cover image Touch of a Scoundrel

Touch of a Scoundrel

Mia Marlowe. Kensington/Brava, $14 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-7582-6356-8

Marlowe wraps up her paranormal Victorian series with a lighthearted romance between a con artist and a psychic. Griffin Nash, Lord Devonwood, manifests the Preston family gift by seeing 12 hours into the future after handling objects others have touched. Devon’s younger brother, Teddy, arrives home with untitled American Emmaline Farnsworth, whom he hopes to marry, and her ailing Egyptologist father. Emma and her companion are actually scheming to get Teddy’s family to fund a fake archeological expedition. When Devon’s chance brush with Emma’s sketching pencil yields an image of them kissing, he lets attraction and the inevitability of his visions trump his concern for his brother’s feelings. Devon’s “Sendings” make delightful teasers for later passionate scenes, and the inner conflicts among Emma’s secret agenda, her natural kindness, and her new feelings of desire provide very effective tension. Tight, sharp banter and a well-structured secondary plot make the story bigger than the average socialite comedy of manners. Agent: Natasha Kern, Natasha Kern Literary Agency. (Aug.)