The talented Allison Lane transforms the elements of Regency farce into an ultimately heartwarming romance as two lonely people struggle to deal with their unfortunate situations.

First, Miss Alexandra Meredith Vale finds herself at point non plus when her despicable gamester father commands that she marry at once. Her dowry will be the estate he recently won from Lord Linden. But how can she avoid a bevy of fortune hunters and find a husband who will appreciate her lively intelligence and scholarly pursuits?

Tony Linden is equally determined to get back what his father lost at the card tables, even if the only way to do it is through a marriage of convenience. His notorious reputation, however undeserved, will be a stumbling block in winning the hand of the heiress. Perhaps if she got to know him under a different name she would appreciate the merits of his true character.

Thus, Anthony Torwell, archeologist and scholar, meets the heiress companion, a lady of independent thought with a passion for the Roman ruins shes excavating. Neither realize that their impulsive masquerades will lead to lasting love.

Although the dual deception extends far beyond most readers patience, Ms. Lane skillfully manages her fascinating characters to a nicely realized happy ending. (Nov., 221 pp.,$4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer