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Captain Maximus Harcourt, the unconventional tenth Duke of Alderidge, can deal with tropical storms, raging seas, and the fiercest of pirates. But he's returned home from his latest voyage to find a naked earl - quite inconveniently deceased - tied to his missing sister's bed. And he has only one place to turn. Now he's at the mercy of the captivating Miss Ivory Moore of Chegarre & Associates, known throughout London for smoothing over the most dire of scandals.
Miss Moore treats the crisis as though it were no more serious than a cup of spilt tea on an expensive rug. As though this sort of thing happened on the job every day. Max has never in all his life met a woman with such nerve. Her dark eyes are too wide, her mouth is too full, her cheekbones too sharp. Yet together, she's somehow...flawless. It's just like his love for her, imperfect, unexpected - yet absolutely true.
Bowen's irresistible Regency is like the most popular debutante at the ball: pretty, witty, mysterious, and full of coquettish allure. From the first line to the happy d nouement, Bowen builds enough romantic heat to melt midwinter snow. A dead man has been found in the bed of the virginal Lady Beatrice Harcourt, and Bea has gone missing, apparently clad only in her chemise! Enter Ivory Moore, whose job is whisking away the sordid remains of what appears to be an evening's debauched revelry and concocting a fiction that will preserve Bea's reputation. Her task requires the cooperation of Bea's errant brother, Capt. Maximus Harcourt. Naturally, he's outraged when Ivory orders him around. Max and Ivory conduct a merry tug of war over who takes the reins of investigating Bea's disappearance while pleasantly losing their battle with mutual attraction. Good reading is assured as Bowen weaves wonderful romantic fiction.