His Sinful Secret
Signet, Nov 2 2010, $6.99
In London, Michael Hepburn is stabbed in the ribs fighting off an attacker. He cannot go home due to his injury as his parents host guests. He goes to the home of Lady Antonia Taylor who with her lover Laurence patches him up. Antonia loves Michael who saved her life in Spain, but he is marrying an innocent in two days Lady Julianne Simpson out of a sense of duty towards his parents who are grieving the death of their older son Harry. Michael assumes his war time enemy Roget attacked him for the second time in a week though Laurence disagrees.
Michael feels unworthy of Julianne and fears he is betraying his brother. Still they marry and he is very gentle with his shy virgin. They discuss Harry before making love. She realizes the aloof Michael is sensitive to her feelings; something his amiable late brother would not have done. Michael and Julianne make love every night, but Julianne concludes she has his passion, name and protection but not his affection as she believes Antonia has that. His control of his feelings disheartens her; as she wants a marriage like those of their respective parents. As the newlyweds fall in love, each has secrets; his involves his war time work while hers involves her late fiancé.
The latest Notorious Bachelor Regency romance (see My Lord Scandal and One Wicked Mistake) stars a strong lead couple whose marriage is brought about by the death of a loved one; she especially shows intelligence and keen observation, which in this sub-genre are traits of the male. The story line focuses on a suspicious spouse believing her new husband whom she does not know is concealing something from her. Although the villain turns out to be weak, readers will enjoy this engaging Regency romantic suspense.