Notorious (Rebels of the Ton)
Despite the decidedly Victorian bustle on the lady’s silhouette featured on the cover, this is a Regency romance set in 1817. Drusilla Clare is a social reformer who scorns the affectations of the aristocracy, but she nurses a secret: she is in love with Gabriel Marlington, the gorgeous brother of her best friend, Eva. Caught in a compromising situation, they marry, but can the marriage develop into a partnership based on true love and respect?
To make the task even more challenging, not only are both reluctant to confess their true feelings, but they have enemies: she, a disappointed rival and an aspiring suitor who needs her dowry; he, someone who blames him for the death of his entire family.
The hero’s complicated family background (his father a sultan, his mother an English lady) strikes one as improbable and more than a little entangled, and the plot grows overly melodramatic. The latter does, however, provide opportunities for the protagonists to appreciate each other and learn to co-operate against outside threats. As do the extensive bedroom scenes. Though the start of a series, this is a sequel to Dangerous. Recommended to those who relish passion and danger in their romance reading.