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Elle Kennedy. Signet Eclipse, $7.99 mass market (368p) ISBN 978-0-451-47444-5

Kennedy (Don’t Walk Away) opens the Outlaws series with this sizzling dystopian romantic thriller. Four decades after a disastrous world war, a chosen few rule with an iron fist. Hudson is desperate to avoid an arranged marriage to a cruel man she hates, so she leaves the safety of her sheltered life in the City to become an outlaw in West Colony. Connor, the colony’s leader, reluctantly takes her in. He’s already got a full plate, between avenging the murder of his wife and keeping his group together. The last thing he needs is a tough woman trying to escape from a mysterious past. As the heat builds and Hudson falls for Connor, she knows she has to tell him her secrets. But what will he do when he finds out that Hudson’s family may have killed his wife? The fast-paced plot is punctuated with explicit love scenes and a cast of fascinating characters. This tale of love in the midst of horror is both spicy and sweet. Agent: Don Fehr, Trident Media Group. (Oct.)