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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 11/2021
  • 9781949862294
  • 192 pages
  • $9.99
Ebook Details
  • 11/2021
  • 978-1-949862-30-0 B08Q35CC5F
  • 192 pages
  • $3.99
Catherine Stein
Author
The Spinster's Swindle

Enter a world of twisted fairytales and Victorian spiritualism in this sequel to The Scoundrel's New Con.

Revenge is in her future. But falling for her enemy's son is one fate this spiritualist could never have envisioned.

Playwright Maxwell Millerson would rather spend his days dreaming up stories than cleaning up his father's messes. But a trendy renovation has the family's gaming club on the brink of ruin, and not even Max's imagination can conjure a way out. Desperate, he turns to the multi-talented-and alluringly audacious-Madame Xyla to help him spin gold from straw.

Lydia Weaver, professionally known as spiritualist Madame Xyla, has long sought revenge on the man responsible for her cousin's imprisonment. When her enemy's son visits her seance room seeking advice, Lydia leaps at the opportunity for vengeance-until Max's easy charm and poetic words threaten to turn her plans upside-down.

As their friendship grows and they give way to their mutual attraction, Lydia and Max must weigh family duty with their hearts' desires. And only when they confront old wounds and new feelings can a happy ending be in the cards.

Reviews
While not quite as polished as The Scoundrel’s New Con, Stein’s second Arcane Tales Victorian romance still brings the fun with capers and chemistry aplenty. Phony medium Lydia Weaver can’t believe her luck when playwright Maxwell Millerson, the son of her nemesis, comes to her for spiritual advice. Maxwell’s father, Adolphus, has sunk his family into debt with a misguided renovation of his gentleman’s club, and Maxwell will try anything to save them from financial ruin. Lydia seizes the opportunity for revenge, pretending to help Maxwell while enacting a series of escalating schemes, from donning various disguises to beat gentlemen at cards to staging an elaborate hoax to convince patrons that the club is cursed. But Maxwell’s kindness, good looks, and way with words soon have her questioning her mission. The backstory of how exactly Adolphus wronged Lydia takes slightly too long to be fully revealed, making it difficult to invest in the opening pages, especially as Stein relies on some sketchy contrivances and conveniences to get the plot in motion. These are minor quibbles, however, in the face of giddily executed set pieces and the protagonists’ chemistry. The love scenes are especially notable for how grounded they are in character, with wordsmith Maxwell providing some suitably poetic dirty talk. It’s another charming romp. (Self-published)
Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 11/2021
  • 9781949862294
  • 192 pages
  • $9.99
Ebook Details
  • 11/2021
  • 978-1-949862-30-0 B08Q35CC5F
  • 192 pages
  • $3.99

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