it liked it.

In an effort to finish books I've started, then put away for one reason or another, I sat down and made myself read Twice Tempted. I have read all the Drake's Rakes novels Always a Temptress was my favorite of the series , so it was pretty easy to put myself back into this world, even though it's been several years. The pacing of the story moved well -- we know Alex and Fiona will have a HEA; we assume Minette, the assassin, will be caught and the threat neutralized -- but once Chuffy and Mairea In an effort to finish books I've started, then put away for one reason or another, I sat down and made myself read Twice Tempted.

The pacing of the story moved well -- we know Alex and Fiona will have a HEA; we assume Minette, the assassin, will be caught and the threat neutralized -- but once Chuffy and Mairead's connection became obvious, I was glad to see Chuffy get a HEA as well. He has been my favorite minor character since the first novel. The main issue I had with Twice Tempted is that it felt like a series finale. All the loose ends were tied neatly, and I found myself speed reading simply to reach The End without having a real sense of connection between Fiona and Alex. Still, all's well that end's well, and I'm glad Drake's Rakes ended well.

Nov 28, Tin rated it it was amazing Shelves: It did begin with a kiss, as Eileen Dreyer's novella which introduced the students of the Last Chance Academy suggests. Fiona and Alex are kindred souls -- something they recognized in each other when they met at the academy all those years ago. Back then, Alex was not free to love Fiona because he was married, but the connection and chemistry was undeniable, and fans of the Rakes me, included were left to wistfully imagine what it would have been like if Fiona and Alex had a chance to explo It did begin with a kiss, as Eileen Dreyer's novella which introduced the students of the Last Chance Academy suggests.

Back then, Alex was not free to love Fiona because he was married, but the connection and chemistry was undeniable, and fans of the Rakes me, included were left to wistfully imagine what it would have been like if Fiona and Alex had a chance to explore the possibilities between them. But now, even though his wife has died, Alex still does not believe he is free to love Fiona, doesn't believe he is worthy of Fiona's love and doesn't believe he can dare to dream to be with her. Instead he focuses on protecting her and rescuing her from the terrible, and deadly, situation Fiona and Mairead unwittingly find themselves in.


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In Twice Tempted , Eileen Dreyer has ramped up the intrigue. Dreyer's background is romantic suspense and she showcases a masterful and very wicked mind in crafting the delicate balancing act of protecting one's self, protecting one's family and name, and protecting one's country. It is terrifying to realise the power and reach of The Lions and I did wonder if Alex would succumb to the pressure they were exerting on him.

The Rakes all see Alex as a White Knight: a virtuous and noble defender and champion, but Alex doesn't believe he deserves the name.

It Begins with a Kiss

Even now as he walks the fine line between patriotism and treason, Alex doubts his own heart and ability. He failed to save his late wife, and he is about to, potentially, fail at saving his stepfather, Fiona, and England. He thought of the promise he had only recently made to Drake, that he would not fail to contact him the minute the Lions approached.

Nothing was more important than his duty to his country, he'd vowed. Not honor. Not life. But what about his father? Just what would a charge of treason do to that magnificent heart? Alex stood for a long time. Before he moved on, he gave one nod of his head.

He never went back to Drake's. Then there is Fiona and Mairead, who are being pursued by The Lions. What do they want from two orphans with no social connection or pull? What is so important about these sisters? So many questions in the story. So many mystery boxes to unlock. The task is daunting, but Eileen Dreyer has created characters that are more than capable of handling the situation. I was delighted and impressed by how intelligent and clever Fiona and Mairead are. They have defied expectations and broken molds as heroines. They are a wonderful combination of book-smart and street-smart -- when we discover what happened to the sisters all those years ago in Edinburgh, we assume the worst: the brothel, the streets, etc.

Had Fiona had a top hat to hide beneath? How had she disguised that flame-bright hair and unforgettable face? How had she protected Mired? Suddenly it was important to know. And, with Mairead's quirks, Fiona has had to manage her sister for their entire lives.

Interview: Eileen Dreyer, 'Once a Rake'

Like the other characters in the story, I wondered about Mairead, who was always talked about in the previous books, but never seen. Even then, Fiona had protected her and kept her from everyone's view. In Twice Tempted , we finally meet the mysterious Mairead, and she is lovable in her own special way. The sisters share one great passion for the stars, and Fiona has long relied on Orion's constancy -- it's a heartbreaking representation of the one thing Fiona wants and desperately lacks in her life: someone to rely on. The interesting reflection about stars is that they are fixed points in space and we have, through history, relied on them to guide us -- but, the stars disappear during the day when the sun outshines them, but, in our darkest hour, in our gravest need, those same stars will shine the brightest.

Fiona had been created for the skies, for the bright light of the sun, for rapier-sharp debate and sly humour. It was the way he'd always seen her in his mind, as a primal force. But Fiona was not only that bright spirit waving from the carriage, or the tight, controlled lady who survived her grandfather. She was the muck of the gutters. The thin, honed steel of survival. She was so much more than he had fallen in love with, and he didn't know how to absorb it all.

Booklist | Eileen Dreyer

Disclosure: I received this review copy through Netgalley for this blog tour. Thank you to Eileen Dreyer and to Grand Central for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review. Mar 18, Terry rated it it was amazing Shelves: history , regency. I am sorry that this book is ended, only because I love the main characters. Nov 09, Farrah rated it liked it. With a sweet romance and intriguing espionage, Twice Tempted was a lovely book and I enjoyed reading it. Fiona was a mostly good heroine. She was extremely smart, very protective over her sister, and unrelentingly resilient.

For that, I liked her. However, she also had a tendency to assume the worst, which was somewhat justified given her background. But, it became vaguely annoying when she kept up with that habit in regards to Alex, even after he had done enough to earn her trust several times o With a sweet romance and intriguing espionage, Twice Tempted was a lovely book and I enjoyed reading it.

But, it became vaguely annoying when she kept up with that habit in regards to Alex, even after he had done enough to earn her trust several times over. Especially when it led her to do some uncharacteristically impulsive things. Other than that, though, I thought she was great. Alex was likable. He was sweet and very loyal to his loved ones. However, I wish there had been more to him. I got that he was a good man who carried the burden of guilt heavily, but not much of a deeper sense of who he was.

It wasn't an issue, but it would have been nice to get to know more about him. The other two major characters who had their own secondary romance were Chuffy and Mairead. I thought both were great. They were both out of the ordinary, but they were perfectly matched for each other. Chuffy was so genuinely kind and adorable and Mairead was an interesting character herself.

I liked them both. The romance between Fiona and Alex was good. I did like them together and they definitely had chemistry.


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Oddly enough, though, I was actually more invested in Chuffy and Mairead's romance. Perhaps it was because I found them to be more interesting or maybe it was because they seemed to fit perfectly together, but I was really into their relationship. But, I thought both romances were lovely.

I had one final issue with the book and it was that there was just too much going on. There were a lot of conflicts introduced and it didn't feel like they were all resolved. Take Minette Ferrar, for example. She was introduced and seemed like she would act as a major obstacle but, other than a few further mentions, I didn't get anything else about her. An unnecessary blackmail scheme was another extraneous conflict. I just wish that one conflict had been focused on and delved into deeply. The plot was good and kept me interested.

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Despite the issues I had, I still enjoyed the story and I liked it overall. Twice Tempted was an enjoyable historical romance. It might not have been perfect, but it was a good read. Romance lovers, this might be one you'll want to check out. Nov 25, Evelyn rated it really liked it Shelves: read-bur. Originally reviewed for Buried Under Romance www. I could tell right away, however, that the characters were going to be unique and the plot complex, so I decided to push through and give it a chance.

I was not disappointed. The heroine of this well-written novel is Lady Fiona Ferguson Hawes who, along with her eccentric twin sister Mairead, are no longer welcome in London society or in the home of their grandfather, the Marquess of Leyburn, due to the suspected treasonous actions of their late brother Ian. What neither he nor the sisters know is that the Marquess had been using women as pawns in his own treasonous activities, and that when they left his home, they unknowingly carried crucial evidence that put them in serious danger.

Twice Tempted is a well-researched, well-written account of covert activities that took place during the Regency period. The tale of espionage is carefully woven around the compelling story of the two very interesting, intelligent young ladies and the men who loved them and wanted to protect them at all costs.

While I would suggest, if possible, that the other books in the series be read first, this book is worth reading, even as a standalone story. This was the first novel by Eileen Dreyre that I have read, and I was impressed by the amount of research that she had done and her ability to craft a complex plot with memorable characters.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Nov 24, Ivyd rated it really liked it. Though evident that a lot of water has already passed under the bridge I never felt lost or that vital information was missing. Fortunately for readers this could describe many historical romances available today 4. Fortunately for readers this could describe many historical romances available today. We truly have an embarrassment of riches.

Fiona and Alex are secondary characters from previous books. Both are strong and used to protecting and putting others first.


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  • Her resourcefulness, honor, loyalty, and responsibility are incredible. Alex Knight aka the White Knight. Alex feels responsible for others. The trait is both a blessing and a curse. Truly, a picture perfect hero and heroine but….. Not only do they shine brightly but they cast a warm glow, enriching both the plot and characters around them.

    Deyer would be added to my list for intelligent, richly peopled, complexly plotted writing; however the addition of those three characters has placed her at the top. Mairead, Chuffy, and, Lady Bea, as difficult and different as they are, have completely beguiled me.

    Drake's Rakes

    Nov 15, Mary rated it it was amazing Shelves: books. I really enjoyed the complex plot of this spy-thriller-romance. Brilliant young astronomers and mathematicians, Fiona and Mairead Ferguson, once had to survive on the streets in their childhood. After finally coming to live with their grandfather, the heartless marquess of Hawesworth, they thought they had some measure of safety.

    But when given the news that their brother died in a traitorous plot, the marquess tosses them back out onto the streets. Fiona then has to figure out how to survive an I really enjoyed the complex plot of this spy-thriller-romance. Fiona then has to figure out how to survive and provide a place where Mairead can continue her studies.

    While brilliant, Mairead would today probably be diagnosed as somewhere on the autism spectrum, so the challenge is extra daunting. Alex Knight had to deliver the bad news of his friend's death to the ladies, but this was not his first encounter with the lovely Fiona. She had once tried to run away from her school to get to her sister, and Alex had retrieved her. He had also stolen a kiss from her and had never forgotten that moment. Now armed with new knowledge that exonerates Ian Ferguson, Alex and his friend Chuffy, who are both members of Drakes Rakes spy organization, have to find the women and restore them to their proper place in society.

    Caught in the middle of the plot by the traitorous group called the Lions, the women have to earn a living, avoid detection, survive an assassin, clear their names, break a code, stop the Lions, and try to find their own happiness. Alex had always been called the "White Knight," but he feels such guilt over the secrets of his past, that he may be the one who needs saving this time around. Now, of course, I'm going to have to read the rest of the Drakes Rakes series to learn all about the other characters that play a part.