cover image When a Lady Misbehaves

When a Lady Misbehaves

Michelle Marcos, . . St. Martin?s, $6.99 (361pp) ISBN 978-0-312-94849-8

In this saucy Regency romance, the chance discovery of her mistress’s erotic diary offers April Jardine, a bordello scullery maid, her long-awaited opportunity for upward class mobility. Discovering several wealthy former clients in the diary, April approaches each, claiming to be an illegitimate daughter. At first, the scheme works: rather than risk exposure, several men pay her off. It backfires, however, when she meets Jonah Hawthorne, who warmly embraces her as his daughter. Soon, April realizes it’s respectability and a loving family she wants, not money, but her position in the Hawthorne household is precarious; Jonah’s son Riley, a powerful judge, disbelieves April and is determined to prove her a phony before she jeopardizes his brother’s forthcoming marriage to a relative of the queen. April’s sassy tongue and skill at subterfuge are no match for Riley’s tenaciousness, but soon Riley finds his venom turning to passion. When a rival gets April arrested, Riley find himself doing everything he can to save her, leading to a nail-biting courtroom finale. Debut author Marcos delivers a refreshing, creative take on the typical Regency, carried by the spirited April and buoyed throughout by lively plot twists. (Nov.)