HOW TO ROMANCE A RAKE
Collins’ second installment of the Ugly Duckling trilogy is both a lovely, sensitive romance and a taut thriller. Collins brings a dashing hero and a wounded wallflower together in the type of love story readers take to heart. With compassion and perception, she delves into the issues faced by those who survive physical and emotional trauma. Brava to Collins!
Miss Juliet Shelby is an outcast. Her limp, along with her caution, has relegated her to wallflower status. Lord Alec Deveril has risen above rumors and past demons to become the ton’s darling trendsetter. When he hears Juliet being disparaged, he graciously offers to teach her to dance. He soon discovers Juliet is a delight. When Juliet confides in him that her friend is missing he insists on helping, and they are drawn to London’s seediest neighborhoods. Juliet is the kind of woman Alec wants by his side forever, but when they marry Juliet must reveal the secret she has been forced to hide. Alec has secrets, too, and he and Juliet will either unmask a killer or die trying. (ST. MARTIN’S, Aug., 316 pp., $7.99)