In the second book in Gardner's Regencyset series, honorable military veteran Captain Gabriel Lacey rescues a lady being assaulted one dark London night. He's drawn to the woman, who is Colonel Roehampton Westin's widow, Lydia, and at her request, Lacey attempts to discover not only Westin's murderer, but also the identity of the men who killed a fellow soldier in Spain and let Westin take the blame.

With his suspicion centered on Lord Eggleston, Viscount Breckenridge and Sir Edward Connaught, Lacey tries to discover which was responsible for the soldier's death. Then as the suspects themselves fall prey to a murderer, Lacey gets caught up in a steamy affair with Lydia that leaves him mired in a web of mystery and romance as the novel escalates to its conclusion.

Lacey is a thoroughly likeable character, a man both physically and emotionally scarred by the devastating effects of war. Readers will eagerly anticipate the next installment. (May, 256 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick