Favorite storyteller Martha Kirkland comes up with a fresh twist on a familiar plot for our reading enjoyment.

It is a shocking proposition. Under its terms, Mr. Nathaniel Seymour would teach Miss Eugenia Bailey how to lure a hardened cardsharp into a game of chance. It is the only way to get back the ten thousand pounds lost to him by her foolish cousin.

Obviously, she needs the advice of a fellow scoundrel. Nathaniel, with his dashing good looks and reputation as a man about town, fills that bill. He, too, has his reasons for wanting her to succeed. So the prim and proper school mistress moves into his town house to prepare for a confrontation with the villainous gamester.

Eugenia, however, learns her lessons all too well, as it becomes increasingly difficult for her host to resist her innocent charm. Can he really let her go afterwards?

Ms. Kirkland creates engaging characters for an intriguing love story. (Mar.., 223 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer