cover image Rendezvous


Amanda Quick. Bantam, $7.99 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-553-29325-8

With its predictable resolution, obvious villain and a hero and heroine who are strikingly similar to those in the author's most recent contemporary romance ( Sweet Fortune, written as Jayne Ann Krentz), this Regency falls short in both originality and intrigue. The scholarly Harry Fleming, earl of Graystone, prizes loyalty above all else. A former spy, he is haunted by his failure to nab a traitor known as the Spider. Furthermore, his wife was ``a lying, deceitful, falsehearted bitch.'' Now a widower, Harry's in the market for a second wife. He has selected as his bride Augusta Ballinger, a reckless but steadfastly loyal woman, and knowing she will balk, he persuades her guardian to present the engagement to her as a fait accompli. Despite her attraction to Henry, Augusta is indeed convinced that a free spirit doesn't belong with a stick-in-the-mud scholar. But the marriage proceeds, and as Harry tries to fashion a proper wife out of Augusta, he begins to believe that a document linked to the suspicious death of her brother two years earlier may offer a clue to the identity of the elusive Spider. (Nov.)