cover image Rules for Heiresses

Rules for Heiresses

Amalie Howard. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $8.99 mass market (312p) ISBN 978-1-72821-722-2

Howard follows The Princess Stakes with an adventurous romance. It’s 1864, and Lady Ravenna Huntley has found freedom from society’s expectations by dressing as a male sailor and sneaking off to the high seas—but by the time she reaches Antigua, she’s out of money and quickly running out of luck. Things only get worse when she’s accused of cheating at cards by Courtland Chase, the boy-next-door-turned-duke to whom Ravenna was once betrothed—and whom she and the rest of London society believed to be dead. In reality, his spiteful stepmother pushed him out of his family home following his father’s death and he’s spent years building a business with his newly rediscovered Creole relatives. Shocked to be reunited, the pair are soon caught in a compromising situation, leading to a marriage of convenience that will save Ravenna from ruination and help legitimize Courtland’s newly inherited title. But when they return to England, they face a host of hurdles including bigotry, classism, crime, and the relentless London rumor mill. A few action-packed chapters push forward at too hasty a pace, but Howard manages to keep the focus on the reluctant attraction between Ravenna and Courtland throughout all the twists and turns. Readers won’t be disappointed. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Oct.)