BEAUTY AND THE BARON
Angela Lacewood is the beautiful but penniless neighbor of Lord Lucius Daventry. Feeling that she will never marry and have a family of her own, she has taken in the disenfranchised of her community as her family, including Lord Daventry's semi-reclusive grandfather.
A veteran of the Napoleonic War, Lord Daventry wears a mask over part of his face. He's been dubbed "Lord Lucifer" because he roams under cover of night, to hide his deformities and protect his sensitive eyes. Lord Daventry asks Angela to pretend to be his fiancée to please his dying grandfather. In return, he will give her brother what he most desires, a commission in the army to his father's old unit.
But there is more at stake here than meets the eye… Deborah Hale delights with midnight ball, stargazing and a wonderful cast of characters. This is an enjoyable read for a pleasant spring afternoon. SENSUAL (May, 250 pp., $5.50)