cover image Knockout


Sarah MacLean. Avon, $9.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-305679-4

Victorian girl gang the Hell’s Belles returns (after their last appearance in Heart Breaker) in this fierce romance from MacLean. This time, the focus is on Lady Imogen Loveless, resident chemist and explosives expert, as she works to catch the culprit behind a series of explosions in London’s East End. Meanwhile, her powerful and controlling family asks Det. Insp. Thomas Peck to keep an eye on her and pull her from trouble. But when the indomitable Imogen turns to Thomas for help in her investigation, he winds up getting into trouble right alongside her. Their attraction grows as danger mounts: after they’re attacked by police officers, they learn that the explosions are part of a conspiracy that goes all the way up to the highest levels of Scotland Yard. As they fight for justice and work to keep each other safe, Imogen must also convince Thomas that she wants no other man but him, despite their class difference. MacLean’s characters are refreshingly progressive and the plot has a kinetic energy that increases exponentially alongside the romance and suspense. It’s a joy to revisit the Hell’s Belles; series fans and new readers alike will get a kick out of Imogen’s time in the spotlight. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary (Aug.)