Splendid storyteller Eileen Putman dazzles us again with another triumphant love story brimming with originality and style.

It is with great reluctance that Miss Amanda Fitzhugh abandons her cottage by the sea to help prepare her young cousin for her London Season. Still, her duty is clear, and after ten years of virtual self-exile resulting from a scandalous encounter with a rake at Vauxhall Gardens, she is no longer an innocent young girl subject to the lure of passion.

For his part, Simon, the new earl of Sommersby, has no place for passion in his life. A former soldier who well knows the value of discipline and control, he has every intention of fulfilling his duty to the title by choosing a wife logically and dispassionately.

But when the earl decides to court Amanda's charge and invites them to his haunted castle, it soon becomes clear that love will not abide by the rules he has so carefully defined.

What a splendid feast for the senses Ms. Putman sets before us! Each and every character is colorfully developed, while the plot twists and turns in fresh and unusual ways. And for the piece de resistance, there are the ghosts... (Oct., 223 pp., $4.50)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer