cover image A Woman Scorned

A Woman Scorned

Liz Carlyle. Pocket Books, $7.99 (448pp) ISBN 978-0-671-03826-7

The latest from Carlyle (My False Heart) offers up a charming yet erotic Regency that entertains despite a few flaws. Jonet Cameron, the Marchioness of Mercer, is a femme fatale shunned by the ton because of her independent ways, her alleged affairs and the rumors that she killed her husband. Nonetheless, Captain Cole Amherst, a distant cousin by marriage, is persuaded to join her household to tutor her two young sons. From her reputation, Cole knew Jonet would be beautiful, but he is not prepared for the immediate attraction between them--or for her hostile temper. The two are at odds on everything except the safety of the boys, whom they fear may be harmed by the same person who killed Jonet's husband. At first, Jonet believes Cole is a spy for her obnoxious brother-in-law, but the captain soon becomes her family's champion. When attempts are made on the boys' lives, Jonet and Cole join forces to protect them; it doesn't take long before Jonet realizes that she loves Cole. She boldly propositions him, and he tries, without success, to resist. Unfortunately, the lovers cannot plan a future together until they catch a killer. Though the novel contains a jarring moment of S&M, Carlyle delivers great suspense and several sensual love scenes. (May)