The Hellion’s Waltz

Avon. (Feminine Pursuits, Bk. 3). Jun. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9780062931832. pap. $4.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
A pianist, who has recently been destroyed by a con, falls for a weaver who is working on a swindle of her own, in this third novel from Waite’s “Feminine Pursuits” series (following The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows). Sophie Roseingrave and her musical family have fled London for Carrisford after their unwitting involvement in a devastating scam. When Sophie overhears a shopkeeper tricking Maddie Crewe into a bad sale, she feels compelled to keep Maddie from a similar fate—but Sophie quickly senses that Maddie is savvier than she’s made herself out to be. Their mutual attraction is as immediate as their mutual distrust. As Maddie and her fellow weavers conspire to thwart the dishonest shopkeeper, Sophie realizes that she wants to lend her own skills to the cause. Sophie and Maddie get together early in the book and build trust over time, leaving plenty of space in the plot for a theatrical hustle that verges on stage magic.
VERDICT A good pick for fans of the series, who will recognize nods to past protagonists. It’s also an accessible starting place for those who like their romance with a side of textile arts or covert Georgian-era trade unionism.
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