Longtime readers will find the theme of pride to be a reminder of classic love stories while newcomers will enjoy this little battle of wills. Mortimer uses this plot ploy to drive her simple, sweet romance along and engage readers in the budding love between a stubborn young woman and a prejudiced duke.

Justin, Duke of Royston, adores his grandmother, so when her companion Ellie Rosewood writes of her illness he rushes home. The interfering dowager is the last of her friends who must make a match for her grandson. Justin agrees with his grandmother’s dying wish that he become Ellie’s guardian and launch her into society. However, when she becomes a success, he is strangely jealous. Initially, Ellie has no liking for the domineering Justin, but as time progresses she comes to respect and love him. Meanwhile, Justin comes to grips with his feeling for Ellie. Still, a surfeit of prejudice keeps them apart until they learn that pride comes before the fall into love. (HARLEQUIN, Dec., 288 pp., $6.50)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin