cover image Desired: The Scandalous Women of the Ton, Book 5

Desired: The Scandalous Women of the Ton, Book 5

Nicola Cornick. HQN, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-0-373-77590-3

The fifth scandalous heroine in Cornick’s popular historical series is thrice-widowed Tess Derant, a woman with a checkered past and a secret that can land her in jail. Reluctantly, she begins to seek husband number four. Prospects look dim until the lady literally falls into the lap of handsome American expat Owen Purchase, viscount Rothbury. The man possesses important qualities that meet Tess’s needs: once they’re married, no one can legally force him to reveal her secret identity, and a sensitive battle injury may have left him unable to consummate their union. The lovely blonde boldly proposes a marriage of convenience that Owen is hard-pressed to refuse, given both her wealth and her beauty. Cornick ably maneuvers the engaging characters through an intricate plot with her trademark lively narrative style. (Dec.)