by Nicole Byrd

September 2003
ISBN: 0-425-19209-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

Englandís Prince Regent, often known for his extravagances, is in dire straits. A massive ruby, the Scarlet Widow, has disappeared en route to His Royal Highness. The ruby was to have adorned the coronation robes of the beleaguered not-quite monarch when he finally was crowned King of England. If word leaks about the purchase and subsequent loss of such an expensive gem, then he will be horribly embarrassed and open for even more censure. He has called upon Nicholas Ramsey, Viscount Richmond, to find the lost jewel. After all, it was his courier that was in charge of the prized possession, and Richmond had been involved from the outset. There was no one better suited to locate the Scarlet Widow.

Lord Richmondís investigation leads him to the unlikely home of Lucy Contrain, a young widow struggling to keep a roof over her head. She is astounded to learn that her late husband may have been involved in the theft, and given her circumstances, is eager to assist Lord Richmond. The reward being offered by the Crown will restore her finances and allow her some much-needed peace of mind.

Widow in Scarlet offers readers a delightful heroine and a dashing hero. In fact, it is by the strength of these main characters, and their subordinates, that the story is such a success. One of the villains is obvious fairly early on, and some of the plot devices are well-worn. Yet Lucy and Nicholas rise above the doldrums to make the story more appealing. Regency readers will enjoy seeing how Lucy reacts to moving in much higher circles than she is used to, and her friends and maid, Violet, are delightful.

Reviewed in August 2003 by Paula.

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