To redeem her father's gambling debt of 3,000 and save him from certain death in a duel, Aveline Stoddard agrees to spend three nights in bed with Lucien. But coercion fades into eager surrender in the highly sensual Part One of this book.
Lucien's best friend spots Aveline leaving his house, and later intercepts her letter informing Lucien that she's pregnant. On the same night, the unknowing Lucien is shanghaied aboard the Sea Dragon. The transition to Part Two, five years later, is swift. Lucien returns for revenge but claims, in his usual forceful way, the child he knew nothing about and marries Aveline.
Mullins' rogue hero and submissive heroine have surprising appeal. Aided by the era and an engaging theme about loyalty versus betrayal, the author achieves a most sensuous traditional romance. SPICY (Mar., 384 pp., $5.99)