Amanda Quick, a pseudonym for Jayne Ann Krentz, is a New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of contemporary and historical romances. There are nearly thirty million copies of her books in print, including Seduction, Surrender, Scandal, Rendezvous, Ravished, Reckless, Dangerous, Deception, Desire, Mistress, Mystique, Mischief, Affair, With This Ring, I Thee Wed, and Wicked Widow. She is also the author of Slightly Shady and Don't Look Back, the first two novels featuring Lavinia Lake and Tobias March. She makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Frank.
A sturdy backbone of suspense is the only prop that keeps this latest,uneven historical romance by the author of Deceptions from collapsing. London society in the early part of the 19th century, ruled by rigid patterns of proper behavior, is quick to ostracize those who defy its conventions. So when Iphiginia Bright discovers that her dear old Aunt Zoe is hiding an extremely embarrassing secret--and is being blackmailed for it--the young woman schemes to keep her aunt's reputation intact and to ferret out the perpetrator as well. In order to penetrate the highest levels of society, where the blackmailer operates, Iphiginia poses as the mistress of Marcus Cloud, Earl of Masters. To her chagrin, the earl catches her in the act; but when he learns that a close friend of his is also being blackmailed, the enterprising and unconventional lord joins forces with his strong-minded ``mistress,'' leading to some convoluted sleuthing and complex role-playing interspersed with passionate confrontations. Quick (aka bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz) deftly spins a first-rate mystery that includes a perplexing murder, but her usual light comedic touch disintegrates into burlesque and farce here, with pointless subplots that veer out of control, spawning pages of vapid conversation. Even Quick's two admirable and enchanting protagonists can't salvage this slow and lackluster romance. (June)
Learning that her aunt is being blackmailed, school mistress Iphiginia Bright boldly palms herself off as the mistress of the Earl of Masters, whom she believes dead by the hand of the same blackmailer. She succeeds admirably-until Marcus Valerius Cloud, the dead earl, suddenly walks into the room and throws her plans, and her life, into passionate chaos. Sprightly, funny, and highly sensual, this story harks back to the earlier Quick historicals (Ravished, Bantam, 1992). Quick is a household name to readers of the historical romance subgenre; she produces similarly fast-paced contemporaries under her own name, Jayne Ann Krentz. Quick aficionados might also enjoy reading Julie Garwood and Judith McNaught. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/94; Krentz lives in Seattle.]