Two contemporaries and a historical form the trio of novellas in this politically themed anthology.
Debra Lee Brown's "Centennial Bride" is a superbly told historical, perfectly paced and full of wonderful characters. Star-crossed lovers Clarrisa and Jeff fight to foil a plot to destroy Jeff's political ambitions.
Amanda Stevens spins the contem-porary tale of Jeff's ancestor Joshua Langworthy. Josh, in a tight political campaign, must cope with death threats, dirty politics and his infant nephew's kidnapping. When his opponent claims Joshua faked the kidnapping for voter sympathy, undercover agent Fiona steps in. Chemistry sparks between them in "Kiss and Tell."
Jasmine Cresswell's "Private Eyes" continues the kidnapping story as Helen divorces her unscrupulous husband, a U.S. senator. When the senator frames Helen and her brother for the kidnapping, she must team up with an ex-boyfriend detective to prove her innocence. The missing-baby storyline is linked nicely in the two contemporary novellas, but a less-than-satisfactory sense of closure may trouble some readers. (Oct., 384 pp., $6.50)