THE ARTFUL HEIR
A favorite Regency storyteller charms us with a nifty blend of romance and intrigue when a beautiful art restorer encounters love and danger in the wilds of Northumberland.
When Matthew Donaldson, the new owner of Donmore Hall, arranges for an expert to restore his recently inherited art collection, he is surprised by the arrival of the beautiful Miss Sarah Sterling in place of her ailing father. Unfortunately, the impropriety of allowing a single young woman to take up residence in a bachelor establishment would seem to make it impossible to offer her a chance to prove herself worthy of the commission.
Although a flood prevents her immediate departure, it's the arrival of a matchmaking relative determined to snag Matthew as the rich husband her beautiful daughter deserves that provides the proper chaperonage for Sarah to stay and begin her work. And it is quickly obvious that trouble is afoot when paintings begin to disappear and forgeries are uncovered.
Ms. Kirkland creates appealing characters, a sensitive romance and a well-crafted plot to hold us in thrall with topnotch Regency entertainment. (Apr., 224 pp., $4.99)