cover image Loving Lady Marcia

Loving Lady Marcia

Kieran Kramer. St. Martin’s Paperbacks, $7.99 mass market (368p) ISBN 978-1-25

Kramer scores with the inaugural House of Brady imbroglio. Lady Marcia Sherwood, daughter of the marchioness of Brady—and yes, her sisters and stepbrothers have names to match—was compromised by seductive Finn Lattimore on her 16th birthday. She has kept it a secret, but her strong sense of honor has prevented her from seeking marriage in the five years since. Just as a jealous rival costs Marcia her beloved position as the headmistress of a girls’ academy, Finn returns to London and reveals Marcia’s secret to his brother, Duncan, Lord Chadwick. Appalled by his brother’s behavior, Duncan decides to make Marcia’s situation right through marriage. Marcia is not immune to either Finn’s charm or Duncan’s determined pursuit, but she is most committed to returning to the academy. Though Kramer (If You Give a Girl a Viscount) includes her characteristic lighthearted touches, she’s smart and confident enough to take her characters and their situations seriously, turning what could have been a one-line joke into a deep and appealing story. Agent: Jenny Bent, the Bent Agency. (Sept.)