A novel that's lively and sensual, with just the right touches of humor, caps off Layton's final romance. The Regency world comes to life as a wickedly handsome hero, sharp-tongued heroine and her ditzy grandmother are drawn together. It demonstrates how much this multifaceted author, who died
earlier this year, will be missed.

It's been seven months since Phillipa Carstairs' betrothed rode off after their engagement party. Pippa's grandfather commissions Maxwell Sutton, the Marquis of Montrose, to find the fiance.

Maxwell seems foppish, but Pippa discovers that underneath layers of ennui is a charming gentleman with a wicked wit. She's sure he'll locate her betrothed, but she's not sure she's still in love with him -- Maxwell evokes feelings she's never had for another. The more Maxwell knows Pippa, the more he wants her. But whatever is between them must wait until her fiance is found. (AVON, Nov., 311 pp., $ 6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Joan Hammond