When Liliana Claremont was a child, her father was attacked and murdered, leaving her orphaned. Though she carries on his legacy as a scientist, she still wants to know why someone targeted her father. A surprising discovery—a parcel of letters hidden in her family’s library—brings her to a Regency house party, where the reluctant guest of honor is Geoffrey Wentworth, the Earl of Stratford, one of England’s most eligible bachelors. Though Liliana has no plans to marry, she plays along, since Wentworth may hold the key to solving her father’s murder. Playing at romance quickly turns into real romance, and Liliana struggles to find a way to explain her presence at the party without jeopardizing her new-found love.
Snow takes two common Regency romance plot devices – the bluestocking heroine and the Regency house party — and turns them into an intelligent, enjoyable novel. Liliana is more than the stereotypical “spirited heroine” – there’s a lot of depth, brains, and bravery in this young woman. Her love of scientific inquiry is a nice touch as well. Secondary characters, including Wentworth’s scheming mother, add an extra dimension. This is a fine debut from a promising new author.