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The Naked Baron    by Sally MacKenzie order for
Naked Baron
by Sally MacKenzie
Order:  USA  Can
Zebra, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Lady Grace Belmont is new to the London social scene. Even though she is engaged to be married, her chaperone, Aunt Kate (Lady Oxbury) feels she should get out and enjoy herself before she settles down. Grace feels awkward because of her size. She is tall while all the other young woman are petite, and she feels very noticeable in a crowd. They are attending the Season's Alvord Ball and many men are there to look over the ladies and hopefully choose a wife.

One such man is David Wilton Baron Dawson. He's attending the ball with his Uncle Alex, who is in his mid forties and is still a bachelor. Both Wilton men are tall, dark, and handsome, and feel they will know all the woman who are present at the ball. David is captivated by Lady Belmont and immediately enquires of his uncle who this beauty could be. When Alex recognizes Lady Belmont with her chaperone, Lady Oxbury, he flees the party at once.

David is obsessed with Lady Belmont and soon introduces himself. He dances with Grace and walks her through the gardens where he takes liberties, all the while thinking he cannot let Grace escape and marry someone else. In talking with his uncle it is soon revealed that twenty-three years ago Alex was in love with Lady Oxbury (Kate Standon at the time). When her brother found them together he whisked Kate away and into a marriage with elderly Lord Oxbury - she lived in a loveless, childless world. Now a widow, Kate is back in London and Alex feels the old hurt return.

Both Kate and Grace are drawn to the Wilton men, but know that the Earl of Standon would not approve. Kate has revealed to Lady Belmont why she could never be with Alex now, even though she is a widow, and why her brother would never approve of the younger Wilton as a suitor for Lady Belmont. Family secrets are brought to light after being buried for years. Lady Belmont tries to do what she thinks is right but true love conquers all and she is forced to stand against the Earl of Standon. The Naked Baron is a steamy, sexy tale of lost love, new love, and tasting all life has to offer.

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