Scandalous by Night
St. Martin's, Aug 2008, $6.99
In 1799 his stepmother Lady Worrington arranged his betrayal abetted by her ten year old niece Maura Keighly that left Viscount Everod near dead with a wound to his throat given to him by his dad who wishes he was dead. His younger brother Rowan sides with his father. Over the next decade he lived for vengeance though his reputation for wickedness as a les sauvages nobles comes with his seemingly zillion different women. Now in 1811; he believes he finally has the opportunity. He will seduce and ruin Maura to get back at those who betrayed him. .
Maura is considering strongly accepting the marriage proposal from Rowan. When she meets Everod she hesitates saying yes to Rowan as she feels both guilt for her part in the duplicity and is also attracted to him even before he begins his seduction. However, Everod finds himself caught in his own trap as he begins to fall in love with the expendable chip. He soon realizes his nefarious scheme worked too well as someone, whom he suspects is in the bosom of the Worrington family, apparently is willing to finish the job of a dozen years ago and kill Maura too.
Readers will enjoy this entertaining Regency romantic suspense as the near death experience turns Everod into a rake, but a taste of strawberry jam and other fruits change him into a hero. Sub-genre fans will enjoy this tasty treat as Maura is pulled by her love for the rogue she knows is trying to destroy her, her duty to the aunt who took her out of poverty, and to her beloved’s brother who has been her best friend. Few writers combine romance and suspense inside a historical as well as Barbara Pierce consistently does.