THE SCARLET BRIDE
The School for Brides has a new resident, allowing Smith to add another strong, resilient heroine to her feminist series. It’s wonderful to get reacquainted with past characters, and the connection between them, as the plot — complete with suspense, murder and passion — unfolds.
Nothing can stop Nicholas from rescuing a damsel in distress and bringing her to his cousin’s “school” for reformed courtesans. Laura refuses to go back to a ruthless nobleman, and their sham marriage, and reluctantly accepts Nicholas’ aid. Though wary, she trusts Nicholas enough to accompany him to his new estate. She is shocked to discover he bought the home where she grew up. Their love is tested when Laura’s “husband” is found murdered, and she’s the prime suspect. Determined to find the killer, Nicholas and Laura place themselves in danger. Their love is worth the risk. (BERKLEY SENSATION, 304 pp., $7.99)