Published: May 15, 2012
Original Avon Regency Edition 1992
Level of Sensuality: Kisses
“Do you still have such faith in the truth? Tonight, I swear, you’ll learn the truth can fail you.”
-To Kiss A Thief
Other Books In The Series
Dreadfully disappointed by her first season, Margaret Somerley flees London for the Earl of Haddon’s country estate to ease her mind. Her sanctuary is disturbed when she catches a thief in the act of stealing a cache of secret government papers from the library—who then promptly abducts her as well.
Now, the shy miss who seemed so unsuitable to high society’s eligible bachelors has caught the eye of a devilish rogue whose true purpose and real identity remain a mystery—and who seems determined to steal her heart…
Winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award, 1988; Finalist for Romantic Times Reviewer’s Circle Award for Best First Regency, 1992; RWA RITA Finalist for Best Regency, 1992.
“This is an intriguing story filled with mystery, deceit, and betrayal. The growing feelings of the hero and heroine will keep you glued to the page, all the way to the compelling, exciting conclusion.” --Rendezvous
“Kate Moore’s first book, To Kiss a Thief, will make genre connoisseurs sit up and take notice of her impressive talent. … Ms. Moore brings a wonderful depth and intimacy to this unusaual romance without sacrificing a whit of verisimilitude.” –Romantic Times
“There are a few changes I must make; let us hope Humphrey returns,” he concluded in the same brusque tone. He closed the door of the small room and began to unbutton his waistcoat before her startled eyes.
“My girl,” he warned, a sudden smile lighting his eyes, “if your sensibilities are at all delicate, you would do well to take a book from that shelf and peruse it earnestly for the next few minutes.”
Margaret snatched the volume on the end. To her dismay it proved to be a work in Latin, but she held the slim volume before her burning face and worked at the lines.
“Do you have a taste for Horace, Miss Somerley?” he asked a few minutes later. She made the mistake then of dropping the book to her lap and looking at him as he tucked the tails of a fresh shirt into this inexpressibles.
“Perhaps I ought to wait for you in the other room,” she said, wishing her bright cheeks did not reveal her embarrassment so plainly.
“Alas, Miss Somerley, I cannot trust you to remain there, can I?” She shook her head, and he went on, “Then I recommend ‘Ode to a Debutante,’ page nineteen.”
Margaret turned to it. Without looking up again she said, “This is not your home, is it?” There was a pause in which she could hear the little indefinite rustle of clothes that meant he continued to move inexorably toward his objective.
“No, it is not,” he answered.
“But these are your books?” she persisted. The book had opened so readily to the page he recommended that she could not doubt his familiarity with the volume.
“Yes,” came the reply. “And that is my bed, Miss Somerley.”
She looked up then. “You say that merely to disconcert me,” she began, and stopped at the sight of him. He had brushed his hair forward in a style she had often seen in London and had somehow darkened the color, subdued the gold of it to a pale brown. The coat he now wore was bottle-green and cut differently, to exaggerate the contrast between the broad shoulders and narrow waist. He had added fobs and rings that made him look quite the exquisite. The transformation was surprisingly complete, her teasing companion as thoroughly obscured in the haughty figure before her as if he had donned a mask and domino.
She looked away. She had meant to tell him he was an uncommon thief, but now it appeared he would steal anything. She gazed at a case on the lowboy in which a tangle of jewels sparkled.
“I meant to leave you with Humphrey, who is as kind as he is old,” he said, and his words recalled her own awkward position. “But it seems Humphrey has been called away, or more likely wandered away, on business of his own; thus you must continue with me.” He pulled her to her feet and removed the book from her unresisting fingers.
“You could not trust me to wait here? We are far from the hall.” It was reasonable and sensible to ask, and of course she wanted him to leave her behind so that she might escape and alert the earl. So she held herself perfectly still, allowing her fingertips to rest lightly on his, meeting his clear gaze steadily. She felt an unaccustomed tautness in her body as she waited for his decision.
He studied her for a long moment; then, as certainly as if he had spoken, Margaret knew he had decided to take her with him.