cover image A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby

A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby

Vanessa Riley. Zebra, $15.95 trade paper (312p) ISBN 978-1-4201-5223-4

Romance burns slow and hot between a rakish war hero and a determined widow in this bewitching Regency series opener from Riley (The Bashful Bride). Patience Jordan, a West Indian heiress, is separated from her infant son, Lionel, following the suicide of her British husband, Colin. Colin’s villainous, money-grubbing cousin, Markham, sees an opportunity to enrich himself by raising Colin’s heir and has Patience institutionalized, claiming she’s a danger to herself and her child. But Colin’s other cousin, Busick Strathmore, the dashing Duke of Repington, thwarts his plan by taking guardianship of Lionel. Driven by love for her son, Patience escapes the confines of Bedlam in disguise. Knowing that Busick, whom she has never met, won’t trust her with Lionel thanks to her tarnished reputation, she accepts a job as Lionel’s nanny, hatching a foolhardy plan to claim her trust documents and whisk her son to the South American Guianas as soon as possible. The alluring, strong-willed Patience soon captures Busick’s attention and throws off his focus from recovering from his war injuries and sorting through Colin’s tangled finances. Riley loads her expertly crafted romance with intrigue, droll banter, and steadily building passion. Readers will be hard-pressed to find a flaw in this big-hearted Regency romance. Agent: Sarah Younger, Nancy Yost Literary. (July)