cover image Notorious


Nicola Cornick. HQN, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-373-77583-5

Veteran Regency author Cornick (Lord of Scandal) introduces an original twist to a tale that's long on passion and short on logic. Sir James Devlin may have come into a title, but he's in urgent need of money. Putting aside his scruples, he enters into a lucrative engagement with an immature young woman, while his sister, Francesca, falls in love with wealthy scoundrel Fitzwilliam Alton. At a ball, James is shocked to encounter Susanna Burney, his onetime wife, who abandoned him the day after their wedding for reasons that never really make sense. Susanna is now intent on seducing Alton, but not for love: she's a professional heartbreaker, hired by Alton's parents to end what they consider an unsuitable romance with penniless, ill-bred Francesca. Soon James and Susanna reconnect with delicious lust that somewhat masks the absurdity of their backstory. (Aug.)