THE SECRET LIFE OF LADY LUCINDA
Book three in Barnes’ A Summersby Tale series brings together characters from the previous stories and adds the daring, bold Lucinda. The story begins with a scene that grabs reader attention and then moves on to one that delights. However, as the characters move into a marriage of convenience, a likable, clever heroine becomes foolish and fragile, allowing others to complete her plans. Some readers may feel cheated by the weak climax of an otherwise pleasant, sensual read.
After witnessing her mother’s death, Lucy Blackwell flees Constantinople for safety in England. For six years she plots to uncover the identity of the masked assassin and, for the final step, she needs master spy Lord William Summersby’s help. So she dances with him, kisses him and announces their engagement at the largest ball of the season. William follows through on the marriage — after all, he needs a wife and she is beautiful. He soon discovers her reasons for forcing the marriage and vows to protect her. Then, what begins as a house party for the newlyweds becomes a dangerous game of cat and mouse. (AVONIMPULSE.COM, dl $3.99)