cover image A Midsummer Bride

A Midsummer Bride

Amanda Forester. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $6.99 mass market (416p) ISBN 978-1-4022-7181-6

Forester follows A Wedding in Springtime with an ingeniously funny historical. American heiress Harriet Redgrave is shocked when the American ship she’s on is captured by Britain’s Royal Navy and the crew are impressed into service in the war against Napoleon. The Navy delivers her to London and the Earl of Langley, her estranged grandfather, who disinherited Harriet’s mother for marrying a sea captain and who is now determined to marry Harriet to a titled lord. Duncan Maclachlan, the impoverished Earl of Thornton, could use a wealthy wife, but he cares more about a happy marriage. When Harriet is reluctantly shepherded to Duncan’s Highlands house party, it’s amusingly clear that her American ways, including attempting scientific experiments that result in charred drapes, are out of place in English high society. To Duncan’s consternation, he finds her fascinating: “smart and honest and kind, and mysterious, and more than a little touched in the head.” The witty dance of friendship between the two leads both in a direction neither is truly prepared for. Circling spies and thieves provide for divertingly funny subplots, and Forester magically makes it all work. Agent: Barbara Poelle, Irene Goodman Agency. (Nov.)