Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Distracting the Duchess-Emily Bryan

Distracting the Duchess
Emily Bryan
Leisure, Feb 2008, $6.00
ISBN: 9780843958706

At twenty-five years old, the Duchess of Southwycke Lady Artemisia has been a widow for two years. Because of her Bombay childhood in which a female could be publicly active Artemesia runs a business; but to avoid becoming the Ton pariah, she uses the alterego of Mr. Bennington. Only her brilliant assistant James Shipwash knows otherwise and understands a key part of his job is to hide his employer’s gender.

When her father Angus recognizes that he is losing his mind, he sends a last note to Home Office Secret Service operative Lord Trevelyn Deveridge that says succinctly "Beddington holds the key". Trevelyn begins to search for the elusive Beddington, but no one seems to know who he is and Shipwash is vague and uncooperative. A desperate Trevelyn travels to Southwycke estate to see if Angus’ daughter can help interpret the message. Immediately attracted to one another, she assumes he is the male model she hired to pose naked for her next painting. As they fall in love, someone else seeks the key that Beddington holds, but Artemisia has no idea what her father meant.

This a much more complex historical espionage romantic suspense than that described above as there are several more key subplots that all converge into a fabulous tale. The fast-paced story line hooks the audience the moment that Artemisia mentally strips Trevelyn who almost immediately takes it off and never slows down until the final confrontation with some bad dudes. Fans will appreciate this exciting thriller as the adventures keep on coming.

Harriet Klausner

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