Duchess of Fifth Avenue (Berkley) by Ruth Ryan Langan is up first, with Lana Dunleavy desperate to keep her best friend's newly orphaned son. But what's a poor immigrant to do? Find a better job? Check. Oh, but when her rich employer publicly announces plans to adopt the child herself, Lana needs a new plan. Pretend to be someone else, someone rich, and card-playing Jesse Jordan seems to be the perfect person to help with that. There seems to be a lack of real urgency during much of this one, and a whole lot of lying. Not to mention a very easily-solved problem late in the story. It's not a keeper for me, but if you're looking for something fairly uncomplicated and sweet, you may disagree. It's earned two and a half of Cupid's five arrows.
Jack of Clubs, Vol. 2 (Signet Eclipse) by Barbara Metzger is next, with Jack Endicott and Allison Silver butting heads over the young student Allie's been charged with bringing to London, but their paths will cross again. This one is very properly told during the Regency era, with very little steam, and plenty of class distinction. Regency fans will like it very much, I expect. I'm giving it three arrows.
The Rogue's Return (Signet) by Jo Beverley is up last this time, with another of her Rogues taking center stage. Simon St. Bride is on a mission, one he's nearly completed, but his unexpected marriage to Jane Otterburn forces him to change his plans somewhat. Jane, for her part, has a rather large secret, though perhaps not as difficult to share as she believes. Unlike some of my favorite Beverleys, this one is fairly light, though no less accurate in detail. I liked it, but I'm sorry to say I didn't love it. It just didn't pull me in as much as some of her others. It has earned three and a half arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!