An extraordinary new talent dazzles us with a remarkable tale of love and intrigue in Regency England.

At first glance, Miss Amelia Mapleton is not impressed with Mr. Anthony Talbot, younger brother of the reclusive Earl of Rutlidge. Harassed into partnering his best friend's beautiful cousin on the dance floor of Almack's, Talbot can only hope that his indifferent attitude will put an abrupt end to any romantic aspirations on her part. But just who comes out the victor in the ensuing duel of wits?

As intrigued by the lady as he might be, Talbot has no room for romance in his life at this time. Not only does he diligently care for his brother's estates, but his midnight sorties into a far different London consume all his remaining attention. Only the arrival of his brother to taste the delights of town life for the first time can divert him from his mysterious purpose.

It is here that this superb romance takes an unexpected turn into pure magic. Without revealing too much of the wondrous joy in store for lucky readers, Ms. Lansdowne creates characters you will never forget and will meet over and over again in your dreams. Brava, Ms. Lansdowne! (July, 347pp., $3.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer