Margaret Moore's Regency heroine is writing a romantic novel patterned after the delightful 19th-century purple prose she loves to read. The problem is that Lady Diana Westover seeks a real man to authenticate her research.

Edmund Terrington, Viscount Adderly, will make a perfect pattern for her hero. His reputed caddish interest in women and gambling recommend him even more. Following him and observing his behavior proves to be difficult but exciting, and certainly spices up Lady Diana's creative efforts.

Edmund, who also loves reading romance novels, decides to turn the tables with a little controlled seduction. Naturally his seduction flames out of control, and Edmund must seek for the first time to repair his rakish reputation and become an acceptable suitor.

Moore uses excerpts from her heroine's novel to entertaining advantage and offers a witty exploration of the manners of Regency-era vacationers. Sensual (May, 384 pp.,$5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger