cover image Legacy of the Rose: Legacy of the Rose

Legacy of the Rose: Legacy of the Rose

Kasey Michaels. Pocket Books, $5.99 (432pp) ISBN 978-0-671-73180-9

When Lucien Tremaine returns home to Sussex from the Napoleonic Wars, he finds his mother dead and his father, Edmund, married to Melanie, the fiancee he had left behind. Worse, Edmund informs Lucien that he is a bastard and disinherits him, while Melanie shamelessly tries to seduce him. Mortified and disgusted, Lucien flees to London and refuses to be lured back by the tart correspondence of Kate Harvey, nursemaid to Edmund and Melanie's baby, informing him that Edmund is ill. When Lucien survives a murder attempt and traces its origin to Sussex, he returns there and, with the help of Kate--who has her own mysterious history--learns that the evil threatening his life has roots in the past. Although Michaels ( The Lurid Lady of Lockport ) shows flashes of ability, she pushes her story over melodrama's farthest edge. Melanie, only one of the villains, is mentally deranged and addicted to opium and aphrodisiacs, a murderer and a nymphomaniac. Her past includes two abusive sexual relationships (one incestuous, one lesbian). Not surprisingly, she's being blackmailed. This character alone could render Michaels immune to charges of restraint or good taste. (July)