cover image The Earl's Mistress

The Earl's Mistress

Liz Carlyle. Avon, $7.99 mass market (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-210030-6

Carlyle (Close Call) deftly combines mesmerizing romance with a hint of mystery in this enticing Regency page-turner. When widowed Isabella Aldridge applies to be a governess to the young daughter of Anthony, Lord Hepplewood, the dissolute earl tells Isabella that he would prefer her as his mistress. Isabella is infuriated that the nobleman would treat her so callously, even as she is inexplicably drawn to him. But she can't find work anywhere else, and she's desperate to support herself and her two younger siblings. What begins as a means of survival becomes much more when she and Hepplewood meet again, and she can't help but succumb to his allure. The encounters between Anthony and Isabella are extremely sensuous while supporting excellent character development. Anthony appears initially to be somewhat cruel, but Isabella soon realizes a most lovable man hides under his loutish exterior, and Anthony discovers that Isabella's staid behavior disguises true passion. Their story of mutual discovery will charm fans of historical romances. Agent: Nancy Yost, Nancy Yost Literary Agency. (Sept.)