Beguiled

Laura Parker, Author, Laura Castoro, Author
Laura Parker, Author, Laura Castoro, Author Dell Publishing Company $4.99 (362p) ISBN 978-0-440-21240-9
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In 1875, Philadelphia Hunt suspects that the Chicago bank failure that led to her father's suicide was engineered in an effort to destroy him. She wants to find out who was behind it, but for now the destitute debutante must support herself. To do so, she accepts her only job offer: Eduardo Tavares, owner of a Brazilian jewel mine, wants Philadelphia to help him sell his goods to the social elite. Philadelphia's beauty and bearing show off his pricey baubles to perfection, but her name is Mudd in social circles, so Eduardo transforms her into the aristocratic Frenchwoman Felise de Ronsard, and whisks her off to New York City. Eduardo becomes her loyal Indian servant, Akbar. Although their disguises come dangerously close to slipping, Philadelphia and Eduardo survive their escapade and repair to a Hudson Valley villa to prepare new identities for their next adventure. But even in that idyllic setting, Eduardo keeps a mask in place--hiding his part in the death of Philadelphia's father. Parker ( Moon Shadow ) has fun with her characters and their assumed personae, and her love scenes successfully evoke an air of sensuality. (July)
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