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Sebastian St. Clair was just a boy when war broke out, trapping him in France and making it impossible for him to return to England. He had no choice but to join the French Army, eventually becoming known for his particularly effective interrogation techniques of British prisoners. Now with the war a thing of the past, Sebastian is back in England, has taken up his title, and intends to devote himself to horticultural pursuits—if only former British soldiers didn't keep challenging him to duels! But someone desperately wants the "Traitor Baron" dead, and as the fervor mounts, it soon becomes clear that it's all part of a devious plot that Sebastian must defuse quickly or risk losing both his life and his honor. A badly treated, insightful heroine with a closely guarded secret, an intelligent, redoubtable aunt, and a number of continuing characters join the fray in this complex story that revs up the action and takes matters to the level of the Duke of Wellington, himself. VERDICT With sensitivity and exquisite skill, Burrowes does the impossible as she peels away the layers of grief and guilt and turns a sadistic, irredeemable villain into an honorable, sympathetic hero worthy of the perceptive woman who loves him. Burrowes (The Captive) lives in rural Maryland.