Checkmate, My Lord

Tracey Devlyn. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $6.99 mass market (416p) ISBN 978-1-4022-5825-1
The second book in Devlyn’s Nexus series (after A Lady’s Revenge) craftily combines espionage in Regency England with a healthy dose of sizzling romance. Widow Catherine Ashcroft has asked Sebastian Danvers, Lord Somerton, to examine her husband’s last letters to her, believing they hold the clues to Ashcroft’s murder. Sebastian, a spy for the Crown, agrees to assist her; he has little else to do, having been banished from London while his ties to a double agent are investigated. As Sebastian resumes his neglected duties as lord of Bellamere Park, Catherine helps him to regain the trust of his tenants. Her willingness to embark on a love affair with him baffles Sebastian, who clearly wants no long-term relationship and wonders whether her persistence masks hidden motives. Catherine’s struggles as a widow and the mother of a young daughter reveal a hidden strength not often present in Regency-era heroines, and Sebastian’s dark, emotionally guarded demeanor is laced with complexity that only the most stalwart heroine can unravel. Devlyn’s seamless writing will entice readers and keep them eager for the next installment. Agent: Donald Maass, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/26/2012
Release date: 02/01/2013
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