When Strangers Marry, by Lisa Kleypas

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Originally written in 1992 under another title, this bodice-ripper has more history than most period romances. There is an interesting subplot about Aaron Burr’s attempted conquest of Mexico, and yellow fever, mistresses of color, and smuggling turn up in the story as well. When Lysette flees an odious arranged marriage, she falls into the hands of Max Vallerand, deeply damaged from the murder of his first wife, who plans to use Lysette as revenge on his nemesis. An excellent read, for 18 and up.

 

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