cover image Never Seduce a Duke

Never Seduce a Duke

Vivienne Lorret. Avon, $9.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-314308-1

Lorret’s tantalizing fifth Mating Habits of Scoundrels romance (after How to Steal a Scoundrel’s Heart) begins with Meg Stredwick and her aunts Maeve and Myrtle heading to Europe to collect recipes. On the way, they take a detour to the estate of academic Lucien Ambrose, Duke of Merleton, believing the duke may have hidden a secret recipe. As her aunts search for the recipe, Meg is caught by the duke himself, who doesn’t totally buy her story that she and her aunts just needed a place to freshen up on their journey. After the women leave, Lucien discovers a bejeweled family recipe book missing and becomes convinced that Meg is the mysterious Lady Avalon, a thief who has been wreaking havoc on upper-crust society. He tracks Meg to France, where, thanks to close quarters, palpable chemistry, and (Lucien believes) some kind of aphrodisiac, they embark on a sensuous affair—with an unintended consequence. Lorret’s sparkling characters, including Meg’s delightfully flirtatious older aunts and an intellectual duke comically devoid of common sense, light up the pages of this un-put-downable tale. Historical romance fans will be captivated by Lucien and Meg’s cat-and-mouse romance. Agent: Stefanie Lieberman, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Feb.)