Veteran storyteller Valerie King offers a sprightly romp in which a spirited young miss has second thoughts about her betrothal to a handsome earl.

Miss Eleanor Marigate should have been relieved. She has at last mustered the courage to break her engagement to the stuffy, pompous Earl of Bucksted. Of course she had to waylay his carriage to gain his acquiescence. All she has to do now is play his fiancie for two weeks of public celebration, then stage an equally public quarrel, and voila! she will be a free woman.

Although few would understand her reasons for turning down the chance to marry such a rich and handsome man, there is no way that Eleanor can accept a husband so indifferent to the plight of the less fortunate. She herself has resorted to drastic measures to continue her deceased fathers charities.

So why is she so attracted to a man she does not esteem? Why does she feel dizzy when he smiles at her? Is there a chance that he could become a man of caring?

Although the heros change of heart is less than convincing and phrasing is occasionally awkward, Ms. Kings appealing heroine carries the day. (May, 224 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer