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The One That Got Away Mass Market Paperback – October 26, 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 69 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

#1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award-winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was more fun than real life. She is the author of thirty-one novels, and her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Victoria lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her long-suffering husband and two dogs, in a house under endless renovation and never-ending chaos.

Eloisa James is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author and professor of English literature, who lives with her family in New York, but can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit her at

Cathy Maxwell spends hours in front of her computer pondering the question, “Why do people fall in love?” It remains for her the great mystery of life and the secret to happiness. Contact Cathy at or the old-fashioned way at PO Box 484, Buda, TX. 78610.

A lifelong Anglophile, Liz Carlyle cut her teeth reading gothic novels under the bedcovers by flashlight. She is the author of over twenty historical romances, including several New York Times bestsellers. Liz travels incessantly, ever in search of the perfect setting for her next book. Along with her genuine romance-hero husband and four very fine felines, she makes her home in North Carolina.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The One That Got Away

By Alexander, Victoria

Avon Books

ISBN: 0060540265

The Trouble With Charlotte

Victoria Alexander

One month earlier ...

It was past time she wed again. Everyone said so.Worse, she knew it herself.

Charlotte Robb, the widow of Captain Hugh Robb,who'd met his demise at the battle of Albuera six years agothis spring but who had, in truth, left her life long before hisdeath, smiled with feigned interest at the gathering offriends in her salon and pretended to follow the ongoing debateover whether or not Keats was as brilliant as Shelleyand if indeed Lord Byron should even be included in theircompany. The women were firmly in support of Lord Byron,as women generally tended to be. Still, it was a frivolousdiscussion, and Charlotte was rather grateful for that atthe moment. She did love these gatherings, but today shewas simply not in the mood for talk of a more serious naturethan quibbling over the talents of poets. She had far toomuch on her mind.

It was an especially small group today, her guests onlysix in number. Her two dearest friends were in attendance,of course: Eunice, Lady Blackwell, and Isobel, Lady Hazelwood.All three women had been friends since their firstseason eight years ago, and all three now shared their respectivewidowhood. Eunice's state was not unexpected, asshe'd wed a man more than twice her age. Indeed, the realsurprise was that Lord Blackwell had lasted as long as hehad, expiring a mere four years ago. While Eunice stillswore she'd had genuine affection for him, her recoveryfrom her grief at his passing had been relatively swift,helped, as she freely admitted, by the tidy fortune he'd leftin her grateful hands.

Isobel was an entirely different story. She'd known herhusband since childhood and had loved him nearly thatlong. When his death came three years ago, the result of aswift and unexpected illness, she was devastated. Withoutthe support and love of her friends and family, the dearcreature never would have survived at all. Fortunately, Isobelhad a great number of relations and an equally largenumber of friends. Still, it was only in the past few monthsthat Isobel had begun to show any interest at all in resumingher own life.

As for Charlotte, her own marriage had been a tempestuousmix of high passion and heady emotions and a disastrouserror in judgment, on Hugh's part as well as her own.They'd been married, or rather had done battle, scarcelymore than a year when Hugh had decided to remove himselffrom all responsibilities of wife and wedlock and hadpurchased a commission in the army. One might say, andCharlotte suspected many indeed did say, that he had beenwell prepared for war, given the state of their marriage.Even so, he had obviously not been prepared enough, asbarely a year later he was dead. The deep, shocking sorrow she'd had at the news was mixed, even now, six long yearslater, with a fury she was hard-pressed to ignore or understand.Still, it was over and done with, and Isobel wasn't theonly one who needed to get on with her own life.

At least one of the four gentlemen here today was an intriguingcandidate for helping Charlotte do just that, and allpresent were those she included in her list of friends. Therewas LordWarren, who was devilishly handsome, with far toomuch free time, money, and charm. Charlotte was probablyonly immune to him because she'd known him for much ofher life and thought of him with the fondness one has for anunrepentant brother. Mr. Addison had become a friend aswell in recent years. The man was a brilliant critic of art, inthe process of making a rather distinguished name for himselfand great fun to debate on almost any subject imaginable.Then there was Mr. Manning. The younger son of an earl, hefancied himself a writer of plays, although one had yet to beproduced, or even, to Charlotte's knowledge, finished. Still,he was of clever character, financially sound, from a goodfamily, and he'd been head over heels for Isobel since the momenthe'd met her. Not that Isobel had noticed. Not yet.

And last, but certainly not least among their number, wasthe Earl of Pennington. Marcus Holcroft. Charlotte had methim at a party in the country, and they had continued theiracquaintance upon their return to London. He was charmingand witty, with a dry way of looking at the world thatwas most amusing. With every passing day Charlotte foundhis company more and more enjoyable. Indeed, she had recentlyadmitted, if only to herself, that she might be somewhattaken with him and was fairly certain, given the lookin his eyes whenever her gaze would meet his, that he mightbe taken with her as well. It could even be love, althoughCharlotte wasn't at all sure she would recognize love. Notreal love.

She'd once thought she'd known real love, but with theclarity of years and distance, noww ondered if what she'dhad with Hugh had been nothing more than a concoction offorbidden lust and high passion stirred and flavored with theimpulsiveness of youth and the lure of excitement. The factthat they'd wed at all was only due to the dishonorable circumstancesthey'd found themselves in. To give Hugh amodicum of credit, no one had known of their liaison and hecould easily have escaped any responsibility. But he had insistedon marriage, and that alone had been enough to convinceher of love on both their parts, although neither hadever said so aloud. Besides, her head had been too full ofstars and romantic dreams about eternal devotion and fateand all sorts of other nonsense to realize that she and Hughsimply did not suit outside of a bedroom or a battlefield ...

Excerpted from The One That Got Awayby Alexander, Victoria Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Avon (October 26, 2004)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0060540265
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0060540265
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 6.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.19 x 0.96 x 6.75 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 69 ratings

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