Desperation drives Agatha Cunnington to lengths she never dreamed of in her rural girlhood in Celeste Bradley's appealing historical novel, The Pretender. Her own pretending pales compared to the sophisticated realm of intrigues and invention among the renegades who dub themselves the Liar's Club. Whether he is scoundrel or saint, enticing spymaster Simon Montague Rain is the man Agatha must trust with the safety of herself and her brother James. It's a dewy-fresh tale laced with simmering desires as turbulent and enervating as thunder on the horizon. Tuck this treat in your beach bag just in case the clouds come out. Sandy Huseby writes from her homes in Fargo, North Dakota, and Minnesota.