Bored by Regency England, dashing Alexandre Drake, Viscount Saint Just, and his sober sidekick Sterling Balder (Maggie Needs an Alibi, 2002) decide to hang around 21st-century New York and give their creator Maggie Kelly continued agita.
Maggie’s so mad that her on-the-page Saint Just’s forays into detection prevent We Are Romance from considering him a romantic hero that she threatens to boycott their convention this year—until her in-my-living-room Saint Just points out that if he wins the convention’s costume competition, he and Balder will have the money to sublet an apartment down the hall. But the convention’s a disaster. Superstar writer Felicity Boothe Simmons gets a threat via gorilla-a-gram; someone releases a zillion mice in the hallways; food poisoning lays low Maggie’s publisher Bernie Toland-James and her agent Tabitha Leighton; all the elevators go on the blink, trapping Maggie and her pregnant friend Virginia Neuendorf between the floors just as the contractions start, and attendees leave in droves. Even conference chair Bunny Wilkinson flees, leaving put-upon assistant Martha Kolowsky to coordinate the showdown among cover-models Giancarlo, Damien, and Lucious. But it’s murder that sends Saint Just into action, forging an unlikely bond between the highborn hero and NYPD’s down-to-earth Steve Wendell, his rival for Maggie’s heart.
Michaels need not fear that Maggie’s novels will lose their romance status if they offer as little mystery and as much soap as this fare.