NEVER KISS A RAKE
Stuart is back with an absorbing gothic romance full of deadly secrets and shocking passion. While her heroine’s pluck and determination are consistently admirable, her real triumph lies in the creation of a hero steeped in fascinating historic details and unbending in his sense of self and his devotion to the woman who finally touches his heart. Though the climax of the mystery is somewhat abrupt, Stuart’s fans and new readers alike will find much to enjoy in this unconventional story and the series to follow.
Reduced to poverty and mired in scandal, Bryony Russell is determined to rescue herself and her family by finding her father’s murderer. She disguises herself and becomes housekeeper in the home of Adrian Bruton, Earl of Kilmartyn, her father’s business partner — and the prime suspect in her investigation. But nothing about Kilmartyn is what Bryony expected, from Adrian’s hate-filled marriage to a cunning and beautiful woman to the secretive Irish Earl himself, who sees past her scars to her very soul. There is no doubt that someone is out to silence Bryony once and for all, but could Adrian truly be working against her? And will she live long enough to uncover the truth? (MONTLAKE, Aug., 342 pp., $12.95)