cover image Silk and Steel

Silk and Steel

Kat Martin. St. Martin's Press, $7.99 (354pp) ISBN 978-0-312-97281-3

An 18th-century hero, Lucien Raphael Montaine, fifth Marquess of Litchfield, wants to marry an affable woman to have his children, grace his table and not challenge him in any way. Lucien wants to create a life different from his parents': his mother, a spirited woman, ran off with another man, and his father died by his own hand. Fate enters Lucian's life in the form of Kathryn Grayson, a lively, intelligent runaway from a madhouse where her uncle committed her so he could spend her considerable fortune. Kathryn has a passion for medicine--an unorthodox pastime for a Georgian lady--and likes nothing better than analyzing cadavers and mixing potions. Stubborn Lucien can't fight his attraction to Kathryn, and despite his reservations, he agrees to marry her to thwart her uncle. Gradually, Lucien softens and accepts her vocation, and she learns to understand his needs. Unfortunately, Martin's (Dangerous Passions) story line suffers from lightly sketched period atmosphere and heavy sentimentalism. (Jan.)