cover image Too Sinful to Deny

Too Sinful to Deny

Erica Ridley, Kensington/Zebra, $6.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4201-0994-8

Ridley's second Regency gothic historical (after Too Wicked to Kiss) lures readers with a unique combination of the paranormal, romance, and suspense. Susan Stanton is banished from London by her titled parents after a series of embarrassing escapades. Her new home of Moonseed Manor in coastal Bournemouth is fraught with danger, and her father's cousin, owner of the estate, is missing and likely dead. Susan, an affable and quick-witted woman, finds friendship and romance with local smuggler Evan Bothwick, and her ability to communicate with ghosts quickly immerses her in a smuggling mystery. A host of eccentric characters includes a tyrannical giant, a dishonest magistrate, and unhappy ghosts. The romantic element lacks sensuality, but the overall appeal of the well-crafted story helps make up for the lack of sizzle. (Apr.)