From Publishers Weekly
Veteran historical romance writer Callen (Never Marry a Stranger
) begins this 1840s romance with a painting depicting two items of interest to Julian Delane, earl of Parkhurst: a gorgeous naked woman, rumored to be one of the ton
, and her diamond necklace, stolen from Julian's father a decade earlier. Demure debutante Rebecca Leland was recently seen sporting the diamond, but when Julian catches her and her sister and cousin trying to steal the painting, all three young ladies claim to be the model. Threats from another gem seeker send Rebecca off on a wild journey across the countryside; lustful, curious Julian soon catches up, and they're quick to take advantage of their unchaperoned solitude. Though the tale sports only the thinnest veneer of historical verisimilitude, the hero and heroine are engaging, making this a pleasantly spicy early beach read. (May)
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Julian Delane, the Earl of Parkhurst, is searching for a scandalous lady. Well, two scandalous ladies if truth be told. One is the fabulous red diamond, dubbed the “Scandalous Lady,” which had been stolen from Julian’s family more than a decade before and whose loss had precipitated his father’s suicide. The other is the one whose scandalous portrait graces the wall of his London gentlemen’s club. Once Julian discovers that Miss Rebecca Leland was seen wearing the “Scandalous Lady” at a recent ball, it doesn’t take long for him to put the pieces together and realize that if Rebecca has the diamond, she is more than likely the woman wearing it in the painting. In the first in a new Victorian-set series, Callen neatly matches up a sharp-witted heroine with an irresistibly sexy hero to create a romance composed of equal measures of lively intrigue and potent passion. --John Charles