From Publishers Weekly
Lady Ciara Sheffield joins the crowd of Regency bluestockings in this serviceable and nicely steamy debut romance. Ciara's knowledge of herbs and the unfortunate death of her extremely unpleasant husband has led to society labeling her Lady Murder, a slander encouraged by her husband's grieving family, who want custody of Ciara's son. In order to redeem her position in society, Ciara forms a sham alliance with a notorious but politically powerful rake, the earl of Hadley. While Ciara is a somewhat two-dimensional character, the romance with Hadley, which involves smugglers, kidnappers, and—even worse—gossip of the ton, is well drawn and intriguing. Glimpses of Ciara's circle of scholarly female friends promise that further Circle of Sin titles will share this one's intellectual bent. (Mar.)
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Lady Ciara Sheffield couldn’t care less about the rumors that she “helped” her rotten husband to his untimely demise, but when his relatives try to use the gossip to ruin her and take guardianship of her son, Ciara’s friends in the “Circle of Sin,” a group of intellectually minded ladies, insist that Ciara take action. They think she should remarry, but their choice of a prospective husband, rakish Lucas Bingham, the Earl of Hadley, leaves Ciara wondering if her friends have lost their minds. Not only is “Mad, Bad, Had-ley” the subject of more scandalous gossip than Ciara herself, he is also insufferably arrogant and annoyingly sexy. Elliott skillfully brews up a smart, supremely satisfying Regency historical romance. --John Charles