A WICKED PURSUIT
Bradford utilizes several of the genre’s popular tropes — the Cinderella plot twist and nursing the hero back to health — to satisfy readers. The appealing characters, the emotional growth of the hero and the lively dialogue turn what could have been a predictable tale into a delightful non-stop read. This is a fine start to a new trilogy.
Lady Augusta has lived in the shadow of her beautiful half-sister, Julia, for so long that she no longer considers marriage — until Harry Fitzroy, the Duke of Breconridge’s son, is injured while visiting. Harry has been pursuing Lady Julia, intent upon asking for her hand. When Julia spooks his horse and Harry is seriously injured in the fall, Julia flees — leaving Harry in Gus’ hands. Gus is quite capable of dealing with Harry’s whining and the issues associated with his leg injury. A grudging friendship begins and, as Harry recuperates, passion flares. It isn’t long before Harry realizes beauty is only skin deep … but can he prove his love to Gus? (BALLANTINE, Mar., 350 pp., $7.99)