A Shocking Delight
Signet Select / April 1, 2014 / $7.99 print / digital
David Kerslake, smuggling master from The Dragon's Bride, is now Earl of Wyvern and must survive the ton as well as the Preventive Officers.
Lucy Potter, daughter of a wealthy merchant, is more interested in trade than in the men after her dowry. When forced to have a London season, she sets out to enjoy herself rather than to find a husband. But once she meets the notorious Earl of Wyvern, her resolve weakens, and when they kiss, it dissolves—even though her instincts warn he’s dangerous.
Wyvern has a dark secret, which means he must win a rich bride. Lucinda Potter seems ideal. Not for her beauty and her lively charm, but because at first meeting she seems unlikely to realize the truth.
As he comes to know her, however, as they spar and kiss, he realizes she’s too clever and honest by far. Marrying Lucy would mean living a lie with the woman he has come to love....
Lovers of Jo Beverley’s Regency Rogue series have waited seven long years for David Kerslake’s story. Was it worth it? Oh, yes. Let’s reenter Beverley’s Regency world.
Lucinda Potter, like her late aristocratic mother, has “the sort of looks that made people think her empty-headed.” Looks are deceiving, however, because Lucinda is fascinated by business. Before her mother’s death, her lowborn father Daniel had risen to become an extremely successful London merchant, gradually permitting Lucy to “conduct some small pieces of business herself, choosing cargos at auction and finding good markets for them.” Lucinda hopes that after a period of mourning that her father will again invite her into his exciting City world, but then he announces that he plans to remarry a neighborhood widow. He wants conventionality, companionship and a male heir to his fortune. So even though Lucinda’s dowry of thirty thousand pounds is substantial, she foresees a life that is not to her liking, reduced to being an unmarried daughter in an altered family household. Seeing it as the lesser of two unpleasant options, Lucy wisely accepts her aristocratic Aunt Mary’s invitation to enjoy the London season.