THE UNCLAIMED DUCHESS
Petersen sets the pages on fire with characters who find continual solace in passion whenever they can’t talk through their problems. Still Peterson allows her characters to develop and this is quite satisfying.
At the age of 6, Anne Chambers met her betrothed, Rhys Carlisle, Duke of Waverly, and fell in love. Their marriage is blissful, but mere weeks after their wedding, he disappears. All his life Rhys has believed his impeccable bloodlines make him perfect. Then he discovers he is living a lie: He is not his father’s son, but one of the Duke of Billington’s bastards. Filled with angst and unsure how to respond, he flees to a country cottage, not expecting Anne to follow. Determined to uncover what has turned passion to disdain, Anne uses her natural sensuality and deep love to draw Rhys back to her. Their sensual idyll is perfect, yet Rhys will not divulge his secret. As their love grows the dark shadow deepens; the truth and a blackmailer’s plot threatens the newfound strength of their relationship. (AVON, Sep., 380 pp., $7.99)