The Marcelli Princess (Pocket Star) by Susan Mallery. Mia Marcelli is shocked when the man she believed dead comes back to her with a story about how he'd lost her. And what a whopper it is. Rafael is no Diego, but the heir to the Calandrian throne, and he has every intention of taking his--and Mia's--son back to be raised in his own country. Fans of the Marcelli series should enjoy this one. For me, well, the secondary characters weren't as annoying as in the previous tale, but Rafael is completely unlikable throughout much of this story, bent only on having his own way and the heck with anyone else. Yuck.
Naked Earl (Zebra) by Sally Mackenzie is next. Lady Elizabeth Runyon is slightly tipsy when Robbie, aka Robert Hamilton, Earl of Westbrooke, climbs through her window naked. She's been in love with Robbie for years, but he has no intention of marrying her or anyone else. Unfortunately, Lady Felicity has other ideas and will stop at nothing to have her own way. (Gee, that's something of a trend this week, isn't it?) This one has a lot going on, so many secondary characters with 'screen time', and honestly, I was more intrigued with Charlotte, Duchess of Hartford and her erstwhile beau, Baron Tynweith, whose relationship is possibly more complicated than Lizzie and Robbie. This one was cute, but not a keeper for me. It's earned three of Cupid's five arrows.
Simply Magic (Delacorte) by Mary Balogh is next. Teacher Susanna Osbourne is off on an unexpected holiday with her dear friend Frances, Countess of Edgecombe, and meets Peter Edgeworth, Viscount Whitleaf upon her arrival. What a disagreeable occurrence. But, despite her long-borne abhorrence for the Whitleafs, Peter and Susanna become friends, of a sort. He's determined to win her, but he doesn't realize why she's so resistant, or just why it's so important to him that she has some feeling for him. As is usual with a book by Ms. Balogh, you'll be caught up in the complications along the way for these fascinating characters, and you also get to revisit old favorites from previous books. I hated reaching the end of this one, it was that good. Or, to gush more, this one is simply magic, and a definite keeper. I'm giving this one four and a half arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!