Loving Lord Ash

Sally MacKenzie. Kensington/Zebra, $7.99 mass market (344p) ISBN 978-1-4201-2323-4
MacKenzie’s third Duchess of Love Regency romance (after Surprising Lord Jack) rehashes old tropes for a rather dragged-out plot. Kit, Marquis of Ashton, discovered his groom’s daughter, Jess, embracing a naked man. Kit implausibly married Jess to save her reputation, and immediately fled without consummating the marriage. For the next eight years, Jess lives the artist’s life and provides safe refuge for “sodomites” at Kit’s country manor, all the while pining away for her husband. When Kit arrives intending to make a deal for an heir and a spare, seeing Jess embrace another naked man sends him running once more. But Jess is determined to do things differently this time. The two overcome ludicrous sitcomesque shenanigans involving jealous wannabe lovers and society gossips, and finally have an obviously overdue heartfelt conversation that too neatly solves all problems. The comedy is stale, and truly humorous moments are few. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/20/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
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