Take some unconventional characters (a heroine who smokes, for instance),
a hero with a mission, a mystery and
a surprising gothic twist; blend them
with sexual tension, while mixing in the sometimes sinister backdrop of foggy Victorian London and let LaFoy work
her magic in this delightful read.

With his father and brother's sudden deaths, American shipping magnate Tristen Townsend becomes the Duke of Steadham. Returning to England, Tristen uncovers disturbing talk about the deaths. He suspects murder.

Onetime street urchin turned lady Simone Turnbridge finds it difficult to always behave, but when her friend, the shy Emmaline Townsend, needs someone to help her through the season and to deal with her domineering mother, Simone is there.

When fire breaks out at a party, Simone comes to the rescue and Tristen realizes she a woman to his liking and perhaps someone who can help him ferret out the truth. Simone and Tristen are a duo to deal with. Both fearless, outspoken and ready for adventure, their relationship moves from respect to passion as they get closer to uncovering the shocking truth and walk straight into grave danger. (St. Martin's, Nov., 348 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin