Nick Stanton, the current Earl of Vail, begins as a younger son in the military, fighting Napoleon. Mary Winters, is the vicar's daughter, whom he impregnates before leaving for Waterloo. Nick returns from the war, but doesn't contact Mary for seven years, nor does he know he has a son.

Mary, meanwhile, has reared her son as his governess, while she works for a merchant and his wife. The evil merchant, Marcus Traywick, has designs on Mary. Thus begins her flight from him and her reunion with Nick.

Nick and Mary battle to regain their lost love, the secrets behind his desertion of her and the journey to locate their kidnapped son.

Ms. Wilson does a superb job of plot development, retaining the reader's interest with the next twist and turn as well as creating two very romantic and likable characters in Nick and Mary. Hats off to a fine story and touching romance. SENSUAL (Dec., 300 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Michell Phifer