cover image The Music of Love

The Music of Love

Minerva Spencer. Crooked Sixpence, $11.95 trade paper (372p) ISBN 978-1-951662-01-1

Spencer (Notorious) launches her Academy of Love series with this pitch-perfect Regency romance set in Cornwall, England. Eustace “Stacy” Harrington hires private piano teacher Ivo Stefani to join his household staff, but Ivo’s widow, Portia, shows up instead. The alluring, quick-tempered Portia proves herself to be a talented teacher, and despite Stacy’s insecurities about his albinism and his worries about starting a romance with one of his employees, he can’t help his attraction to her. Ivo used to shame Portia for enjoying sex, leaving her insecure and fearful, but she finds herself drawn to the imposing but unfailingly kind Stacy. The pair impulsively give in to their desires in a steamy sex scene that cuts through the typical will-they-or-won’t-they dance. When Portia discovers she’s pregnant, Stacy is overjoyed and agrees to marry at once. But the dark pasts of both loom over their newfound domestic bliss, and when Stacy is shot returning home from a business trip, the newlyweds are thrown into a complex web of danger and intrigue. Spencer’s characterizations are nuanced and believable, and the passion between the protagonists scorches the pages. Readers will be hooked. (Self-published)