Platinum blond beauty Amber Kazanov is the unacknowledged love child of Czar Alexander, so her prospects for marriage are few. She flees to England after overhearing her guardian sell her to an evil count.

A cousin in London introduces her to Miles Montgomery, Fifth Earl of Stratford, a grieving widower in need of a wife. Miles doesn't want to marry again—he lost his beloved in a terrible fire and was scarred by the flames—but he's attracted to Amber.

His defenses against new love and happiness are rudeness and cold indifference. But Amber is determined to overcome these obstacles when she compares Miles with the dreadful course her life will take if they do not marry.

Very skillfully done and with a decidedly gothic ambiance, this romance explores the need for each of the lovers to conquer the past in order to build future happiness together. (Nov., 352 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger