Maxwell begins her new Scandals and Seductions series with a rousing adventure featuring deliciously stubborn characters, sensual games and lively repartee. Throw in a mystery and a bit of holiday spirit and you have a winner!

Dominic Lynsted, the Duke of Holburn, is reminded of a vision warning him to "beware innocence" when a lovely young woman walks into his room at the inn, followed by assassins. Fiona Lachlan is helping a friend by slipping a potion into the aristocrat's drink. Suddenly men are breaking down the door and she must help the duke escape.

They flee to his family's home, where Fiona becomes entangled in his quest to reclaim a stolen ring, locate a missing Spaniard and learn who wants him dead -- and why. Soon, they're also caught in passion's trap. (Avon, Nov., 380 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin