cover image Kiss Me, Annabel

Kiss Me, Annabel

Eloisa James, . . Avon, $6.99 (386pp) ISBN 978-0-06-073210-3

As smooth, full-bodied and intoxicating as a fine wine, this Regency romance, the second in a series following the impoverished Essex sisters (after Much Ado About You ) is vintage James. Every exchange showcases the author's subtle wit, and not one of the encounters between the book's well-matched protagonists—refined beauty Annabel Essex and the simple but capable Ewan, earl of Ardmore—lacks for passion. Annabel has practiced every smile and come-hither glance for one purpose: to snare a wealthy husband. The last person she wants to charm is a handsome Scottish earl who's rumored to be poor. Nevertheless, their attraction pulls them together, as does circumstance, and before long, they find themselves en route to Scotland and marriage. During this weeklong journey, the protagonists' passions and personalities blossom as they take part in a delicious game to elicit truths and kisses from one another. A full quiver of secondary characters—including Annabel's troublemaking sister, Imogen, and the tired rake Garret Mayne—complement the primary romance and provide tantalizing glimpses of relationships that will no doubt be developed in future books. (Dec.)