After many years Garrick Northesk returns to England as the new Duke of Farne. One duty he does not relish is marriage. His first marriage was a disaster; he carries the guilt of killing his best friend, Stephen Fenner, his wife’s lover, and is bound by a promise to never reveal the events of that day. One day he finds a woman hiding under his bed and soon learns she is Merryn, Stephen’s sister.
Merryn is searching for evidence that Garrick murdered her brother. Yet there is something about him that attracts her. When they are trapped together by an explosion and an ensuing flood of beer, their fight for survival forges a bond until they are rescued and found in a compromising position. Garrick proposes and she accepts. When the truth finally unfolds and old wounds are re-opened, can love heal them? (HQN, Dec., 379 pp., $7.99)