The second chapter of Clare’s trilogy is as bold and alluring as this exciting newcomer’s first book. Clare takes a “second chance at love” romance, twisting the theme into a highly sensual tale of passion and suspense. But there’s also humor, created by secondary characters, and love to round out a tantalizing read.

It has been 12 years since Emma has seen her husband, Richard, Earl of Asbury, so when she walks into a bawdy house to retrieve a scandalous painting, she doesn’t expect to find him there. Richard married the15-year-old Emma at his father’s bidding. In the years since, he has been seeking fortune and adventure in the East. Now nothing seems as dangerous as seeing his beautiful wife. Richard is stunned when he realizes that Emma is the artist behind a collection of erotic paintings. With her identity about to be exposed, Emma needs Richard’s help. This is the opportunity he needs to woo his wife. But while Richard and Emma rebuild their relationship, his problems and her secret draw them into danger. (ST. MARTIN’S, Feb., 380 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin