cover image Between a Rake and a Hard Place

Between a Rake and a Hard Place

Connie Mason and Mia Marlowe. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4022-7246-2

Mason and Marlowe’s third Royal Rakes romance (after One Night with a Rake) shimmers with romance and an undercurrent of suspense. In 1818 England’s “Hymen Race Terrific,” King George III’s unmarried sons are vying with each other to be the first to wed and sire an heir. Lady Serena Osbourne is seen as a frontrunner to be the bride of one of the sons, the Duke of Kent. Anti-Hanover MP Fortescue Alcock threatens to implicate Sir Jonah Sharp in a treasonous plot unless Sir Jonah ruins Serena, thereby making her unsuitable for the duke and increasing the likelihood that the Hanoverian line will go extinct. Jonah is instantly attracted to Serena’s adventuresome spirit and sparkling charm; though he’s reluctant to ruin such a lovely young woman, he finds it difficult to avoid the pull of attraction between them, and soon he succumbs to some heady, sensuous romance. Well-rounded characters and effortless plotting make this installment the best in the series. (Jan.)