The rising star of Andrea Pickens gleams even brighter with a poignant tale of love lost and found.

They were young and in love and thought their happiness would last forever. But, in one shattering moment of betrayal, their two hearts are broken seemingly beyond repair.

Eight years after his wifes infidelity sent him fleeing to the battlefields of the Peninsula, Julian Grosvenor, now Marquess of Sterling, returns home, wounded and weary in spirit. Still, duty calls for him to inspect all of his newly inherited estates, including the one located near the home of his favorite aunt.

Finding Miranda there is a shock. Discovering that she has a son who can only be his is an even greater shock. But discovering that he may have needlessly thrown away their happiness is the most shocking thing of all. Does he dare believe, or is all hope for them lost?

Ms. Pickens marvelously weaves together the strands of a stronger, wiser love with great delicacy and feeling, creating richly textured chracterization for our reading pleasure. (Aug., 216 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer