cover image A Lady by Midnight

A Lady by Midnight

Tessa Dare. Harper Collins, $7.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-204989-6

Dare's third Spindle Cove romance proves that sequels can equal, and even better, their predecessors (A Week to Be Wicked). In the early 19th century English coastal community of Spindle Cove, orphaned piano teacher Kate Taylor is desperate to find the truth about her parentage. After a discouraging visit to her former schoolmistress, who refuses to tell Kate anything, she finds herself relying on fellow Spindle Cove resident Corporal Thorne's kindness to return safely home. Though the meek Kate initially feels intimidated by her roguish escort, a mutual attraction sparks between the two during their journey. Upon arriving back at the Queen's Ruby inn, Kate is surprised to find a bevy of aristocrats in her room claiming to be her lost family. Thorne, suspicious of their motives, proposes to Kate that they become affianced, allowing him to stay at her side and protect her. But their fake engagement brings out genuine feelings even as answers to Kate's questions begin to emerge. Dare's captivating plotline is enlivened by multi-dimensional characters, while the love story is enhanced by the mysteries of its heroine's past. (Sept.)