cover image Notorious


Minerva Spencer. Kensington, $15.95 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4967-3283-5

The tangled Victorian romance that launches the Rebels of the Ton series from Spencer (the Academy of Love series) kicks off when the very wealthy Drusilla Clare is discovered in what appears to be a compromising position with her conversational sparring partner and secret crush, Gabriel Marlington. The two must marry to save their reputations, but guarded Drusilla, a “follower of Mary Wollstonecraft,” finds no joy in the prospect of marriage—and worries about what being married to man she loves unrequitedly will do to her psyche. Algerian-born Gabe has been the subject of gossip since his arrival in London and doesn’t want his good name smeared. He doesn’t understand why his new wife has always treated him with such vitriol, but he’s determined to try to have a happy, monogamous marriage. The more Gabe seduces Drusilla with his intellect and patience, the more she lowers her guard and lets him see her true feelings—but Gabe’s made some powerful enemies by ruffling feathers among London’s upper crust, and the budding romance may not survive the threats on their lives. Though Drusilla’s defensive hostility toward Gabe grows tedious, both characters are strong, complex, and believable, and the cliffhanger offers a nice setup for the sequel. Readers who like thrills mixed in with their romance should check this out. [em]Agent: Jessica Alvarez, BookEnds Literary. (Dec.) [/em]