cover image A Nobleman’s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel

A Nobleman’s Guide to Seducing a Scoundrel

KJ Charles. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $16.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-72825-588-0

Charles’s swashbuckling second Doomsday Books romance (after The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen) enthralls as it transports readers back to the moors of 19th-century Kent. Set 13 years after the previous installment, the story focuses on Luke Doomsday, who was introduced as the intelligent but unhappy child of a notorious family of smugglers and has now grown up to be a talented and successful secretary, recently hired by Rufus d’Aumesty, the new Earl of Oxney, who needs help navigating the harsh world of the marsh on which his estate resides—and who wants to be more than just Luke’s employer. With the Doomsday clan on hand, there’s plenty of family drama, scheming, and secrecy to complicate the lovers’ path forward. Charles’s historical accuracy extends all the way to the colloquial names of the day for penis (“his stand” is a common one) and she excels at delivering both steamy sex scenes and fascinating discussions of honesty and morality. How, for example, does one decide whether to tell a loved one a secret that will surely break their heart? Charles tackles this and more in a beautifully executed sequel that will live up to fans’ expectations. Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary. (Sept.)