Mesmerizing storyteller Donna Davidson returns with another compellingly original Regency romance.

It all starts back in the Middle Ages, when the Duke of Langcliffe deeds a piece of his holdings to his mistress, to be handed down through both male and female Thorne descendants. But there's just one catch: female heirs must marry by their 25th birthday, or possession of Thorne's Well will revert to the current duke.

Even in Regency times, the Thornes mean trouble for the Langcliffe family. Holding them responsible for his father's tragic death, Riordan Langcliffe is determined to regain what he regards as his property...one way or the other. When he learns that Miss Cambria Thorne is yet unwed with her 25th birthday rapidly approaching, he decides that all's fair in an end to her planned betrothal to the village vicar.

The true test of his resolve, however, comes when he meets Cambria and her family face to face. How can he feel such genuine warmth and comfort in the presence of the enemy?

Although detail verisimilitude is strained in places, Ms. Davidson wraps the reader in a bubble of powerful emotional intensity that will make your heart soar. (May, 288 pp., $4.50)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer