cover image Desire Never Dies

Desire Never Dies

Jenna Petersen, . . Avon, $5.99 (373pp) ISBN 978-0-06-113808-9

In Petersen's latest series, her three heroines attend balls and watch their manners in typical Regency fashion; atypically, they're also cunning secret agents under the watch of a mysterious figure named, yes, Charlie. In this playful follow-up to From London with Love , expert code breaker and young widow Lady Anastasia Whittig becomes a spy for the king. This bespectacled young woman, who has isolated herself studying cryptography and inventing spy gadgets, quickly learns that the real danger in her new role isn't the counteragent she's been hired to find, but her new partner, the dashing society rake Lucas Tyler. He thinks a female partner, especially one lacking experience and self-confidence, could be deadly for both of them. Although the enmity between them intensifies when Anastasia suspects Lucas's best friend may be responsible for his fellow agents' deaths, Lucas's animosity gives way to admiration, and eventually more. Unfortunately, wooden characters and a weak plot stymie the fun, turning what could have been a cleverly anachronistic romp into a tedious genre misfit. (Jan.)