Caught in the Act

Betina Krahn, Author Avon Books $4.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-380-75778-7
In mid-16th-century England, young Merrie Straffen, sole heir to the late Earl of Straffen, suddenly becomes the nominal mistress of a large estate that is in fact dominated by its officious steward and housekeeper, Manley and Gert Lombard. A questionable marriage has also been arranged for Merrie with Jack Huntington, a good-natured rake. Merrie resents the match and tries to discourage Jack, but he persists and woos her successfully. Yet two days after the wedding he abandons his bride, in accordance with the unsavory terms he had agreed to. The Lombards are engaged in financial shenanigans and treasonous associations that are uncovered by Jack as he works to free his innocent wife from their greedy clutches, but the Lombards' deeds and motives remain sketchily drawn and, in the case of the treason, out of character. Krahn ( Passion's Ransom ) squanders her premise, which serves as little more than filler for moments when the hero and heroine aren't engaging in verbal jousting or bedroom antics. Worse yet, the novel is written in a disconcerting pastiche of modern and archaic English. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
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