cover image A Gamble at Sunset

A Gamble at Sunset

Vanessa Riley. Zebra, $17.95 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-4201-5485-6

Riley (Island Queen) makes a triumphant return to romance after dabbling in mystery and historical fiction, proving with this Betting Against the Duke Regency series launch that her talent translates across genres. Georgina Wilcox is a middle daughter with beauty, brains, and musical talent. Unfortunately, her parents’ deaths and her sister’s desperate marriage left their family business in the hands of a pathological gambler. After her brother-in-law dies, an old family friend, the Duke of Torrance, helps the Wilcoxes narrowly escape destitution, but they cannot afford another scandal. Unfortunately, Georgina and Lord Mark Sebastian, an aspiring composer, are about to cause just that when a misunderstanding leads to a kiss in the Duke’s gardens that’s witnessed by a large group of guests. The only way to protect their good names is a fake engagement, a charade they hope to pull off through a concert in which Georgina performs Mark’s music, making society believe that they fell in love in the process. Mark hopes this performance will also convince London society of his talent. Riley renders the Regency in living color, with impressive historical detail and an admirably diverse cast. Historical romance readers will be entranced. Agent: Sarah Younger, Nancy Yost Literary. (June)