Sally MacKenzie returns to Regency England with the seventh installment in her Naked Nobility series. This time the "royal" hero is Stephen Parker-Roth, the notorious and sexy "King of Hearts." Stumbling home one morning after a night out, Stephen literally runs into Lady Anne Marston. Soon they are entangled in an accidental embrace, which becomes an accidental engagement when London's biggest gossip sees their mishap.
Anne is a 27-year-old spinster, her dreams of a home and family shattered by an ill-fated romantic encounter 10 years ago. The King of Hearts quickly captivates her with his seductive kisses and smoldering touch, but Anne cannot believe that he will return her love when he learns the true reason for her seclusion from society.
What Anne doesn't know is that Stephen intends to go through with their sham engagement, thinking that her good sense will provide him a capable helpmeet. However, he soon realizes his bride-to-be's combination of intelligence and vulnerability are going straight to his heart, and the lust she kindles in his body is a delightful bonus. Settling down suddenly seems attractive, but first he must convince Anne to confess the secret that stands in the way of their love.
Fans will delight in this return to MacKenzie's series, where deep passion and realistic relationship obstacles are frosted with light-hearted banter and intricate period details. One word of caution: the many cameos of former heroes and heroines of the series may leave MacKenzie's new readers scrambling to keep up with the cast. The remedy, of course, is to read the earlier installments, an enjoyable prescription indeed.
***This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness Readers Edition. Sign up for this free and awesome newsletter at http://www.shelf-awareness.com for the latest news and reviews! This review refers to an ARC provided by Shelf Awareness.***