Laurens‘ hero meets the woman of his dreams in a dark library where she is snooping for clues to catch a blackmailer. She thinks she’ll remain a spinster while his plan to pose as an engaged couple to ferret out the criminal is a ruse to woo and win his lady in “The Seduction of Sebastian Tranter.”
Wallflower Cleo has a surprising chance at passion in Balogh’s “Only Love.” The only man she’s kissed is hunting for a wife — and he wants her. She won’t marry him until she can prove she’s not barren, but she agrees to be his lover. Balogh skillfully conveys the journey from lover to wife.
“Hope Springs Eternal” when a free-thinking artist and a soldier are brought together by D’Alessandro. The artist returns home to be met by her brother’s commanding officer. He has a painful secret and only by telling it to his friend’s sister can he be free. Love blossoms, but can it bring redemption?
A pair of misfits make the perfect match in Hern’s “Fate Strikes a Bargain,” a beautiful story with a message of acceptance. He is too rough around the edges and she has a limp. They comply with her mother’s wish that they court for the season. It is fate at first sight and true love after, as they begin to understand each other’s shortcomings. (AVON, Apr., 428 pp., $7.99)