NEVER A BRIDE
Release date: 06/01/2001
In this debut Regency, independent Mirabella Whittingham is determined to find the scoundrel who seduced her friend Sarah and drove her to suicide, but Mirabella's only clue to the man's identity is that he bears a scar on his neck. Having consigned herself to spinsterhood ever since her betrothed fled to America, Mirabella sees little harm in kissing a few men and running her fingers beneath their cravats to search for the incriminating mark. Unfortunately, her intended, Viscount Camden Brackley, decides to return to London after six years only to discover Mirabella in the arms of another man and his family's affairs in shambles. Having been betrayed by his previous fiancé, he is appalled to find that Mirabella is no less chaste, and he decides that he cannot marry her. The two pretend to remain engaged, however, so that Camden can have time to settle his family's finances and Mirabella can avoid upsetting her ailing father. As they play the betrothed couple and Mirabella secretly continues to root out Sarah's seducer, Camden realizes that he is not immune to Mirabella's charms. The story line is more complex than many others in the genre and far less believable. Grey's all-too-proper and perfunctory dialogue and her wooden characters do little to enliven this middling tale. (June 5)
Forecast:Given its flaws, Grey's novel may be left at the altar by readers.