MASQUERADING THE MARQUESS
Boredom drives caricaturist Calliope Minton to disguise herself as a courtesan, putting her directly in the path of her latest subject, the Marquess of Angelford, James Trenton, who's more than a bit annoyed with the latest cartoons depicting him in an unfavorable light.
James is determined to unmask the artist, but not at the expense of his secret mission, which is ferreting out a traitor. When his good friend Stephen Chalmers, a fellow spy and Calliope's protector, goes missing, they are thrown together in a hunt that will lead to danger and passion.
Lively, exciting, cleverly plotted and with a pair of detectives to rival Nick and Nora, this is an impressive debut. Mallory's independent, intelligent heroine and equally smart hero are part of a tale that touches both mind and body. As in Amanda Quick's novels, the mystery and romance blend perfectly with the nuances of the Regency era. Here's a fresh, vibrant talent who cannot be ignored. SENSUAL (Oct., 384 pp., $5.99)