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An Heiress's Guide to Deception and Desire (Ladies Most Scandalous #2) (Paperback)
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Former lovers become reluctant allies in this delightfully witty historical rom-com from the bestselling author of A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem—for fans of Evie Dunmore, Enola Holmes, and Netflix's Bridgerton!
England, 1867: As half of the writing duo behind England’s most infamous crime column, Miss Caroline Hardcastle has quite the scandalous reputation. It may have cost her a fiancé, but she would much rather bring attention to crimes against those ignored by society than worry about what the ton thinks of her.
After Caro’s dear friend is kidnapped, however, she has no choice but to work with Lord Valentine Thorn, the same man who broke her heart. Worse, when her actions put her father’s business at risk, a marriage of convenience may be her only solution . . . but can she trust Val to stand by her? Or will their past repeat itself?
Val—the new Viscount Wrackham—is in an untenable position: His father is demanding he find a respectable bride to secure the succession. Yet the only woman he’s ever loved, Miss Caroline Hardcastle, is notorious for behaving improperly. And she’s never forgiven him for his youthful transgressions, missteps made in the name of familial duty, but ones he still regrets to this day.
As they grow closer to unmasking the culprit, Val sees an opportunity to show Caro he’s a changed man. But can he convince her to give their love a second chance—before death does them part?
About the Author
Manda Collins grew up on a combination of Nancy Drew books and Jane Austen novels, and her own brand of historical romantic suspense is the result. A former academic librarian, she holds master's degrees in English and Library & Information Studies. Her novel Duke with Benefits was named a Kirkus Best Romance of 2017. She lives on the Gulf Coast with two lazy cats, a very spoiled Shih Tzu, and more books than are strictly necessary.
"After delighting readers with A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem (2020), Collins is back in fine fettle with another fetching mix of sprightly wit, nimble plotting, and engaging characters that is certain to endear her to fans of historical romances and cozier historical mysteries."—Booklist
"The mystery drives the action while the romance provides the heartbeat of the story, and the two weave together to create a well-plotted, entertaining tale for fans of both genres. Expectations and prejudice based on class and gender are scrutinized throughout, while the leads are witty, fierce, bighearted, and easy to love. . . . A successful and thoroughly enjoyable mix of mystery and romance."
"A delectable mystery that reads like Victorian Moonlighting (with a good heaping of Nancy Drew's gumption). Collins writes with a brisk whimsy, her diverting characters popping off the page . . . adroitly threading the needle of her darkly amusing sense of humor, genuine suspense, and a deep sense of connection. . . . A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem is wickedly smart, so engrossing it'd be a crime not to read it immediately."—Entertainment Weekly on A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem
"Utterly charming."—PopSugar on A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem
"A fun and flirty historical rom-com with a mystery afoot!"—SYFY WIRE on A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem
"Smartly plotted, superbly executed, and splendidly witty."—Booklist on A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem
"Thoroughly enjoyable."—Library Journal on A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem
"Both romance and mystery fans will find this a treat."—Publishers Weekly on A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem
"Manda Collins smoothly blends romance and an English country-house whodunit . . . The twists and turns of the plot will keep readers guessing, but Kate's independent attitude and the interesting friends she gathers around her bring the story to vivid life."—Bookpage on A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem
"When I pick up a Manda Collins book, I know I'm in for a treat. With compelling characters and a rich Victorian setting, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem weaves mystery and romance into one enthralling tale."—Tessa Dare, New York Times bestselling author
"[Manda] Collins is a delight! I read A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem waaay past my bedtime, absorbed by its spot-on period detail, the well-crafted characters, and of course the intriguing mystery. Brava!"—Elizabeth Hoyt, New York Times bestselling author
"With wicked smart dialogue and incredibly strong characters, Manda Collins reminds me why I love historical romance so much. Witty, intelligent, and hard to put down, you'll love A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem."—Rachel Van Dyken, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Mystery, romance and an indomitable heroine make for a brisk, compelling read."—Madeline Hunter, New York Times bestselling author
"Manda Collins writes sexy and smart historical romance, with a big dash of fun."—Vanessa Kelly, USA Today bestselling author
"Sexy, thrilling, romantic . . . Manda Collins makes her Regency world a place any reader would want to dwell."—Kieran Kramer, USA Today bestselling author