The fine talent of Jean Ewing produces a splendid new addition to the Acton family chronicles, which are fast becoming positively addictive.

Fitzroy Monteith Mountfitchet, Viscount Tarrant, is most definitely a rake. He is also a passionately loyal soldier determined to do his duty whether it be on the battlefield or in the boudoir. Someone has threatened Wellington's life, and Tarrant is determined to let nothing stand in the way of his finding out just who, what, when and where.

But duty is a double-edged sword as he discovers the night he learns that his brother has run off with Lady Joanna Acton, a young lady still in the schoolroom. There is only one way to prevent a scandal of the highest proportions, and within a week Tarrant finds himself a bridegroom.

Lady Joanna, however, is not the foolish schoolgirl he expected. Not only does she have a mind, she also possesses both the talent and determination of a serious painter. How can he resist her extraordinary combination of beauty, intelligence and fiery spirit and complete his critical mission?

Connoisseurs will immediately succumb to the considerable charms of Ms. Ewing's complex hero and revel in the delights of her innovative plotting and powerful love story. Put this on your list of favorite books right now. (Dec., 221 pp., $4.50)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer