From Publishers Weekly
Kicking off a new series in fine form, seasoned romance novelist Michaels introduces the Beckets of Romney Marsh, a sprawling British family headed by the eccentric Ainsley Becket and filled out, mostly, with children he "adopted, purchased, [or] scooped up" during his time as a businessman in the Caribbean. In 1811, Ainsley's son Chance, at 30 the eldest of the eight children, is returning to the family estate in Kent with his five-year-old daughter, Alice, and an assignment from the War Office to investigate smugglers. Recently widowed, Chance employs smart, sure Julia Carruthers as a nanny. Attraction between Julia and Chance heats up as she becomes involved in his patchwork family and starts piecing together the family's role in the smuggling enterprise—a role that may be at odds with Chance's official business. Michaels keeps the couple's relationship fresh with their cat-and-mouse mind games throughout as Julia's curiosity and intellect keep vigilant pace with Chance's manipulative efforts to protect the family secrets. Romance is only part of the well-executed plot, and the dynamic among the various Becket siblings is vital, humorous and authentic, making this an engaging beginning to the Beckets' saga. (Mar.)
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Chance Becket had concealed his rough origins behind the veneer of his high-society London marriage, but now the war office asks him to return to the coast of England to monitor the smuggling of French goods and find out if the smugglers are aiding Napoleon. He planned to leave his now-motherless daughter, Alice, with his family but must first find a nanny. Enter young and beautiful Julia Carruthers, who is well aware of the smugglers and their way of life on the coast. On their journey to Chance's home, Julia finds out that the family is not what it what it appears to be. As Chance tries to seduce her, Julia knows that he wants her cooperation in his work and in private, but she wants more than this enigmatic man is offering. Michaels is in her element in her latest historical romance, a tale filled with mystery, sexual tension, and steamy encounters, making this a gem from a true master of the genre. Patty EngelmannCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved