cover image My Favorite Countess

My Favorite Countess

Vanessa Kelly. Kensington/Zebra, $6.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-1-4201-1483-6

Kelly works an intriguing medical twist into an otherwise standard Regency romance. Forward-thinking Dr. John Blackmore cares for poor pregnant women in London's slums, earning him the enmity of powerful Dr. Steele, who counsels his wealthy female patients that suffering is their lot for Eve's Original Sin. Bathsheba, the countess of Randolph (and the villain in 2010's Sex and the Single Earl) needs to marry someone rich following the death of her first husband, who abused her and left her too debt-ridden to care for her mentally disabled sister. After a sizzling encounter, the very alpha%E2%80%94in the best sense%E2%80%94Blackmore plans to court Bathsheba, but she's set her sights instead on a titled gentleman with political aspirations and an ambitious older sister. Readers will adore the honorable doctor, but find the tormented Bathsheba a somewhat less novel character. (May)