Veteran author Valerie King rides on Lord Byron's coattails one more time to bring us another Regency love story for our reading pleasure.

Rumor has it that a kiss from Lord Byron assures a young lady both love and adventure. So it is not at all surprising when the beautiful daughter of the Duke of Amesbury decides to avail herself of at least one touch, even if she has to ambush him at a masquerade at Vauxhall.

To her bemusement, adventure immediately comes her way in the tantalizing form of Viscount Richland, an enigmatic nabob recently returning from India, who has his own reasons for seeking out Lady Alison. But there's a lot more to the lady than Richland realizes; her compassionate heart turns out to hold the key to the mysteries of his past and his hopes for the future.

Although inappropriate use of slang drains power from emotional moments, Ms. King is making great strides as a Regency storyteller. (May, 222 pp., $4.50)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer