One of the premiere new voices in Regency romance spins a fascinating web of illusion and love that glimmers with a rare translucence and grace.

Miss Prudence Stanhope comes to Brighton to partake of the healing balm of Mahomed's Baths in hopes of relieving an almost unbearable muscle strain. The very proper governess even allows herself to be "shampooed" by a masseuse, purely for medicinal purposes of course.

Imagine her chagrin when her attendant turns out to be none other than "Rash" Ramsay, a notorious adventurer recently returned from the Orient and the center of a bizarre scandal. But even though she knows she should ignore the man, there is something so gentle, so tender about him that she can't help responding to his overtures of friendship.

It can't be love, however. Her heart surely belongs, albeit improperly, to her married employer, from whose indelicate attentions she has honorably fled. But what is really in her heart, and will she have the courage to recognize it?

This exquisitely crafted romance glimmers with a quiet beauty and delicate perception. A jewel for your treasure chest. (Mar., 224 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer