AGAIN THE MAGIC
Kleypas (Worth Any Price, etc.) has made a name for herself with her darkly sensual historical romances and her willingness to treat the social issues of the Victorian era with the same intensity she brings to the relationships in her novels. Her latest book follows the romance between childhood friends Lady Aline Marsden and stable boy John McKenna. When the budding romance between Aline and McKenna is discovered, McKenna is banished from the estate. In order to protect him from her father's wrath, Aline makes McKenna believe that she's rejecting him because of his lowly status. Now a real estate tycoon in New York City, McKenna returns with a plan—to seduce and abandon Aline as punishment for her earlier rejection. However, McKenna is unaware of the secrets Aline has kept all this time, and he's unprepared for the passion that he and Aline still share. Although the conflict between hero and heroine could be resolved with one honest conversation, the author creates a believable reason for their continued silence. Kleypas also explores some intriguing issues, particularly in a subplot involving Aline's sister and a charming alcoholic who accompanies McKenna. All in all, this is another solid effort from an author who has established herself as one of the premier names in the genre. (Feb.)
Forecast: Keep this book well stocked because it's bound to be a bestseller. This Avon Megaleader has a large and loyal following, and each of her books tends to outdo her last ( Worth Any Price reached #6 on PW's mass market bestseller list).