This week's loot (all synopses from Amazon):
Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean. Since being named “London’s Lord to Land” by a popular ladies’ magazine, Nicholas St. John has been relentlessly pursued by every matrimony-minded female in the ton. So when an opportunity to escape fashionable society presents itself, he eagerly jumps—only to land in the path of the most determined, delicious woman he’s ever met! The daughter of a titled wastrel, Lady Isabel Townsend has too many secrets and too little money. Though she is used to taking care of herself quite handily, her father’s recent passing has left Isabel at sea and in need of outside help to protect her young brother’s birthright. The sinfully handsome, eminently eligible Lord Nicholas could be the very salvation she seeks. But the lady must be wary and not do anything reckless and foolish…like falling madly, passionately in love.
Not sure about this one. I'm not generally into romance fiction, but I really liked MacLean's first book in this series (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake), so we'll see.
Angel With Two Faces by Nicola Upson. Summer, 1935. Inspector Archie Penrose has invited Josephine Tey to his family home in Cornwall, a struggling but beautiful country estate on a magnificent stretch of coastline. Disillusioned with the London stage, Josephine is ready to begin work on her second mystery novel and finds much to inspire her in the landscape and its legends - in particular, a lake on the estate which is said to claim a life every seven years, and the nearby Minack Theatre, an open-air auditorium which overlooks the sea. But death clouds the holiday from the outset: Josephine's arrival coincides with the funeral of a young estate worker, killed in a mysterious riding accident, and another local boy disappears shortly afterwards. When the Minack proves to be a stage for real-life tragedy and an audacious murder, Archie's loyalties are divided between his friends and his job, and he and Josephine must confront the violent reality which lies beneath a seemingly idyllic community - a community with one face turned towards the present, and another looking back to the crimes of the past.
A Dangerous Affair by Caro Peacock. Liberty Lane, still in her early twenties, is doing her best to make a new life for herself in London after being bruised by loss and treachery. But there's no chance for her to settle down as a conventional young lady. First, a disturbingly attractive young politician, Benjamin Disraeli, wants her to use her contacts in the theatre world to find out more about a prima ballerina with a notorious love life called Columbine. He hints that some important interests may be at stake. Then Columbine is murdered in her dressing room, after an on-stage brawl with a younger and less successful dancer, who becomes prime suspect. Liberty is at the center of the investigation because one of her dearest friends, Daniel Suter, is convinced of the girl's innocence and will put his own neck in danger to save her. Liberty's determination to save them from the gallows leads her from the upper reaches of the aristocracy to some of London's lowlife haunts, posing the question: How far would you go to save a friend?
The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee. Mary Quinn, a scrappy 12-year-old orphan and accomplished thief in Victorian London, is saved from the gallows by a stranger and taken to Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls, an institution dedicated to turning out strong, independent, educated young women. Though reluctant at first, she accepts the challenge and eventually becomes a teacher herself. At 17, she is recruited by the mistresses of the school to join a covert group of female spies known as The Agency. Her first assignment involves posing as a lady's companion to the daughter of a man suspected of fraud and smuggling. She carries out her investigation at night and during stolen moments, but soon finds that she is not the only one on the case. Is James Easton a friend or foe? A dramatic rescue from a burning building reveals the true villain but leaves other questions unanswered. Lee fills the story with classic elements of Victorian mystery and melodrama.