THE DIARY OF COZETTE
McIntyre's first-person narrative is persuasive, because of its modern [but not jarring] sensibility regarding women's position in 1800s society. The story is more traditional, in terms of language and plot, and the unlikely combination is quite beguiling.
The lessons come in handy when Cozette is taken in by Lord and Lady Archibald, given work as a maid and encounters Lord François Deavereux. Their affair leads to disillusionment when he plays Cozette false; even taking other lovers doesn't heal her heart. But a secret kept by one of the Archibalds' other servants just may help. (SPICE, Oct., 432 pp., $13.95)