Lady Elinor Ashworth is being held captive by her Aunt Sarah, who thinks Elinor is a French spy! Obviously Aunt Sarah has gone 'round the bend. But how to escape?

Stephen Chaplin, a second son who practices law, has helped many women escape bad situations over the years. He has just returned a young girl to her family and has stopped at the Horse and Cart Inn on his way back to London. A woman dressed in black with a veil seems desperate to get to London. Who is she running from?

Elinor reluctantly accepts Stephen's help to get to London. There she can stay with Mimi, her mother's former maid, who has opened a dress shop. But Elinor's real plan is to get to the War Office in London and relay a message to her father, the Earl of Ashworth, in Lisbon—and she must do that without anyone knowing who she is. Posing as a seamstress seems simple, until keeping up the pretense gets her in trouble.
McLaughlin pulls you into the story from the beginning. Her characters are well defined and you root for a happy ending in this easy read. SWEET (Apr., 198 pp., $13.50)
Reviewed by: 
Gabrielle Pantera