The fine hand of Emily Hendrickson crafts a charming pastiche for our reading entertainment.

Miss Anne Haycroft does not want to get married, especially to a man of her greedy uncles choice. But how can she avoid such a fate? The law says that she cannot be forced into marriage, but that fact will do her no good if she must remain in her uncles custody.

A chance encounter in a church with Justin, Lord Rochford, provides a possible solution. If she stays with his aunt for the few weeks remaining until her coming of age, her uncle will then no longer have the power to force her into marriage.

These best-laid plans, however, go quite a bit awry thanks to a malevolent gossip and the machinations of her unpleasant guardian. When the chips are down, the lovely lady finds a true champion in the form of her handsome benefactor. But as gratitude turns to love, can she hope that he will return her feelings?

Although the logic is often questionable and the romance is only sketchily developed, Ms. Hendricksons vividly authentic Regency ambiance will delight her many fans. (Sep., 221 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer