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Gavin Lawrence arrives in London with his brother Michael to claim his inheritance. He inherits the title of Marquess of Effingham and a dilapidated manor house, but no money.

With his scarred face, his rundown home suits his fancy and his embittered soul. But his "here again, gone again" mischievous brother involves him in a noble cause.

Michael comes to the rescue of Blanche Perceval and hides her in the mansion. Unbeknownst to either man Blanche's cousin, Dillian Reynolds, follows to protect Blanche. Hiding in the secret passage ways of the house Dillian plays havoc, not only with the servants (who think she is the ghost of the Lady That Weeps), but also gives Gavin a merry chase.

When he finally runs her to ground, she does not run from his scar or his frightening demeanor. In fact, she looks upon this reclusive American as mad as a March Hare, and Gavin does not disabuse her of the notion.

When the discovery of Dillian's father's journal becomes known she does everything in her power to keep Blanche from harm, including sacrificing herself. It is up to Gavin and his will-of-the-wisp brother to save her from harm.

Ms. Rice brings two marvelous characters together. With her mastery of subtle humor, THE MARQUESS will please the taste of the most discriminating readers. SENSUAL (Dec., 389 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Joan Hammond