Adele Ashworth, Author . Avon $5.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-380-81807-5

Ashworth's (Someone Irresistible) somber Victorian-era romance opens on the gloomy coast of Cornwall with a bride's death. The bride's older brother, Marcus, the earl of Renn, arrives in England shortly thereafter, having been abroad for four years. While his mother and brother snipe at each other, Marcus turns to Mary Marsh, the beautiful, mysterious woman who has lived with the family for several months, designing his sister's intimate wedding garments. Already intrigued by Marcus from his sister's description of him, Mary agrees to stay and help him investigate his sister's demise, only to find that the investigation becomes more dangerous, and the passion that simmers between herself and the earl more heated, with every secret unturned. But Mary has secrets, too—ones she's unwilling to reveal. The sense of doom that pervades the story will pull readers onward inexorably, but much along the way is jarring. Mary very modernly thinks of "working through" her guilt in regards to her own family issues, and characters often switch from high to low emotions without warning or reason. Nevertheless, Mary and Marcus's feelings that they've found soul mates in each other rings true, which makes for a satisfying denouement. (Nov. 5)

Reviewed on: 10/28/2002
Release date: 11/01/2002
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-200552-6
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