cover image A Spinster’s Guide to Danger and Dukes

A Spinster’s Guide to Danger and Dukes

Manda Collins. Forever, $16.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-5387-2557-3

At the start of Collins’s crafty third Ladies Most Scandalous romance (after An Heiress’s Guide to Deception and Desire), Poppy Delamere has been living in disguise as Flora Deavers for two years to avoid the unwanted marriage her parents attempted to force on her. She returns to the family fold, however, to clear her sister of accusations that she murdered her philandering husband. When a pickpocket relieves her of her funds on her journey home, she reluctantly accepts assistance from Joshua Fielding, Duke of Langham. The way Joshua sees it, they can help each other: he needs a fake fiancé to spend the week with him at his family’s house party and curtail his grandmother’s matchmaking schemes, and Poppy could benefit from the protection of his title while investigating the crime and trying to catch the true killer. As they work together, Poppy learns that the duke is not arrogant and heartless, as she first believed, but gallant and genuine, while Joshua falls for Poppy’s fire, quick wit, and loyalty to her sister. The mystery unfolds effortlessly, delivering a slew of suspects, tantalizing clues, and danger around every corner without ever overshadowing the love story. This sensual romance will have pages flying. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Mar.)