Discerning readers will rush to the bookstores to pick up a copy of this wondrously pleasing, highly innovative Regency love story.

Lord Adrian Chalfont, Marquess of Kidderham, knows his duty. It is his responsibility to provide an heir to the title, to carry on the family name to the next generation. And he doesn't even have to look for a suitable bride. Betrothed more or less in the cradle to the Honorable Alicia De Villiers, all he has to do is to send off the announcement to the newspapers.

But it's all so boring. And, in a fit of recklessness, he decides to spend his last night of freedom at Mrs. Lovington's Temple of Venus, a select establishment catering to the needs of noble gentlemen.

Creeping out the next morning, however, the somewhat-worse-for- wear marquess comes across a strange scene: the "ladies" of the house industriously poring over their copybooks under the tutelage of a diminutive young woman.

Who is this red-haired spitfire?

Determined to solve this mystery, Chalfont discovers an antidote for his boredom in the form of Lady Harriet Fareham, champion of the underdog and rescuer of the oppressed. But has he found his soulmate too late?

Every word a fresh delight, this irresistible love story features superbly appealing characters, plus fresh and original plotting in an exquisitely crafted setting. Reserve a place on your bookshelf for this jewel among jewels. (Aug., 222 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer