Toombs takes readers on an interesting journey with a young woman determined to be something other than a servant. But the heroine doesn't mature or learn from her mistakes, and neither protagonist is very sympathetic. You'll wonder if the hero and the heroine can sustain a faithful relationship.
Rescued from an attempted rape by Jeremy Johnston and Philippe Manigault, she is amazed when Philippe wants to take her with them and make her a lady. In love with Jeremy, she heads west with the two men and becomes Monique Vaudreuil, putting aside her unrequited love for Jeremy and becoming a successful madam. Will she ever manage to find love and contentment? (AMBER QUILL, Dec. '08, 252 pp., $17.00)