One of the Regency genre's brightest new stars warms the cockles of our hearts with a richly textured love story of two lonely people who find unexpected happiness together.

Miss Honoria Danforth is truly in desperate straits. Unjustly dismissed by her employer and literally thrown out into the snow, the young governess trudges her way to the nearest village to find transportation back to London. But a wrong turn leads her to the overturned carriage of a handsome gentleman laid low both by the accident and a burning fever.

Circumstances conspire to force her to announce herself as his wife to rescuers dispatched from a nearby inn, and to her horror she is required to share a room and nurse the unconscious stranger. But nothing could be more surprising than the shocking proposition her patient makes when he finally wakes up. Can she really accompany him to his newly inherited estate and pretend to be his wife?

Ms. Kirkland exquisitely crafts a heartwarming romance, creating full-bodied characters for a fresh and original tale of love in olden times. (Dec., 224 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer