Fortune's Bride

Victoria Malvey, Author
Victoria Malvey, Author Pocket Books $6.5 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7434-0334-4
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Set among the intrigues, passions and alliances of London society in 1835, Malvey's (A Merry Chase) newest presents a recently down-on-her-luck gentlewoman named Lady Alyssa Porter posing as Madam Zora, a Gypsy fortune-teller who has become the most sought after entertainer-for-hire at the stylish parties of the social set. Recently orphaned, Alyssa and her younger sister, Calla, are banished from their life of ease by their unscrupulous cousin and heir to the family estate. Proud, resourceful and determined to support her 14-year-old sisterDwho she hopes will one day be able to make her social debutDAlyssa, under the guise of Madam Zora, clashes with the aptly named Ian Fortune, a self-made businessman and adviser to the titled who, as the disenfranchised grandson of a duke, is, like Alyssa, equally determined to be beholden to no one. After Alyssa's cavalier ""advice"" encourages Ian's friend to make a bad investment, Ian is determined to discredit the elusive and alluring Madam Zora, only to find himself entangled in a lighthearted series of complications, leading, of course, to he and Alyssa falling in love. Although the couple's battles become repetitious toward the end and only stubbornness ultimately keeps them apart, readers will forgive the few flaws in this energetic and amusing tale, perfectly suited to fans of Regency romances. (Dec. 11)
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