cover image Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage

Secrets of a Scandalous Marriage

Valerie Bowman. St. Martin’s Paperbacks, $7.99 mass market (336p) ISBN 978-1-2

Bowman woos Regency romance fans with this final novel in her Secret Brides trilogy (after Secrets of a Wedding Night and Secrets of a Runaway Bride). Lady Katherine Townsende, Duchess of Markingham, has been imprisoned in the Tower of London for the murder of her husband. James Bancroft, Viscount Medford, visits Kate with a proposition: he wants her to write a pamphlet telling her side of the story, convinced that the publication would be beneficial to both of them. In return, she asks for release into James’s custody, as law allows her to be supervised by a nobleman. James, known as “Lord Perfect” for his meticulous ways, is surprised by her beauty and intelligence, and he’s not prepared for the disruption she brings to his orderly household. The attraction between the two is well crafted and plays out in unusual fashion: James’s structured life has left him little time for rakish behavior, leaving Kate to do the seducing. The murder trial adds weight and tension to this refreshing page-turner. (Oct.)