cover image Trial by Desire

Trial by Desire

Courtney Milan, HQN, $7.99 mass market (368p) ISBN 978-0-373-77485-2

In 2010's Victorian romance Proof by Seduction, Ned Carhart was a deluded youth. He married the lovely Kathleen and promptly abandoned her to investigate the opium trade in China and try to prove himself to be a mature, trustworthy man. Three years later, strong-willed Kate has stopped looking for him, choosing to build an independent life instead. Ned's return inconveniently coincides with Kate's daring attempt to rescue a friend from an abusive husband—a man who has been a lifelong companion of Ned's. Ned knows he has failed Kate, and knows, too, that she's hiding something. Her secret is revealed early on; mutual trust takes much longer. Where Proof was an over-plotted romp, this tender, thoughtful romance is a deep examination of what responsibility and trust really mean in a partnership when desire is a complication rather than the raison d'être. (Oct.)