cover image Breathless


Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan. St. Martin’s Griffin, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-00806-0

A happy collaboration by two popular romance novelists delivers a rich chiaroscuro of two love stories: one between a Regency period artist and his model, the other between a 21st-century Harvard assistant sociology professor and her nemesis, an art dealer. Facing an academic crossroads, tightly wound Dr. Brenna Anderson stumbles upon a previously unknown 1828 portrait of a woman. It is clearly part of a grouping called the Siren Series, classically erotic paintings by a mysterious artist. She would give anything to lay eyes on the other paintings, but they’re privately owned, and the key to accessing them may lie in teaming up with freewheeling art dealer Fitch Wilder, whom Brenna detests. The pair form an uncomfortable alliance to search for more Siren paintings and uncover the true identity of the Siren. As their inevitable mutual attraction unfolds, it is counterbalanced by an account of the life of the 19th-century model and her love for the artist who immortalized her. This deeply satisfying genre-crossing story is certain to seduce fans of Regency and contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Agent: Irene Goodman, Irene Goodman Agency. (June)