cover image Mad Jack

Mad Jack

Catherine Coulter / Author Jove Books $7.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-

The household of Lord Cliffe, Grayson St. Cyres, is turned topsy-turvy in this historical romance when his two eccentric great aunts descend on him with their valet, Mad Jack. As it turns out, Jack is in fact Winifrede Levering Bascombe, a young runaway in disguise, hiding from her abusive stepfather. When Jack steals one of St. Cyres's horses, the chase is on; and when St. Cyres apprehends the scamp, he discovers the masquerade and the inevitable love affair develops. The less-than-ingenious plot appears to be going nowhere until Coulter throws in a special twist that saves the day. Despite this, the story is well-worn and cutesy, and the males are reduced to inept creatures dominated by the strong-willed women in their lives. Although entertaining (due mostly to the eccentric, hysterical aunts), Coulter's newest doesn't hold up to her bestselling The Wild Baron. (Feb.)