THE SCANDAL IN KISSING AN HEIR – Sophie Barnes
At the Kingsborough Ball , Book 2
Daniel Neville is not as bad as his reputation might lead one to believe, but the truth is he's been rather reckless with his reputation. So reckless in fact that his uncle, the Marquess of Wolvington whose heir he is, has threatened to cut off his allowance if he's not betrothed in a month and married by the end of the Season. There's nothing for it but to comply, and that is the reason he's attending the Kingsborough masquerade ball. Though he looks around for a potential bride, all he sees are the ho-hum, look and act-alike debutantes…until he sees a black-haired stunner in a red dress. Daniel's taken with her, though he's none too sure of her status. Her red dress is not that of a maiden lady, but her speech and demeanor are.
Rebecca is indeed a lady, known to the ton as Lady Rebecca of Roselyn Castle. Here again is a case of wrongful reputation. As the orphaned daughter of an earl, her guardians are her mean aunt and uncle who, for their own selfish reasons, want her to marry one of her rich and elderly suitors. For two years, she deliberately pretended to be mad and was locked up in their castle. But now she's quite desperate. She sneaks out dressed in the only ball gown she could get her hands on and crawls over a wall to sneak into Kingsborough Hall on the night of the ball. She hopes to find someone young and willing to marry.
When Rebecca is approached by a handsome, well built gentleman, she's not ready to divulge her identity. It is a masquerade, after all. There is an immediate attraction between Rebecca and Daniel and not just a physical one; they seem to have similar attitudes and senses of humor. Somewhat later, during a walk in the garden with Daniel, Rebecca wonders what to do…when she's hit by a bullet!
And this is just in the first two chapters. Much more is to come in the adventures of these two likable characters with very complicated lives. THE SCANDAL IN KISSING AN HEIR is both fun and serious, and an altogether well-told tale. It comes after THE TROUBLE WITH BEING A DUKE, book one of the three that begin at the ball given by the Duke of Kingsborough. These are definitely not your run-of-the-mill Regency historicals. What surprises might be in store for us in the next one?