Secrets Of The Night - Jo Beverley I don't like reading about adultery in my romances, nor do I like opening up a book only to find it's smack dab in the middle of a series. This book fits both scenarios but, much to my surprise, I couldn't tear myself away from it.

Rosa is married to Digby, a sickly, older man, who has been unable to impregnate her. When Digby dies their home will pass into the hands of a nephew who belongs to a fanatical religious cult. In order to prevent this Digby encourages Rosa to find herself a handsome young man to get her with child.

Sheltered Rosa loves Digby but he's always been more of a protector than a lover. When she was seventeen she was gravely injured and her face was scarred. Digby saved her life by proposing marriage. Because of her scars she has been living life as a hermit and, although she is frightened by Digby's request, it reawakens her adventurous nature and she agrees to his plan.

So Rosa dons a mask and heads to a masquerade ball to find an "easy" man (as if that would be difficult!). But the men she meets repulse her and she decides to head back to the safety of her home. This is where she finds the hero who is laying unconscious in the middle of the street. She brings him to a friends home and nurses him throughout the night. When he awakens he has no memory but is so grateful to the still masked Rosa that he offers her payment. She's very attracted to him and impulsively decides to ask him to make love to her and he agrees. Well, duh. During their time together something unexpected happens -- they fall in love.

What follows is a very sensuous love story written with wry humor about two wonderful characters caught in an impossible situation. I ached for them and was not turned off at all by the adultery plot because of the way it was presented and because all of the characters involved were warm, loving and kind people. I couldn't tear myself away from this love story until the last quarter when the couple faced a necessary separation and an intrigue subplot took over center stage. I'm very glad I read this story and I can honestly say that it stands alone very nicely even if you haven't read the previous "Malloren" books.