MacLean starts a new pre-Victorian series with enjoyable romps, witty banter, and electric sexual tension. Michael Lawler, the marquess of Bourne, lost everything in an ill-considered wager with a scheming neighbor. He spends 10 years recreating his fortune three times over by running the Fallen Angel, London’s notorious gaming hell. Wealth hasn’t stopped him from wanting to regain his family estate, and when the opportunity presents itself, Michael jumps at the chance, regardless of the strings attached—namely, marriage to his childhood friend Miss Penelope Marbury, the villain’s daughter. Perpetuating a farce of a marriage for London society isn’t difficult, but Bourne’s all-consuming need for revenge endangers the possibility for real love between the two. The couple’s buried insecurities become tiresome after a while, but the comic relief from feisty sisters and a marriage-minded mother pushes the reader onward. Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident Media Group. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2012 Release date: 02/01/2012 Genre: Fiction
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