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Beautiful, smart, and a wildly successful romance writer, Marina Wyatt, the widowed Countess of Gorham, enjoys a delightfully scandalous reputation and makes good use of it to promote her books. However, when the scholarly uncle of her supposed latest flirt approaches her with his concerns, the attraction between them flares into page-singeing passion and launches a clandestine affair that could prove unexpectedly deadly for them both. A cast of remarkably memorable secondary characters, including an obsessed blackmailer and a precocious preadolescent, join a beautifully matched, eminently appealing hero and heroine in a well-researched, secret-laden story that delves beneath the "proper" surface of early 19th-century English high society. This novel is supremely sensual, wickedly witty, and one of the author's best to date. Noted for exquisitely written, intelligent romances that often hover near the erotic edges of the genre, Rosenthal (The Slightest Provocation) lives in San Francisco.