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Beware of Virtuous Women : A Romney Marsh Novel
The perfect daughter . . . secrets within secrets, lies within lies
Adopted daughter Eleanor Becket is dedicated to her family and its welfare. She is also a commendable commander, and a keeper of secrets, most especially her own. Who would ever expect this fragile beauty, with her quiet ways and her unfortunate limp, to be capable of anything more than her accomplishments at embroidery and her mastery of musical instruments?
Only Jack Eastwood feels the need to look more deeply at this self-proclaimed spinster, and what he seems -- and the long-ago crime he suspects -- lead both Jack and Eleanor to the very edge of desire and danger. As the Beckets feel the outside world looking ever more closely at the nocturnal activities taking place in Romney Marsh, as the Black Ghost rides yet again, Eleanor Becket is forced to risk her family, her chance at love, even her life, in one desperate gamble.
Smuggling flourishes along England's southern coastlinein 1813, setting the scene for bestselling Michaels's fast-paced new series chronicling the sprawling Becket family of Romney Marsh, continued in this third volume. When the Beckets' smuggling ring, an operation that helps their fellow villagers, is threatened by the notorious Red Men Gang, family friend Jack Eastwood offers to infiltrate London society to root out the gang's leader. Although adopted daughter Eleanor has always been reserved and self-sufficient, quietly running the boisterous Becket household, she shocks everyone by volunteering to play Eastwood's pretend wife in London. Jack quickly discovers that Eleanor's fragile looks hide a sharp mind and steely will, making her a valuable ally, but he suspects she is keeping secrets from him about her past. These secrets become a liability when Jack discovers that Rowley Maddox, the Earl of Chelfham and quite possibly the leader of the Red Men, knows who Eleanor is and what she's hiding. As the cat-and-mouse game intensifies, Jack and Eleanor realize they are destined to do more together than sleuthing--just in time for Jack to face losing Eleanor at the hands of Maddox. Lively dialogue and characters make the plot's suspense and pathos resonate; anticipation for the series' next volume, due in 2007, should be high. (May)
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 30, 2006
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