“The Lady Risks All" by Stephanie Laurens (Avon, 461 pgs., $7.99)
Stephanie Laurens’ fans will savor “The Lady Risks All."
Those who are not necessarily enamored of the veteran author can enjoy the book, with a bit of patience — or even better, with a willingness to skip through the unnecessary scenes and verbose descriptions that tend to bog down an otherwise engaging story.
This story focuses on how Roscoe, the second son of a duke, becomes the gambling king of London, a man who demands awe and respect from underworld criminals as well as aristocrats. He sheds his identity as a member of the duke’s family to spare his sisters, mother, nephew and sister-in-law from financial ruin, and keeps his true identity secret to spare them social ruin.
Undertaking that responsibility, Roscoe thinks he forfeits any chance he has at marrying and having his own family one day. Silly man. Of course he discovers that love does conquer all.
Miranda teaches him that lesson.
Miranda has spent her life thinking that respectability is the most important thing. Silly woman. Of course she discovers that love is the most important thing.
Roscoe teaches her that lesson.
The two become partners when Miranda’s brother is mysteriously kidnapped. It takes way too long to rescue him, and even longer to solve the mystery as to who wanted him killed and why.
But if you’re patient, and can muddle through pages of description and lingering scenes, you’ll be rewarded with a good story and even better happily-ever-after.