The elegantly civilized pen of Emily Hendrickson writes exceedingly fine in this pleasing new period novel.

Handsome man-about-town Jason Ainsley, Earl of Thornbury, can't think of a better way to pass his time at his aunt's country house party than to strike up a flirtation with the beautiful dowager Marchioness of Ware. After all, as a young widow, surely she would appreciate the attentions of such a skilled lover without the expectations of an innocent young girl.

Lady Georgiana, however, wants nothing to do with either men or marriage. Sold by her father to an elderly bridegroom who accommodatingly expired on their wedding night, she has been further disillusioned by the dishonorable approaches of supposed family friends.

Thornbury, however, is not about to let the lady alone. But has he finally met the one woman for whom his intentions may prove to be completely respectable?

Although a small subplot about smugglers peters out, this gentle, exquisitely crafted Regency tale is full of delightful, heartwarming romance. (Nov., 222 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer