THE RUNAWAY DUKE
In the aftermath of Waterloo, Roarke Blackburn, fifth Duke of Dunbrooke, limps out of a makeshift battlefield hospital with a new identity as Connor Riordon. The duke, as far as he's concerned, is dead. Beginning a new life, Connor becomes a groom on Sir Henry Tremaine's estate.
No one would call lively hoyden Rebecca Tremaine a lady. She loves to study medicine, climb trees and muck out the stables. When she's caught in a compromising situation with a young nobleman, her parents arrange for an immediate marriage. Completely against the "solution," Rebecca turns to Connor, who has always found it impossible to refuse her anything. So when she wants to run away from her betrothed, he helps her flee to Scotland. But once he's back in his homeland, Connor's secret is jeopardized.
Combining the ideal amount of romance, suspense and mystery, Long gives us a marvelous and dazzling debut that overflows with intelligence, wit and warmth. This impossible-to-put-down tale is peopled with unforgettable characters that make it a must-read. SENSUAL (Aug., 384 pp., $5.99)