Seduced by the Scoundrel
by Louise Allen
Published by Mills & Boon
SHIPWRECKED - AND SCANDALOUS! Shipwrecked and washed up on an island, Averil Heydon is terrified - and being rescued by mysterious roguish naval captain Luc d'Aunay doesn't calm her fears! Virginal Averil knows that falling for Luc is dangerous, but the pull of their sexual attraction is deliciously irresistible...After her first taste of wild desire in Luc's arms, Averil must return to society and convention. Except Luc has a shockingly tempting proposition for her - to flout duty, and give in to her newly awakened sensuality...
Not sure that Luc is a complete scoundrel, but this was still a fun read. It also made me break my rule of not reading series out of order, since I'm yet to track down the first book of the trilogy but have started on the third. A good cast of supporting characters too -- more than I'd expect in a book of this type -- and all of them give the impression of having their own stories to tell even if those wouldn't quite fit the category restrictions.
The Scarred Heir
by Denise Patrick
Published by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Two months. Just two more months and Sarah Standish will be twenty-one and free to come out of hiding. Not long ago she was on the brink of marrying the man of her dreams—until she discovered his complicity with her uncle’s plan to gain control of her missing father’s substantial fortune.
A wounded man appears at the inn where she lives under an assumed name, and she’s shocked to discover it’s her would-be groom. He seems to have no memory of her, yet her traitorous heart remembers.
Max Dayton awakens from a fevered dream to find a vengeful angel hovering over him. When he realizes she’s mistaken him for his twin brother, his protective instincts kick in. There must be some reason his brother assumed Max’s identity…and some connection to this dazzling beauty and the father she insists is not dead.
In a quest to untangle the twisted trail of lies that threw them together, Sarah and Max journey to London, where the mystery grows darker and deeper. And the fragile beginnings of love are threatened by a secret someone would kill to keep.
A wonderfully tangled set of family mysteries and coincidences in this one. I was thrown a little by the name of one of the villages early on, since there's a better known place of the same name elsewhere in England, but then again place names do tend to repeat. I definitely need to read the sequel sooner rather than later.
by Dorothy L. Sayers
Published by (amongst others) New English Library Ltd
It was the body of a tall stout man. On his dead face, a handsome pair of gold pince-nez mocked death with grotesque elegance. The body wore nothing else. Lord Peter Wimsey knew immediately what the corpse was supposed to be. His problem was to find out whose body had found its way into Mr Alfred Thipps' Battersea bathroom.
Going back to the beginning with the Wimsey stories, and this one was just as much fun as the Harriet and Peter stories. I figured out part of the solution early on, but not the full details of how. I definitely need to keep going with following the series in order now.
High Life, Low Morals: The Duel That Shook Stuart Society
by Victor Stater
Published by PIMLICO
Sex and murder among the Stuart aristocracy, culminating in one of history's most famous duels. Stater takes the doubly fatal duel (between Lord Mohun and the Duke of Hamilton) as a focal point to recreate the violent, cynical world of the late 17th- and early 18th-century British aristocracy.
A gripping slice of real history, covering the intrigue and politics leading up to the duel of the title, and with a chapter on what happened next too. Fascinating stuff, and I'd love to find more titles written along similar lines.
The Fall of Troy
by Peter Ackroyd
Publisher by CHATTO & WINDUS
'I cannot wait to bring you to the plain of Troy. To show you the place where Hector and Achilles fought. To show you the palace of Priam. And the walls where the Trojan women watched their warriors in battle with the invader. It will stir your blood, Sophia.' Sophia Chrysanthis is only 16 when the German archaeologist Herr Obermann comes wooing: he wants a Greek bride who knows her Homer. Sophia passes his test, and soon she is tieing canvas sacking to her legs, so that she can kneel on the hard ground in the trench, removing the earth methodically, identifying salient points, lifting out amphorae and bronze vessels without damaging them. 'Archaeology is not a science,' Obermann says. 'It is an art.' Obermann is very good at the art of archaeology - perhaps too good at it. The amosphere at Troy is tense and mysterious. Sophia finds herself increasingly baffled by the past...not only the remote past that Obermann is so keen to share with her in the form of his beloved epics of the Trojan wars, but also his own, recent past - a past that he has chosen to hide from her. But she, too, is very good at the art of archaeology...
I disliked Obermann from the start, and he turned out to be an excellent villain, as the other characters slowly came to discover. Not as much detail about Troy itself as I would have liked, and Obermann's style of archaeology made me wince, so it may not be the best of stories for those more knowledgeable about the art than me.