Innovative newcomer Donna Simpson returns for an equally unusual second Regency novel in which a cynical marquess and his estranged wife discover that their love for each other still survives despite the fact that their marriage has fallen apart.

They have been legally separated for over five years. Neither ever expects to see the other again. Lord Delafont has gone abroad, and Lady Emily has retired to her estate in Yorkshire. And then one evening, fate intervenes, and the recently returned Delafont sees his wife across a crowded London opera house

No matter. He has a young, eager mistress. Why should he care that a young Frenchman is ardently wooing the woman he abandoned? But when she comes to his aid after he is struck down by a mysterious assailant, he begins to wonder if they should have tried harder to hold their marriage together in spite of his mothers interference. If only they had had the child for which they had longed for.

Might there be a chance for them yet?

Although the resolution of several extensive plot threads is somewhat perfunctory and the pace sometimes a little slow, Ms. Simpsons tale will intrigue readers in search of something a little different from the norm. (Aug., 252 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer