Superstar Patricia Oliver makes our day with another powerhouse Regency love story that holds us in thrall from first page until last.

Athena Standish has resigned herself to her solitary state, having discovered that the only offers a beautiful but impoverished young widow receives are totally dishonorable. At least she has known true love once, even though her runaway marriage to an earl's younger son resulted in their being cut off by both families.

At first when she meets young Peregine Steele, she is charmed by his youthful adoration and kindness to her child. So it is understandable that she allows herself to dream once again of a home and a loving husband.

But the Earl of St. Aubyn is not about to allow his young son to be ensnared by a fortune-hunter, no matter how beautiful she is. And so he devises a ruthless scheme to separate the disparate lovers and prevent their marital union.

Fate, however, has a still different plan in mind, but will the true lovers see clearly enough in time?

Each and every novel a work of art, Ms. Oliver's new romance shines with the lustrous beauty of impeccable craftsmanship, richly textured characters and powerful emotion. (Aug., 215 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer