cover image Brazen and the Beast (Bareknuckle Bastards #2)

Brazen and the Beast (Bareknuckle Bastards #2)

Sarah MacLean. Avon, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-269207-8

MacLean’s second Bareknuckle Bastards Regency veers away from the typical Regency romance focus on the nobility to explore the lives of London’s ordinary folk, populating Covent Garden with delightful recurring characters. Lady Henrietta “Hattie” Sedley is 29 and heartily tired of being seen as “just” a woman. She longs to take over her father’s shipping company, but she’s hampered by her gender and her ne’er-do-well brother, Augie. While embarking on a plan to enjoy some sensual pleasures in the seedier parts of town, she’s dismayed to find that Augie has left Beast, a smuggler and one of the infamous Bareknuckle Bastards, tied up and unconscious in her carriage. She wakes up Beast, kisses him, and tosses him out the door while the carriage is moving, ensuring he’ll come looking for her—en route to taking revenge on Augie. Hattie finds Beast’s good looks and confidence impossibly appealing, and her independence and determination pique his interest. Soon their business fortunes are as entwined as their bodies. The imaginative plot carries readers along in this deliciously sexy story filled with heart. [em]Agent: Steven Axelrod, Axelrod Agency. (Aug.) [/em]