The quietly superb Evelyn Richardson just keeps getting better and better as evidenced by this deliciously piquant love story.

Lady Alexandra de Montmorency is in desperate straits. Her twin brother lies dangerously ill after draining the family fortunes dry at the gaming table. And when one of his creditors tries to reclaim his debt in the form of her person, Lady Alex knows that she will have to resort to equally desperate measures to save her family and herself from utter ruin.

And thus she embarks upon a perilous masquerade as her own brother and journeys to London to win back at the gaming table what was lost previously. After all, it is she, not her sibling, who has the head for cards, and how else can so much money be raised in such a short time?

Christopher, Lord Wrotham, would much rather be back on the battlefield with Wellington, but an army requires much in the way of supplies that can only be provided by judicious persuasion of influential government officials. Burt where to find these influential people? Where else but within the hallowed halls of White's, the most prestigious men's club in London.

Thus the stage is set for a lively and refreshing courtship. The stylish Ms. Richardson's graceful prose is sweet and smooth, with just the right amount of tartness to please the most discerning palate. (Feb., 221 pp., $3.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer