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A SECRET IDENTITY When pirates storm Viscount Steven Ashford's ship upon the high seas, it brings him closer than ever to the nefarious criminal he seeks to ruin. Only one seductive detail threatens his victory: the scandalous beauty imprisoned with him, Lady Valerie Monroe. Temptation has never been so intoxicating or so forbidden, for Steven is disguised as a French pries A SECRET IDENTITY When pirates storm Viscount Steven Ashford's ship upon the high seas, it brings him closer than ever to the nefarious criminal he seeks to ruin. Only one seductive detail threatens his victory: the scandalous beauty imprisoned with him, Lady Valerie Monroe. Temptation has never been so intoxicating or so forbidden, for Steven is disguised as a French priest. If they make it off the ship alive, to protect her from his enemies he must never see her again ... AN UNDENIABLE LOVE Back in England, and under the ton's scrutiny for a reckless past she hasn't escaped, Valerie dreams of the breathtaking "man of the cloth" with whom she shared her greatest adventure. Then he reappears in society under his true identity, Viscount Ashford, but, despite the danger, their consuming passion cannot be denied. Now standing in the way of their desire are Valerie's wounded heart, Steven's lone destiny, and a villain who will stop at nothing to crush them both.


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A SECRET IDENTITY When pirates storm Viscount Steven Ashford's ship upon the high seas, it brings him closer than ever to the nefarious criminal he seeks to ruin. Only one seductive detail threatens his victory: the scandalous beauty imprisoned with him, Lady Valerie Monroe. Temptation has never been so intoxicating or so forbidden, for Steven is disguised as a French pries A SECRET IDENTITY When pirates storm Viscount Steven Ashford's ship upon the high seas, it brings him closer than ever to the nefarious criminal he seeks to ruin. Only one seductive detail threatens his victory: the scandalous beauty imprisoned with him, Lady Valerie Monroe. Temptation has never been so intoxicating or so forbidden, for Steven is disguised as a French priest. If they make it off the ship alive, to protect her from his enemies he must never see her again ... AN UNDENIABLE LOVE Back in England, and under the ton's scrutiny for a reckless past she hasn't escaped, Valerie dreams of the breathtaking "man of the cloth" with whom she shared her greatest adventure. Then he reappears in society under his true identity, Viscount Ashford, but, despite the danger, their consuming passion cannot be denied. Now standing in the way of their desire are Valerie's wounded heart, Steven's lone destiny, and a villain who will stop at nothing to crush them both.

30 review for Swept Away by a Kiss

  1. 5 out of 5

    KarenH

    I have never heard of Katharine Ashe and picked up this novel simply because it was endorsed by Lisa Kleypas as "a breathtaking romance". She wasn't exaggerating. Taking place in Regency England, the book begins with the heroine, Valerie Monroe, returning to London after a 2-year stay with relatives in Boston. The ship she sails on is overtaken by pirates and the nasty, creepy leader gets his jollies by tying Valerie up in an intricate knot system and forcing a Jesuit priest to untie her. His re I have never heard of Katharine Ashe and picked up this novel simply because it was endorsed by Lisa Kleypas as "a breathtaking romance". She wasn't exaggerating. Taking place in Regency England, the book begins with the heroine, Valerie Monroe, returning to London after a 2-year stay with relatives in Boston. The ship she sails on is overtaken by pirates and the nasty, creepy leader gets his jollies by tying Valerie up in an intricate knot system and forcing a Jesuit priest to untie her. His reasons are two-fold: the priest will be unmanned by breaking his sacred vows and will also rid the girl of her virginity...a tedious task the pirate has no patience for. However, the priest stays in control and Valerie remains a virgin. Unhappy with the results, the pirate keeps the two sequestered together as the voyage continues...positive that the priest is like all other men and will not be able to resist the temptation of an extraordinarily beautiful woman. The pirate's scheme is thwarted; but what he doesn't realize is the spark that has ignited between his two captors...and how close they did come to closing the deal. Fast forward 6 months to a country house party Valerie is attending with her brother and his wife. She is being courted by a handsome, titled suitor, but her heart is back on the ship with a man she knows is totally off-limits to her, but, nevertheless, the one she has fallen in love with. On day one of the house party, Valerie is introduced to the hostess' godson and is shocked as she comes face-to-face with the tall, elegantly dressed gentleman. Her priest! The chemistry between Valerie and Viscount Steven Ashford is what fuels this story. Every time they secretly meet, the passion between the two is so hot and so overwhelming it had me breaking out in a sweat...or crossing my legs...or both! There is suspense throughout the story and a house party is a favorite premise of mine, but everything else pales to the sparks that fly when Steven and Valerie come together. It might seem like a turn-off to know that the two don't actually complete the act until page 300, but take it from someone who likes sex on page 1, you are NOT left frustrated! Ms. Ashe seems to have a talent for building sexual tension to the point you are about to lose it if he doesn't get inside her soon! There are a few weak areas in the story...the characters' backgrounds are underdeveloped and the suspenseful aspect has a few holes but overall I still thought the book rated 5 stars. Kudos to Katharine Ashe on a great debut novel...I'm looking forward to her next book coming out in 2011!

  2. 5 out of 5

    ✨ Gramy ✨

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. .. In this first book of the "Rogues of the Seas" series, Swept Away By a Kiss, you will be introduced to the heroine, Lady Valerie Monroe. We learn that prior to the commencement of this tale, Valerie had been exiled to America under the watch of her cousins, two years ago by her father 'The Earl', as retribution to her rebellious behavior. The details of her father's reasoning are interspersed throughout the story. After his death, she was finally headed back home. On her way back home, her t .. In this first book of the "Rogues of the Seas" series, Swept Away By a Kiss, you will be introduced to the heroine, Lady Valerie Monroe. We learn that prior to the commencement of this tale, Valerie had been exiled to America under the watch of her cousins, two years ago by her father 'The Earl', as retribution to her rebellious behavior. The details of her father's reasoning are interspersed throughout the story. After his death, she was finally headed back home. On her way back home, her thought was "Not even a handsome, mysterious stranger could inspire her to recklessness again." Suitable for ** MATURE AUDIENCES ** DESCRIPTION: A SECRET IDENTITY When pirates storm Viscount Steven Ashford's ship upon the high seas, it brings him closer than ever to the nefarious criminal he seeks to ruin. Only one seductive detail threatens his victory: the scandalous beauty imprisoned with him, Lady Valerie Monroe. Temptation has never been so intoxicating or so forbidden, for Steven is disguised as a French priest. If they make it off the ship alive, to protect her from his enemies he must never see her again ... AN UNDENIABLE LOVE Back in England, and under the ton's scrutiny for a reckless past, she hasn't escaped, Valerie dreams of the breathtaking "man of the cloth" with whom she shared her greatest adventure. Then he reappears in society under his true identity, Viscount Ashford, but, despite the danger, their consuming passion cannot be denied. Now standing in the way of their desire are Valerie's wounded heart, Steven's lone destiny, and a villain who will stop at nothing to crush them both. An absolutely amazing debut novel from Katharine Ashe, an exceptional new voice in historical romance, Swept Away by a Kiss is the first book in an exciting new series—the story of a society jade who thinks she’s done it all until she meets the devil himself. This was a rather confusing tale filled with intrigue, everlasting teasing, and lust. He was constantly tempted by a scandalous beauty he struggled to resist. You have to commend a man with a commendable sexual restraint, which is quite a rare quality. Is it not? Let's not forget the nefarious criminal, whose villainous plans may destroy them both. Judge Tabor: the ship she's sailing on is taken over by pirates and this sets up the story very nicely for the romantic relationship with Valerie and a pretend French priest, Father Etienne La Marque, who is actually Steven Ashford in disguise - a disguise he's used for several years in his efforts to halt human trafficking on the high seas. This tale sweeps the reader into a spine-tingling and adrenaline-pumping voyage with a swoon-worthy hero. I was disappointed that the cover does not match the clothing of the era. “A breathtaking romance filled with sensuality and driven by a brisk and thrilling plot…. Katharine Ashe writes with eloquence and power—what a compelling read!” —New York Times bestselling author Lisa Kleypas -------------------------- Swept Away By a Kiss (Rogues of the Sea Book 1) by Katharine Ashe (Author) Length: 388 pages i listened to the audio version of this book, which was provided on loan from my local library. ..

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shanyn Hosier

    Deciding on a rating for this book was hard. So many things about it were superb, but others were sufficiently aggravating enough that I developed a kind of love-hate relationship with this story. Ashe composes extremely well written prose with intelligent, PBS-worthy dialogue - definitely a strength of hers. She writes period detail that feels highly authentic, inspiring far more trust in me than many other historical romance authors. Her characterizations were gripping and thorough. The espiona Deciding on a rating for this book was hard. So many things about it were superb, but others were sufficiently aggravating enough that I developed a kind of love-hate relationship with this story. Ashe composes extremely well written prose with intelligent, PBS-worthy dialogue - definitely a strength of hers. She writes period detail that feels highly authentic, inspiring far more trust in me than many other historical romance authors. Her characterizations were gripping and thorough. The espionage subplot was extremely entertaining and quite possibly the best part of the book. Now, for the not-so-great parts. By the cover alone, I feared this story would be a bust. Note that the open back of the heroine's dress exposes a ZIPPER closure - ugh. And as one reads, it quickly becomes clear that the hero has sun-golden hair, not dark. But I understand an author doesn't always have much input in her cover art... so it's possibly more a complaint better directed to the publisher, not the author. A confusing prologue dated 1799 and equally baffling but brief letter from the heroine to her brother, dated 11 years later, occupy the first 4 pages - a dizzying amount of time travel. After having read this book twice, I still can't figure out the purpose of either. They feel tacked on, as if an editor suggested the author somehow attempt to reassure readers of both characters' inner value, despite the outward appearances to come. Neither was effective. Repeatedly throughout the book, the author harps on a prophesy given to Stephen long ago about his destiny, apparently involving a woman named Valerie. There are also frequent interstitials of Valerie dreaming scary, prophetic things. I kept expecting the author to explain this dalliance with the metaphysical, but it never happened. I still don't understand what purpose these served aside from attempts to remind the reader that, despite all appearances to the contrary, Stephen and Valerie are destined to be together. Kind of lame. Approximately the first third of the book involves a shipboard voyage. The suspense of the kidnapping and chemistry between Valerie and the priest Etienne/Stephen is well written here, but the madness of Captain Bebain is contrived bordering on silly. Surely there was a better way to get these two together. Unfortunately, once the hero and heroine reunite in England after their shipboard trauma, the romantic plot sinks like a stone. It devolves into the kind of narrative I loathe: bad boy hero treats heroine like crap in order to save her from himself, but she laps it up because she alone can see how wonderful he really is. Blech. I liked the character of Valerie, especially her inner strength and intelligence. I sympathized with her frustration with being stifled by society and her yearning for adventure. But I wanted to throttle her for continuing to pursue Stephen no matter how wretchedly he treated her. Yes, Valerie correctly imagined Stephen was far nobler than he appeared, but the basic truth boiled down to this: Valerie lusted after him, and this is what kept her going back for more every time he cast her a smoldering look. Only her determination to keep pushing herself on him despite his horrible treatment of her led to her discoveries of his worth. Stephen was an unmitigated jerk. Yes, he was a spy and serving a higher calling, but none of this excuses the cruelty with which he treated Valerie. She'd given him loads of proof she could be trusted with his secrets as well as demonstrated her competency, intelligence, and powers of observation - traits any real spy would have valued in a potential accomplice, if not lover. Beastly Stephen repeatedly tells the reader how hard it is for him to resist her as well as how it hurts him to cast her aside so often, but if he really felt so tenderly for her, surely he could have found a kinder way to do so. Instead, he behaved like a brute. While I'm happy for Valerie's happy ending, I remain unconvinced Stephen deserves any of it. I'm glad I won this book as well as its sequel in a raffle. Had I only gotten this one, I never would have pursued more of the author's work. But since it was free and on hand, I read "Captured by a Rogue Lord" then immediately bought "In the Arms of a Marquess." Thankfully, I can report the next two books in the series live up to the author's beautiful and competent prose.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Reviewed at Bitten By Paranormal Romance Ms. Ashe has written a romance of epic proportions with her debut novel, SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS. She has gained another loyal fanatic follower with her story of Steven and Valerie. I knew I would be swept away by the time I read the first 25 pages. Ms. Ashe’s voice sang to me like a choir of angels. Valerie is a fearless heroine. Yet she doubts any man could love her. Steven *sigh* is a swashbuckling but gallant popinjay. Because of Steven’s mixed heritage, h Reviewed at Bitten By Paranormal Romance Ms. Ashe has written a romance of epic proportions with her debut novel, SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS. She has gained another loyal fanatic follower with her story of Steven and Valerie. I knew I would be swept away by the time I read the first 25 pages. Ms. Ashe’s voice sang to me like a choir of angels. Valerie is a fearless heroine. Yet she doubts any man could love her. Steven *sigh* is a swashbuckling but gallant popinjay. Because of Steven’s mixed heritage, he feels he will never be a part of polite society. The story opens with Valerie returning home to England after a two year stay in Boston. She had been shipped off to America because of her scandalous ways. Before the ship gets underway, she spies a Jesuit priest. Valerie narrowed her eyes against the gathering dusk. Her girlish imagination had once conjured up a mysterious figure just like this, a man of privilege and power who nevertheless bore a heathen’s heart past redemption. But Valerie was no longer a girl, and the sight of this very real Jesuit’s broad shoulders stretching his mantle taut stirred in her an entirely womanly appreciation. The journey of Valerie and Steven is magnificent. It takes you from the peril of the high seas to the intrigue of the parlors of the ton. Their passion sizzles as they deny and succumb to their desires. A few of the scenes are so hot, you will feel yourself melting! Ms. Ashe has written beautiful, longing lust. All of this and more while being entangled with pirates, Ladies and Lords, secret identities, and mistruths during the Christmas season. SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS is reminiscent of one of my favorite movies, THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL. Be sure to read the Author’s Note at the end of the book. You will find the information invaluable. As for me, this is surely a keeper. I’m off to the bookstore: CAPTURED BY A ROGUE LORD made its debut on March 29, and I have two books that I need to add to my library! Oh yeah – cover alert with Paul Marron!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    3.5 Back in May, I read a book called Wired for Story. It changed how I read (and write) stories. What it talks about is ultimately what I find Katharine Ashe's books to be lacking: a deeper understanding of character motivation. The reason motivation -- often found in a life-changing event in the character's past -- is so important is that it tells the reader how the characters will react to the situations they're put in. To truly feel like we're a part of the story, some element of predictabilit 3.5 Back in May, I read a book called Wired for Story. It changed how I read (and write) stories. What it talks about is ultimately what I find Katharine Ashe's books to be lacking: a deeper understanding of character motivation. The reason motivation -- often found in a life-changing event in the character's past -- is so important is that it tells the reader how the characters will react to the situations they're put in. To truly feel like we're a part of the story, some element of predictability needs to be there; we need to understand why a character acts a certain way. And that, for me, is why I can't get flaily about Katharine Ashe's books (of which I've now read two and both had the same issue). They're good stories, for sure. But things just seem to happen, and I didn't always understand why. Because I didn't "get" the characters. So, we know that Valerie and Steven have some kind of event in their past that shapes who they are from the very beginning, but it often takes a couple hundred pages before we get the full picture. But by then, it's not enough to make a true connection with either character. What I liked about this book over When a Scot Loves a Lady, though, is no Scottish brogue to decipher. Win. Still a good story, but I'm uncertain at this point whether I want to continue reading more Katharine Ashe.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jultri

    I regret that this book did not bring me as much enjoyment as it has to numerous other readers. Maybe it's my good girl Catholic upbringing, but I found the heroine's instant lusty attraction to the hero's Jesuit priest alter ego just a bit off putting. They exchanged very little words and none of them pleasant on board the ship, yet, one look or accidental touch from him left her in a quivering, wet heap. An unrepentant flirt with a scandalous past, she thinks nothing of using her females wiles I regret that this book did not bring me as much enjoyment as it has to numerous other readers. Maybe it's my good girl Catholic upbringing, but I found the heroine's instant lusty attraction to the hero's Jesuit priest alter ego just a bit off putting. They exchanged very little words and none of them pleasant on board the ship, yet, one look or accidental touch from him left her in a quivering, wet heap. An unrepentant flirt with a scandalous past, she thinks nothing of using her females wiles to further her gains yet would call another similar minded female a slut for doing the same. There were plenty of other inconsistencies and confusions. The hero's hot and cold treatment did not always make sense, and there were things mentioned and introduced that lead to nowhere. Bottom line though is that I found the heroine a rather difficult character to sympathise with, egocentric, lust driven, blinded to the effects her improper behaviour might have on her family and already damaged reputation. Despite this, she was not censored by anyone but even embraced by the hero's aunt and godmother and declared virtuous before she had done anything to earn it. This was Ms Ashe's debut novel though, and her writing style was not bad,so I will cut her some slack.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aemelia

    Regrettably, this book did not sweep me away. I was so excited to get a book that took place on a the high seas with pirates, but that was quickly diminished, mostly because I had a very hard time connecting with Valerie, who came off as to stubborn for her own good. She made rash decisions that seemed foolish to me, and pointless in the growth of the story. I liked Steven, for the most part, but there were times that I though he was a bit to assuming, as to what he expected Valerie to do for hi Regrettably, this book did not sweep me away. I was so excited to get a book that took place on a the high seas with pirates, but that was quickly diminished, mostly because I had a very hard time connecting with Valerie, who came off as to stubborn for her own good. She made rash decisions that seemed foolish to me, and pointless in the growth of the story. I liked Steven, for the most part, but there were times that I though he was a bit to assuming, as to what he expected Valerie to do for him. Each time I felt that their chemistry was starting to click, one of them would do or say something that made me just plain irritated. I had hoped that they would have consummated their relationship earlier in the storyline, because too much teasing and tension just made it painful for me. I like sexual tension in a book, and don't need the steamy scenes, but when they continuously get so close to completing the act but always going away unsatisfied, I end up thinking, please just do it and get it over with.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lubnaa (Romance Library)

    3.5 stars Note: Content warning in the spoiler tag at the very end of review. When it comes to historical romance, most of the books out there are very anachronistic. I personally don't think there is anything wrong with that because historical romance can still be enjoyable even if it is anachronistic. If I had to make a list of historical romance authors whose stories come the closest to being historically accurate, in terms of historical events and dialogues, Katharine Ashe tops the list. Her 3.5 stars Note: Content warning in the spoiler tag at the very end of review. When it comes to historical romance, most of the books out there are very anachronistic. I personally don't think there is anything wrong with that because historical romance can still be enjoyable even if it is anachronistic. If I had to make a list of historical romance authors whose stories come the closest to being historically accurate, in terms of historical events and dialogues, Katharine Ashe tops the list. Her prose, her dialogues, her clever use of historical events as complex settings for her stories — they are all so well done. Her author's note is so detailed and you can see exactly how she got inspired by history for her books. Swept Away by a Kiss started off on a high note. Lady Valerie is on her way to England after being exiled to America for two years. She's traveling on a merchant ship along with another passenger, a French priest. Obviously he's a sexy French priest, I don't need to spell it out for you 😂 But things go south when Lady Valerie and the French priest are captured by pirates. The captain wants Valerie, but he doesn't want to be the one to take her virginity because it is too bothersome. So...he forces the priest and Valerie in close quarters so that the priest can just get rid of her virginity for him. I know! It is BANANAS 😂 But so damn addicting!! The first third of the book takes place on the ship and eventually, Valerie and the priest manage to fight the captain and escape..after getting frisky with each other, of course. And let me tell ya, it was STEAMY 🔥 What Valerie doesn't know though is that the man she hooked up with is not actually a French priest. He's in fact an English peer, Viscount Steven Ashford, who had his own reasons for being in disguise. The hero is enshrouded in mystery and you only get bits and pieces from his backstory. You don't get a solid grasp of his character until the last third of the book. Six months later, Valerie bumps into Steven in England at a house party and man, let me tell you, the anticipation level was HIGH. I was salivating for them to meet again and I was not disappointed. I would say that I enjoyed the first 3/4 of the book the most. After their reunion, Steven is very hot and cold towards Valerie. I hate these kinds of heroes to be honest, but I could understand to a certain extent why he has to act as if he doesn't care about her. Steven is on a dangerous mission and he can't afford to put her life at risk. That being said, Valerie is a spitfire who quickly figures out what's happening and decides to take things into her own hands. I wish that Steven and Valerie had worked together instead of trying to stay away from each other. The whole mission got a little too overdramatic towards the end and I think that it could have all been resolved earlier on. Steven's stubborness also got really annoying and it got to the point where I just wanted to slap the shit out of him. Dumbass. There is also a supernatural element that is part of the story, but the author doesn't really flesh it out as much as I would have liked. Steven has native American roots and his grandfather actually prophesized that Steven would fall in love with a woman named Valerie. Valerie herself has prophetic dreams throughout the book. But that supernatural element is kind of relegated to the background of the story. Nothing is confirmed. Steven just calls it "fate" and that's about it lol. Content warning: (view spoiler)[Heroine gets manhandled by the captain. A little graphic. (hide spoiler)]

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ang

    A Secret Identity When pirates storm Viscount Steven Ashford's ship upon the high seas, it brings him closer than ever to the nefarious criminal he seeks to ruin. Only one seductive detail threatens his victory: the scandalous beauty imprisoned with him, Lady Valerie Monroe. Temptation has never been so intoxicating or so forbidden, for Steven is disguised as a French priest. If they make it off the ship alive, to protect her from his enemies he must never see her again . . . An Undeniable Love A Secret Identity When pirates storm Viscount Steven Ashford's ship upon the high seas, it brings him closer than ever to the nefarious criminal he seeks to ruin. Only one seductive detail threatens his victory: the scandalous beauty imprisoned with him, Lady Valerie Monroe. Temptation has never been so intoxicating or so forbidden, for Steven is disguised as a French priest. If they make it off the ship alive, to protect her from his enemies he must never see her again . . . An Undeniable Love Back in England, and under the ton's scrutiny for a reckless past she hasn't escaped, Valerie dreams of the breathtaking "man of the cloth" with whom she shared her greatest adventure. Then he reappears in society under his true identity, Viscount Ashford, but, despite the danger, their consuming passion cannot be denied. Now standing in the way of their desire are Valerie's wounded heart, Steven's lone destiny, and a villain who will stop at nothing to crush them both. What a cool story this was. So unique – that’s what I love about Katharine Ashe’s books is that they are really like no other. This book is almost two completely different books. The first part is about the pirate ship takeover and the tortuous situation that Steven and Valerie find themselves in and the second part is back in England where Valerie is still Valerie, but Steven is a completely different person. The conflict they face on the ship in the first part is tortuous because the Captain, a crazy one of course, wants to break Steven, the priest, by putting him and Valerie in situations where he may be forced to take her virtue. The tension in these scenes is palpable. I did not see the resolution to this conflict coming. The ideal would have been that Valerie and Steven continue on with the tension from there, but the book picks up in England where they are reunited but Steven is a complete ass. Valerie’s so confused, as are the readers, but we understand that he is trying to protect Valerie until he can ensure the danger he is facing is gone. Hard core though this is, the reader must suffer through what Valerie feels and I tell you, I, as the reader, did! Rewards are always sweeter when earning them was tough and I, the reader, was well rewarded. I highly recommend Katharine Ashe in general – she is an extremely talented writer – and I recommend this book. Did I mention this is her debut? Amazing talent! I’m onto the second one in the Rogues of the Sea series, Captured by a Rogue Lord, and I’m excited. While sad to see Steven and Valerie go, I am assured they appear in the next book, so I look forward to it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    The beginning of this book was so unique and had so much tension, I couldn't put it down. And then there was a separation and we meet an entirely different hero. This was Ashe's debut novel so she was newer to creating angst. It was not quite right here, but she has mastered it in more recent books. Swept Away By a Kiss opens with our heroine, Valerie, and our hero, Steven (disguised as a priest), on a ship returning to England. There is an instant forbidden spark between the two that only grows The beginning of this book was so unique and had so much tension, I couldn't put it down. And then there was a separation and we meet an entirely different hero. This was Ashe's debut novel so she was newer to creating angst. It was not quite right here, but she has mastered it in more recent books. Swept Away By a Kiss opens with our heroine, Valerie, and our hero, Steven (disguised as a priest), on a ship returning to England. There is an instant forbidden spark between the two that only grows hotter and hotter when a pirate takes over the ship and forces them together. After dealing with the pirate, Steven remains behind and sends Valerie on to England where she struggles to move on from the events on the ship, never forgetting the priest. Valerie later meets Steven at a house party and Steven pretends he doesn't know her. Steven is at the house party on a secret mission to expose one of the guests and does not want the villain to know Valerie is important to him. His internal dialogue tells us it's for Valerie's own protection, but I hated how he would draw her in and then coldly discard her. As for Valerie, at the beginning of the story, I admired her strength, but as she kept returning to Steven despite his cold treatment, I felt pity for her. She didn't know what us readers knew and it bugged me that she tolerated his horrendous treatment. Everything gets resolved at the end in a way that suits Valerie and Steven's lack of conformity, but I felt that the angst was too drawn out and there were many threads (dreams, character backgrounds) that were never truly explained. This was not Ashe's best work, but it was fun to see how she has honed her style in her recent Prince catchers series. 4 stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    Full of intrigue and romance and murder and pirates, this novel is so good, too good. Though first and foremost a romance novel, the illegal slavers plotline brings mystery and thrills to an already toe-curling story. With a strong-willed, clever heroine, who isn't afraid to get down and dirty, or use her charm and good looks to her advantage; and a hero bent on freeing the world from evil human traffickers, whilst trying desperately to keep the woman he loves safe from harm, what more could you Full of intrigue and romance and murder and pirates, this novel is so good, too good. Though first and foremost a romance novel, the illegal slavers plotline brings mystery and thrills to an already toe-curling story. With a strong-willed, clever heroine, who isn't afraid to get down and dirty, or use her charm and good looks to her advantage; and a hero bent on freeing the world from evil human traffickers, whilst trying desperately to keep the woman he loves safe from harm, what more could you ask for? Expertly written, Katherine Ashe knew her characters well and gave them distinct voices and personalities (though I admit that some of the side characters could feel a bit two dimensional at times). Be warned though that, though written in 3rd person, the perspective changes wilfully between our two main characters paragraph to paragraph.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    A man on a mission. A woman escaping her past. Wow! It has been a long time since I've picked up a historical romance novel that swept me away (pun intended) as Katharine Ashe's did. OMG, the tension between Steven and Valerie leaps off the pages and left this reader punching her book a couple of times... (kiss dammit, kiss) - Lord, the 'rope' scene {no this isn't an erotic romance} Hot, hot, hot. Ms. Ashe has used her day job, I believe as a history teacher?, and penned that knowledge into the A man on a mission. A woman escaping her past. Wow! It has been a long time since I've picked up a historical romance novel that swept me away (pun intended) as Katharine Ashe's did. OMG, the tension between Steven and Valerie leaps off the pages and left this reader punching her book a couple of times... (kiss dammit, kiss) - Lord, the 'rope' scene {no this isn't an erotic romance} Hot, hot, hot. Ms. Ashe has used her day job, I believe as a history teacher?, and penned that knowledge into the pages of this book. Ms. Ashe richly describes the room, the wild, the stench of a back ally, in a way that draws you in and places you in the shoes of the hero and heroine. I look forward to reading, Captured by a Rogue Lord. Well done.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cheeky

    Intially the premise caught my attention however it didn't maintain my attention. This was the only book where I felt throwing it across the room. The heroine, Valerie, was just an impulsive, selfish, and attention-seeking individual. I wouldn't want to talk to her even though the author describes her as an intelligent being. Oh please if she was intelligent shouldn't she stay away. I'm on the fence right now to finish the book because we all know how these historical "romances" ends. Otherwise Intially the premise caught my attention however it didn't maintain my attention. This was the only book where I felt throwing it across the room. The heroine, Valerie, was just an impulsive, selfish, and attention-seeking individual. I wouldn't want to talk to her even though the author describes her as an intelligent being. Oh please if she was intelligent shouldn't she stay away. I'm on the fence right now to finish the book because we all know how these historical "romances" ends. Otherwise I don't mind Ms Ashe writing style but the characters are those people you just want to shake them up for NOT using their brains!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth

    3.5 really. I love Katharine Ashe's stories, she's on my auto-buy list and I recommend her without thinking twice. However, I really got frustrated with this book. While Steven is really sweet the first half of the book he is like Jekyll and Hyde in the second part. He has really sweet moments with Valerie but mostly he's cold and awful to her. He changes his mind multipe times wihtin mere pages. Valerie is a really lovely heroine. She's fearless, smart and warm...after about 2/3rd into the book 3.5 really. I love Katharine Ashe's stories, she's on my auto-buy list and I recommend her without thinking twice. However, I really got frustrated with this book. While Steven is really sweet the first half of the book he is like Jekyll and Hyde in the second part. He has really sweet moments with Valerie but mostly he's cold and awful to her. He changes his mind multipe times wihtin mere pages. Valerie is a really lovely heroine. She's fearless, smart and warm...after about 2/3rd into the book I couldn't remmeber remember thatshe was ever happy throughout the story..., it was a constant fight and struggle for her, poor girl.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I almost decided not to read this one due to the relatively low ratings it has gotten. I was definitely glad that I read it anyway because I would have missed out on a really interesting historical romance! This book held my interest from start to finish, and it kept me wondering how they were going to end up together and what would happen next. I will definitely be reading the next book in the series!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Britney (BookDrunkSloth)

    Definitely not one of my favorites. I was really interested in reading Katharine Ashe's books, and I like to start from the beginning. However, this book book didn't flow well for me. The conversations would just jump to random places, and some things that were going one were overly explained and yet still very confusing. Many scenes just seemed to go way to quickly. I will give it the benefit of the doubt though as a first novel and see if the author progresses. Definitely not one of my favorites. I was really interested in reading Katharine Ashe's books, and I like to start from the beginning. However, this book book didn't flow well for me. The conversations would just jump to random places, and some things that were going one were overly explained and yet still very confusing. Many scenes just seemed to go way to quickly. I will give it the benefit of the doubt though as a first novel and see if the author progresses.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Summer

    couldn't really capture my attention couldn't really capture my attention

  18. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Bowman

    The hero's pretending to be a priest and therefore cannot act on his attraction to the heroine. Uh, best setup ever! Need I say more? Plus, of course I love it b/c the heroine is named Valerie. The hero's pretending to be a priest and therefore cannot act on his attraction to the heroine. Uh, best setup ever! Need I say more? Plus, of course I love it b/c the heroine is named Valerie.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lusty Reader

    amazing story, angst, slow simmer, great tension, love the reunion and secret identity troubles. stayed up so late to finish this, was totally hooked to see what happened next with both the plot and the H/h. there were some loose threads that could have been more fleshed out like the Natchez heritage, grandfather's foretelling, exactly what motivated the Earl and Valerie's relationship/decisions/actions, and ditto for Steven why he HAD to become what he was (also was written exactly that vaguely amazing story, angst, slow simmer, great tension, love the reunion and secret identity troubles. stayed up so late to finish this, was totally hooked to see what happened next with both the plot and the H/h. there were some loose threads that could have been more fleshed out like the Natchez heritage, grandfather's foretelling, exactly what motivated the Earl and Valerie's relationship/decisions/actions, and ditto for Steven why he HAD to become what he was (also was written exactly that vaguely in the book), and exactly how they were going to have a safe, healthy and happy HEA but that could all be overlooked by the rest of the book being so awesome. really worked for me personally for what i look for in romance novels, was super entertaining :)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    A solid debut with excellent tension and chemistry between hero and heroine. The pacing for the second half was a bit off and it was frustrating that issues were stretched out through miscommunication. However, it was enjoyable and I've read it multiple times. An interesting, original read. A solid debut with excellent tension and chemistry between hero and heroine. The pacing for the second half was a bit off and it was frustrating that issues were stretched out through miscommunication. However, it was enjoyable and I've read it multiple times. An interesting, original read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS : is a great read. I always enjoy a hero who never wavers from his love. The story is intriguing and there is good knowledge of the times and political action. Our hero and feisty heroine are destined to be together.

  22. 5 out of 5

    An Odd1

    The series title alone is enough to capture and sweep me away too. Steven's spying adds depth and intrigue to secret romance. If both Val and Steven would tell the truth, she wouldn't make such a big deal out of her past scandal - and if wishes were etc.. The series title alone is enough to capture and sweep me away too. Steven's spying adds depth and intrigue to secret romance. If both Val and Steven would tell the truth, she wouldn't make such a big deal out of her past scandal - and if wishes were etc..

  23. 4 out of 5

    Krishna

    DNF. I just couldn’t get into it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    V

    I enjoyed the beginning but lost interest by the end.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Usha

    I have been reading earlier works of Ms. Ashe and have been really enjoying them.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Corinne

    The naughty fluff book with pirates and gentry

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mandi

    Valerie has lived the pass two years in exile from the ton, residing in the colonies, rebuilding her reputation. Her sullen image, and sordid clandestine meetings caught up with her in England, and she has taken refuge with her cousins. Now ready to come home, and reunite with her brother, she boards a merchant ship that is soon overcome by pirates. Being a beautiful female among the rough men, her virtue is soon in question. But there is one man that catches her eye. Lord Ashford, or Steven is o Valerie has lived the pass two years in exile from the ton, residing in the colonies, rebuilding her reputation. Her sullen image, and sordid clandestine meetings caught up with her in England, and she has taken refuge with her cousins. Now ready to come home, and reunite with her brother, she boards a merchant ship that is soon overcome by pirates. Being a beautiful female among the rough men, her virtue is soon in question. But there is one man that catches her eye. Lord Ashford, or Steven is on the ship disguised as a French priest. For months he has been tracking a slave trader through the Atlantic, and he will stop anyone in his way to find him. One glance at Valerie, and his disguise as a priest makes it very difficult to keep his lust under control. Six months later, finding herself back in England, all Valerie can think about is the man she met so briefly on the ship. But to her great shock, he appears, in proper English society, as Lord Ashford. She soon realizes he is closer than ever to his goal and she finds herself in the middle of a mystery and with feelings for a very mysterious man. Swept Away by a Kiss is Katharine Ashe’s debut book. There were two parts of this book that really stood out for me. First in the beginning, we are taken on an adventure at sea. With pirates, secret identities, and a pretend priest that can’t keep his lust in check. Steven is a very intense, mysterious hero who always has his eye on his goal, except for when Valerie is around. This leads me to my second favorite thing about this book – the romance. The scenes are so intimate and passionate. Katharine Ashe does a great job with building up the anticipation and delivering the goods. For as much as I enjoyed the adventure and romance, there were many times this book became slow. After Valerie returns to England, although it is fun to see her rediscover Steven, the story takes on such a slow pace and really lacks the spark the first part of the book had. I also had a hard time warming to Valerie. I wanted more from her character. She never made me laugh and she didn’t do anything to particularly annoy me, but I wanted something from her – some kind of high emotion that would leave an impact with me. She also declares her love for Steven when she barely knows him, and I would have liked to see their relationship progress before she makes this commitment. The secondary characters also had great potential to add to the story, but they fell short of the mark. Besides Steven, everyone just comes across as bland. I like the concept of this book and there is definitely potential for something really fun. I wish the pace had been a little faster and there had been a more memorable heroine. Maybe in her second book, all the pieces will fit together. Rating: 2.5/5

  28. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    4 stars for the heroine and -2 for everything else. Literally, everything else because that’s what was thrown into this story. The final slap in the face was attempt to convince the reader that the heroine choosing to chase after the hero is somehow a sign of strength and independence. Argh. Technically this is a well written story and definitely worth the read but I found is couldn’t engage at all. It was like the author had several different ideas about a hero floating around and decided to cra 4 stars for the heroine and -2 for everything else. Literally, everything else because that’s what was thrown into this story. The final slap in the face was attempt to convince the reader that the heroine choosing to chase after the hero is somehow a sign of strength and independence. Argh. Technically this is a well written story and definitely worth the read but I found is couldn’t engage at all. It was like the author had several different ideas about a hero floating around and decided to cram them into Steven Ashford, priest, backwoodsman, spy, and English nobleman. It also took him way to long to get his act together with respect to the heroine.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    On her way back home to England, Lady Valerie Monroe’s ship is attacked by pirates. Valerie is no fainting miss, but she is relieved that she is not alone in her imprisonment. A French priest has been taken prisoner alongside her, but something tells her that the priest is more than he seems…and she’s right. Viscount Steven Ashford is no priest. He is, however, on a mission to bring down a notorious slave trader. Valerie is an unexpected complication to his mission, one that threatens to unmask h On her way back home to England, Lady Valerie Monroe’s ship is attacked by pirates. Valerie is no fainting miss, but she is relieved that she is not alone in her imprisonment. A French priest has been taken prisoner alongside her, but something tells her that the priest is more than he seems…and she’s right. Viscount Steven Ashford is no priest. He is, however, on a mission to bring down a notorious slave trader. Valerie is an unexpected complication to his mission, one that threatens to unmask him. Nevertheless, Steven is able to get Valerie to safety and continue on his assignment, regretting only that there can be no future between himself and the brave beauty. Yet, unbeknownst to the lady, Valerie’s part in Steven’s mission is not yet over. What will happen when Valerie learns of his true identity? And when meeting her as his true self, can Steven hold back from claiming the woman who has captured his heart? Katharine Ashe blends adventure, intrigue, and romance in her dashing debut novel, Swept Away by a Kiss. Ms. Ashe certainly knows her history and that helps make the world of Swept Away by a Kiss shine. Yet while the backdrop was perfect, I hate to say that the characters didn’t come to life for me in the same way. I never felt connected to Steven and Valerie and because of this, I grew frustrated with the two steps forward, three steps back dance that was their relationship for most of the book. The secondary characters also never felt fully developed, which was a pity. If the characters had as much spark as the world around them, Swept Away by a Kiss would have truly been something to behold. Still, I give Ms. Ashe high marks for the three dimensionality she brought to Regency England and I look forward to seeing what she delivers next. Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Melanie (Moviemavengal)

    Two to two and a half stars. Boy, I struggled to finish this book, and that's not a good thing. There were some really compelling set pieces in the book. The heroine is horrified that she's attracted to a mysterious priest and then the ship is overtaken by pirates! It starts strong, but bogged down from the middle to the end. I had trouble keeping track of the villains as there were similar names floating around, and she switched from first and last names. It's like the author threw everything and Two to two and a half stars. Boy, I struggled to finish this book, and that's not a good thing. There were some really compelling set pieces in the book. The heroine is horrified that she's attracted to a mysterious priest and then the ship is overtaken by pirates! It starts strong, but bogged down from the middle to the end. I had trouble keeping track of the villains as there were similar names floating around, and she switched from first and last names. It's like the author threw everything and the kitchen sink into one book. Pirates! Spies! Evil Slave Traders! House Parties! It just didn't flow well for me, and oh, my god, the heroine was FEISTY, but then to the point of stupidity in the end. And the hero -- all I could think of as he went from kissing the heroine in alcoves to pushing her away moments later over and OVER -- was the Katy Perry song Hot n Cold: Cause you're hot then you're cold You're yes then you're no You're in then you're out You're up then you're down You're wrong when it's right It's black and it's white We fight, we break up We kiss, we make up Yeah. It was basically written for Steven/Etienne/Angel/whatever the hell you're calling yourself today. The heroine has to chase YOU down in the end? That's not how I like things to roll. This is a debut novel. I have another of hers that I got in a giveaway. I hope she's improved. There is some raw cracktastic potential talent there, but it needs work.

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