A Ladies Unlaced Novel
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-26580-2
October 2013
Historical Romance

England and Scotland – 1904

Mary Evensong has been incognito for four years ever since her Aunt Mim was taken ill. Aunt Mim owns and runs Evensong Agency, set up to search for and hire housemaids, husbands and such for Society. In order to assure people that her aunt is still in charge, Mary has disguised herself as Mim, grey wig, tinted glasses, and older woman clothing and all. It's worked wonderfully all along until the day Lord Alec Raeburn turns up.

Alec knows how his young wife died, but he wants the culprit, a doctor in Scotland who was responsible, to be exposed for his deeds that led to her death. The Evensong Agency provides all sorts of people for all sorts of things, and Alec is asking for an actress to trap the evil doctor and prevent him from hurting anyone in the future. He sets up a contract with “Mrs. Evensong”, and heads back to Scotland.

Mary is completely entranced with the tall, ruggedly handsome baron and, along with Aunt Mim and their secretary, Oliver, travels north to the Highlands and the Forsythe Palace Hotel where Dr. Josef Bauer works. He is known to target young, naïve women, so Mary concocts a scenario with her aunt and “brother” Oliver. Alec has checked into the hotel as his large nearby estate is being renovated, the perfect excuse to keep an eye on Bauer, and hopefully to expose his lurid plans. But when the Evensong group arrives, Alec wants to also protect the intriguing “actress” he has hired.

Dr. Bauer could possibly be even more dangerous than initially thought, and although Mary is aware of the potential issues, is she really prepared for Bauer's antics? And then there is the growing “friendship” between Mary and Alec, and though both are trying to keep it professional, it's becoming touchy…literally.

IN THE HEART OF THE HIGHLANDER is part mystery, part adventure, and all romance. Mary has been living a life of lies, and when Alec appears on the scene she begins to realize that there is another world out there that she should be a part of. For Alec, it's a poignant realization that despite his poor choice of a wife who was too needy and inexperienced to appreciate his love, maybe the future won't be so lonely. Bauer is just an evil person and his comeuppance is anticipated.

IN THE ARMS OF THE HEIRESS is the first book in this delightful, and frequently very humorous, series and explains the background of the Evensong Agency and introduces Mary. But IN THE HEART OF THE HIGHLANDER can be read alone and enjoyed very much.

Jani Brooks