Trust Elisabeth Fairchild to do what can't be done and do it exceedingly well.

Lord Dunstan Hay, Earl of Erroll, is absolutely determined to avoid matrimony. In spite of his mother's protestations, he feels no need to get an heir when numerous relatives are available to continue the family name. Not for him an unhappy marriage like that of his parents.

All that changes, however, when he meets the scandalous Lady Bainbridge, who not only has dared to leave her husband but fully intends to divorce him as well. To his astonishment, the earl finds himself defending the lady in public as well as private.

He is rewarded for his care and concern by being named in a countersuit by the lady's brutal husband. Is there an honorable way out for two people whose initial wary relationship turns into something unexpectedly deeper?

Always a creative breath of fresh air, Ms. Fairchild wonderfully captures our imaginations as well as our hearts with this mesmerizingly unusual romance. (Dec., 224 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer