cover image Secrets of a Wedding Night

Secrets of a Wedding Night

Valerie Bowman. St. Martin’s Paperbacks, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-2

Bowman begins her Secret Brides trilogy with an enchanting Regency where passions ignite between a young widow and a roguish nobleman. Lily Andrews, the dowager countess of Merrill, publishes a pamphlet that warns young women to fear the tribulations of one’s wedding night. The fiancée of Devon Morgan, marquis of Colton and Lily’s onetime flame, reads the pamphlet and breaks off the engagement. Devon insists that Lily write a retraction; when she refuses, he decides to seduce her and prove that a wedding night need not be a frightening experience. Intellectual sparring between Devon and Lily sparks romance as they come to terms with the secrets and misunderstandings of their past. Bowman’s cast of intriguing, well-developed characters—particularly smart, sensible Lily—makes this an engaging debut that will have readers seeking future installments. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (Oct.)