From Beverly Romance Books
Dangerous to Know
  Dangerous to Know by Mary Jo Putney
by Mary Jo Putney

Excellent Novel and Novella - Separated at Birth

In the reissue of The Diabolical Baron Jason Kincaid, the nineteenth Baron Radford, decides it is time to acquire a wife. He fell in love once in his youth, only to have his young love run away with a military man. In a heartless bet with his friend he chooses the shy, young and innocent Caroline Hanscombe's name out of a hat and decides to meet her at Almacks. He courts and then asks for Caroline's hand in marriage. Although Caroline is not in love with Jason, she is forced to accept the handsome, yet seemingly cold man for the money he can bring her aunt and uncle who have been caring for her for so many years. Caroline has lived with only the love of her beloved widowed Aunt Jessica, where she takes refuge in her home whenever she can in order to use her piano and compose the beautiful music she loves to write and play. It is only when Caroline writes and plays her music that she truly feels alive, and when she is whisked off to Jason's country estate, she feels even more alone, realizing he does not truly love her, and that she will have to live in a cold, loveless marriage. There she meets his new neighbor, Richard Davenport. Richard is the heir to the neighboring estate, but does not want to accept the title, as his mother and father were cut and estranged from the family when they married and ran away years ago. He arrives at the estate disguised as a custodian, and while spending time there comes across Caroline in the well-equipped music room. The handsome Richard also loves music and he and Caroline form a bond that soon grows to love. When Caroline's Aunt Jessica shows up at the Radford estate for a visit in preparation for the upcoming wedding, it is discovered that she is the young beauty that Jason loved and lost so many years ago. They both discover the love they once lost, but concern over Caroline's feelings keep them apart once more. The story develops and twists as the couples struggle with their relationships and true loves. It all comes to a shocking conclusion at the engagement ball when the couples realize they are all in love with the wrong, but then the right people. The shock of this discovery, together with the true identity of Richard culminates in an unsolved mystery and treacherous plot by one of Richard's relatives. A true love story, excellently written, of love once lost and won again.

In the western novella, Mad, Bad, and Dangerous the young, beautiful, pregnant widow Elizabeth Holden discovers the handsome prisoner she helps save from abuse in the streets of a small Texas town is the man convicted of shooting and killing her abusive husband. When she brings Andrew Kane dinner and is locked in the room with him where he is held prisoner, a fight breaks out and she cannot leave. They talk and discover a connection to each other, as they both have been used and abused by the Holden family. Liza hears his story and learns about his family in England and his land and ranch, The Lazy K. Soon the attraction they had to each other from first sight grows to desire and they experience a moment of passion before Kane is taken to hang and she is go live with the Holden family in a prison of her own, as they only want Liza for the baby. The story itself has a strange twist and surprise ending, and is an excellent short story, but would seem to be even better if extended to a longer story and book of its own. Also, this western romance novella doesn't seem to fit with the regency The Diabolical Baron. Both stories, excellent in their own right, seem to suffer a bit under the different title of Dangerous to Know.

Publisher: Penguin Group (January 2007)

Reviewed by Beverly, Beverly Romance Books
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