Raleigh's first book in her new Regency-set trilogy takes place in a small country village, far from London. It's intriguing to watch the hero and heroine's relationship unfold. Despite a somewhat slow start, the pace picks up, and this novel races to a strong finish.

Best friends Frederick, Ian and Raoul were devastated to learn of the death of their schoolmaster and surrogate father, Mr. Dunnington. They're equally stunned to realize he's left them each a large sum of money that's somehow related to their real fathers.

Frederick sets out to visit his father to shed light on the mystery. On the way, a rainstorm forces him to take refuge in a small inn. Innkeeper Portia Walker is one of the most beautiful women he has ever seen, and as Frederick unravels his family's secret, he finds himself falling in love with Portia, who has secrets of her own. (Zebra, Mar., 329 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Linda Roberts