ROMANCING LADY STONE
When an author brings two strangers together, the premise needs to be plausible so the compressed timetable doesn’t overshadow their attraction — an element done extremely well in Romancing Lady Stone. Cecilia and Konstantin are a passionate couple who share an incredible bond. The surprise twist toward the end is incredibly well done, so much so that this reader didn’t see it coming.
Konstantin Levin, son of a feared Russian crime lord, carries his father’s pocket watch with him always, believing wholeheartedly in the lore that good things happen to the Levin family at midnight. He is determined to lead a proper — i.e., legal — life and when he saves the life of a nobleman he is given the opportunity to do just that. Lady Cecilia Stone is traveling through Russia to stop the wedding of her son and wakes up to find that she has been abandoned by her companion. When it’s learned that she has been conned, Konstantin sees an opportunity to help a beautiful woman of the aristocracy. The more time they spend together the harder it is to hide their attraction. Cecilia suffered through years of an impersonal marriage and has secretly longed for sexual fulfillment, so when Konstantin makes a move she seizes the opportunity with no regrets. Is Cecilia willing to risk scandal for a chance at true love? (DELILAH MARVELLE, Sep., 182 pp., $7.99)