cover image The Devil Takes a Bride

The Devil Takes a Bride

Julia London. HQN, $7.99 mass market (368p) ISBN 978-0-373-77890-4

Propriety, perfection, and order must yield both to practicality and chaos in the face of the Cabot sisters (introduced in The Trouble with Honor), London’s free-spirited, well-intentioned, and irrepressibly exuberant bad girls of high society. Second sister Grace, hoping to arrange her own marriage before her mother’s madness becomes common knowledge, tries to lure the attractive Lord Amherst into a compromising situation, but mistakenly catches his taciturn brother, Jeffrey Donovan, Lord of Merryton. Isolated at a sparse, regimented estate with a husband who barely speaks to her, faces away from her when they are intimate, and has a strange obsession with the number eight, Grace puts her energies toward flowers, unruly puppies, and figuring out Jeffrey’s secrets while earning his trust. London’s writing bubbles with high emotion as she describes sexual enthusiasm, personal grief, and familial warmth. Her blend of playful humor and sincerity imbues her heroines with incredible appeal, and readers will delight as their unconventional tactics create rambling paths to happiness. (Feb.)