Never Resist a Rake

Mia Marlowe. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-1-4926-0271-2

Marlowe’s second Somerfield Park Regency (after A Rake by Any Other Name) is more fluffy than chewy. John Fitzhugh Barrett, the next marquis of Somerset, has never forgiven the snobs of high society for turning their backs on him when he was penniless, orphaned, and thought to be illegitimate. Now established as the Somerset heir and quite eligible, he has no use for the ton’s fawning attentions and rules. But he is intrigued by Rebecca Kearsy, a stubborn, innocent, and staunchly loyal bluestocking. He fears that Rebecca will suffer socially if he shuns the wealthier ladies for her, but he can’t stay away from her cheerful company. Rebecca falls for John almost instantly, but her father’s massive gambling debts put her at a disadvantage on the “marriage mart.” Plenty of farce, an easily defanged villain, and some complicated intrigues liven up this otherwise unremarkable country house party. (June)