cover image Silent Melody

Silent Melody

Mary Balogh. Berkley Trade Pub, $5.99 (368pp) ISBN 978-0-425-15862-3

Balogh (Heartless) brings a twist to her Georgian romance by making the heroine a deaf woman struggling to fit into the rigid English society; but, unfortunately, this intriguing premise is undermined by contrived plotting. As a teenager, Lady Emily Marlowe had fallen in love with Lord Ashley Kendrick, the one man who really understands her. Seven years later, he has returned from India, wealthy but widowed under suspicious circumstances. Beautiful Emily's fierce independence and Ashley's unresolved feelings about his marriage keep them apart, even as the same evil that destroyed his wife and child reemerges. Though Balogh offers a wonderfully sensitive treatment of Emily's silent world, it doesn't compensate for the hero's obtuseness and the heroine's incomprehensible refusal to confide in him as the clues mount to a rather predictable conclusion. (Aug.)