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Impetuous beauty Lady Jacinda Knight is the daughter of a notorious woman. Her mother - Georgiana, the Duchess of Hawkscliffe - had scandalised society with her affairs and exploits, earning her the moniker of the Hawkscliffe Harlot. All her life Jacinda has been aware that the eyes of the ton are upon her - waiting for her to reveal her true colours and follow in her disgraced mother's footsteps. Now - faced with the prospect of an arranged and loveless marriage - Jacinda may well be about to prove her critics right. Running from her fate, Jacinda finds herself alone on a dangerous street face-to-face with Billy Blade, the notorious leader of a band of thieves. Jacinda finds herself dangerously attracted to the handsome, mysterious rogue and only just escapes the experience with her reputation intact. But Billy is no ordinary criminal. Years before he had turned his back on the privilege and power of his tyrannical father, the Earl of Rackford, a small price to pay for the freedom he currently enjoys. But Jacinda makes him contemplate the unthinkable - returning to the civilised world to reclaim his title.
Fourth in Foley's Regency-era Knight family series (Lord of Ice, etc.), this tantalizing tale offers a glimpse of a world that historical romance authors rarely acknowledge the slums and back alleys of London. Lady Jacinda Knight, a spoiled and sheltered beauty, defies her eldest brother and guardian by running away to avoid an arranged marriage. She makes it as far as a coaching inn before she falls prey to a young purse-snatcher. Not one to concede defeat, Jacinda chases him into an alley and winds up in the middle of a turf war between rival gangs of thieves. Hard-bitten Billy Blade, a troubled Robin Hood like figure who's not quite what he seems, takes an ungrateful Jacinda back to her brothers but not before they share a heated kiss. The two eventually meet again when Billy is forced to reunite with his abusive father and reclaim his title as Earl of Rackford, but her desire for independence clashes with his resolve to make her his wife. It's hard to believe that the pampered aristocrat would find Billy worthy of her attentions, but his irreverent charm and innate sense of justice will quickly endear him to readers. Despite the book's title, Billy is the true star here, and his transformation from street-wise rebel into high society rake is full of light humor, lively surprises and tender moments.