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Appetites & Vices

Carina: Harlequin. (Truitts, Bk. 1). Feb. 2019. 345p. ebk. ISBN 9781488052187. $3.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
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OrangeReviewStarUrsula Nunes and Hugo Middleton made a marriage pact to avoid ever facing Philadelphia high society alone. When Hugo's parents arrange a union for him with someone else, Ursula devises a plan with Jay Truitt, the degenerate son of one of Philadelphia's wealthiest families. If Jay and Ursula pretend to be engaged, Ursula will be invited to the city's posh soirées despite her dubious reputation, enabling her to convince Hugo to honor their agreement. Ursula will then break off her engagement with Jay, gaining him the sympathy of his family and allowing him to pursue a hedonistic lifestyle in peace. Though their engagement is a sham, Ursula and Jay begin to wonder if they really know what they want after all. They are wonderfully vibrant and sensitive characters, ultimately gaining society's approval through their wits.
VERDICT Debut author Grossman doesn't shy away from tough topics—detailing anti-Semitic prejudices of Early American high society as well as drug addiction without overshadowing the romance and humor at the center of the relationship between Ursula and Jay; their chemistry is undeniable. This page-turner is highly recommended for all romance aficionados.

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