It is up to the Earl of Rochester's butler, Reeves, to fulfill the dying nobleman's wish that his two illegitimate sons become his heirs. Reeves sets out to find the older sibling, ex-privateer Captain Tristan Llevanth, and then teach him to be a gentleman.

Tristan left his life of high-seas crime to follow Admiral Nelson into battle. He was wounded when the admiral died and is resigned to suffering on land until Reeves brings the independent sharp-tongued Lady Prudence Thistlewaite into his life.

Prudence has had enough of her neighbor and storms into his house. She's ready to tell him where he can go when Reeves makes her an offer: teach Tristan to be a gentleman and she'll have the money she and her mother need to start a school.

Hawkins lets readers enjoy this delightfully wicked game of taming the captain and the shrew, bringing us laughter tinged with a few tears along the way. Her memorable characters and irresistible sense of humor keep the pace light and fast and the reader completely engaged in a memorable story. (Mar., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin