cover image A Gentleman’s Guide to Scandal

A Gentleman’s Guide to Scandal

Kathleen Kimmel. Berkley Sensation, $7.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-1-101-98681-3

Kimmel’s fast-paced second installment in her 19th-century Birch Hall Romance series (after 2015’s A Lady’s Guide to Ruin) shows that longtime acquaintances can find love in the most unusual situations. Colin Spenser, Marquess of Farleigh, has decided that it’s time he got married, and has chosen Lady Penelope Layton as his bride. But Colin still harbors feelings for Lady Elinor Hargrove, his sister Marie’s old friend. When Colin kisses Elinor right before his engagement is announced, she’s amazed by her attraction to him and devastated by his apparent callous treatment of her. Elinor’s still grieving Marie’s death under strange circumstances and decides to impersonate a courtesan so that she can attend a very sensual house party and hopefully gain information that will help her solve the mystery. When Elinor meets up with Colin at the party, they succumb to the allure of their attraction. The sizzling chemistry between Colin and Elinor is a driving force of this novel, which is complete with subtle suspense and a fearless heroine. Agent: Lisa Rodgers, JABberwocky Literary. (June)