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Honesty can be the deadliest policy of all.

Lady Serena Ravenshaw is one of London’s most prosperous women, but she’s never forgotten the misery that set her on the path to success. Nor has she forgotten the drunken young gentleman who gave her the means to start her long, tortuous climb out of the gutter.

When he knocks on the door of the Ravenshaw Arms to ask her help in retrieving a stolen family heirloom, she readily agrees to help, and to let him stay rent-free. After all, Serena prefers debts to fall in her favor.

Still grieving the death of his twin brother, Solomon Hathaway just wanted to be left alone in his dye-making shop—until his highborn uncle sends him to the infamous Lady Serena to scour London’s underworld for the missing bauble.

He’s shocked to discover she’s the same bedraggled waif to whom he once gave his entire quarterly allowance. Yet as they delicately tread common ground, they must negotiate a treacherous world of crime, espionage and betrayal before they can learn to trust—and love—again.

Originally published Dorchester 2011.

Warning: Contains toasty warm pastries, scorching hot chemistry, and a web of treason that just might see England in flames.

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    If I could give this 6 stars I would!

    What a fantastic book! In many ways, this novel inverts the standard tropes of romance novels. Serena, our heroine, is the character with the dark past and rakish reputation, the character with enough underworld connections to ensure that our hero is kept safe when someone threatens him. Our hero, Solomon, is the emotionally open character who works to draw out Serena from behind her walls - and also, the one who cooks and is fashion-focused. The inversion, of course, illustrates how differently these character tropes play out with someone of a different gender. I was rooting for Serena and Solomon from the first moment. Their obstacles seemed real and loomed larger every time I turned the page. In nearly every chapter, it seems, Lerner raises the stakes for the characters - sometimes emotionally, sometimes situationally. I stayed up late at night reading because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next - and Lerner continually surprised me. There is a secondary romance in this book as well, but I can't say much about it because it's a huge spoiler!


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