ROGUE IN MY ARMS
Bradley doesn't disappoint with the second in her Runaway Brides trilogy, which is certain to have readers laughing and crying. Her characters leap off the page, especially little year-old Melody, the precocious "heroine," and her three fathers. There's passion, adventure, nonstop action and secrets that make the pages fly by.
Sir Colin Lambert gets it in his head that he is the father of Melody, the toddler who was left on his gentlemen's club doorstep, and that his one-time mistress, the actress Chantal Marchant, is the mother who abandoned her.
He's searching for Chantal when he meets Prudence Filby, the actress's dresser/seamstress. Desperate to support herself and her brother, Pru accepts a position as Melody's nanny while Colin hunts for his beloved. An unsettling incident separates them, and Pru joins a troupe of traveling players before encountering Colin again. Colin is confused by his growing desire for Pru. Pru reciprocates his passion, but she has secrets and hides the truth even after they find Chantal and get caught in a vicious enemy's plot. But by then it is too late to deny their love. (ST. MARTIN'S, Apr., 400 pp., $7.99)