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Malcolm’s a new man

Stephanie Laurens has accomplished something astounding with her latest historical novel.

Malcolm Sinclair was a villain in a couple of Laurens’ past books. He wasn’t evil but was a mastermind whose schemes often resulted in tragedy. Stricken with guilt, he jumped off a bridge and was presumed dead in her novel A Taste of Innocence.

But his body washed up near a monastery. A doctor there saved his life, and Sinclair took on an alter ego, Thomas Glendower, a really good guy who spent five years at the monastery recovering from his injuries. Then he went home to find his elderly housekeepers had retired and that his old friend Rose had taken over that task. Rose and her children are actually running from a man who threatened them, and Thomas vows to keep them safe.

What’s astounding about this book is the way Laurens transformed Sinclair into Thomas; how she turned a bad guy into an awe-inspiring hero. The way she converged storylines from different books yet still produced a tale that can stand on its own is impressive.

Some parts drag with unnecessary description, but the rest of the book counters those scenes. There is a mystery weaved throughout with an interesting resolution. And while Thomas believes fate will deny him a future with Rose and the children, he discovers that sometimes fate does indeed smile upon you

Lezlie Patterson reviewed this book for McClatchy Tribune Services.

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