This morning's Oldie but Goodie is...
Released February, 2002
Historical romance novels often come with their own set of issues. When reading them, the ones done well manage to inject a certain level of independence into the heroine without making it unbelievable. The bad ones either have a simpering female that causes the hackles of the reader to raise at her timidity, or the heroine is so independent, so outspoken, you know darn good and well it would never have been tolerated way back then.
This novel falls under the first example.
Kassandra "Kitt" Wentworth is a 21 year-old headstrong woman in 1805 London. She is haunted by something that happened to her when she was younger, and for this reason she has not gotten married yet. Clayton Harcourt is the illegitimate son of a duke who is no stranger to having his own set of issues in his life.
After meeting Kitt at a party, Clay is doomed. He falls instantly for this woman, and finally overcomes her objections to getting married with a little help from her father. One problem, though. Kitt's past comes to haunt her in the form of a really nasty guy by the name of Stephen Marlow. As the story progresses, a showdown of sorts brews between Clay and Marlow.
Ms. Martin does a very good job of revealing Marlow's nastiness without having it overtake everything else in the story. He is elemental to Kitt's backstory and her reasons for how she behaves in the present, so I expected him to overshadow the other characters. Luckily, he doesn't. There are other smaller storylines woven in throughout this novel, my favorite being the one of Anna Falacci and Ford Constantine.
If you like a well-written historical, with a sensual heat level, you will like this novel. You can find a complete list of all of Ms. Martin's books on her wonderful website - http://www.katbooks.com/