Avon, Feb 2002, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1815, naval Captain James Ashley figures that stopping the smugglers would cap off a great run following on the heel of his victory over the French. However, his foe the Wolf produces a cannon coming out of nowhere that sinks Ashley's ship the Defender in Gravesley Bay. A stunned James wants his unknown father to even silently applaud his achievements. Instead the fickleness of the Ton will portray him as a laughingstock as they did last year as the “most delectable man in England”. His military successes and bravery will blithely be ignored.
Feeling disgraced, James resigns his commission to find the Wolf. He opens up his command post in Lady Prudence Farnsworth's house near the location of where his ship sunk. As James seeks clues, Pru flirts with him in order to keep him away from the town's prime source of income, smuggling. When they are caught in a compromising position, they marry. However, as they fall in love, Pru worries how James will react if he ever learns the identity of Wolf.
PRIDE AND PRUDENCE is an exciting Regency romance that sub-genre fans will enjoy because the secondary ensemble provides great depth to the plot and the lead characters. The story line absorbs the audience from the start though some will feel that a spin too many occurs. Pru and James are one of the better couples in recent years as their relationship is MUCH ADO ABOUT LOVE, trust, and caring, which is why Malia Martin deservedly is gaining a growing fan following.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner