The gifted Evelyn Richardson is just like fine wine-she keeps on getting better and better as she amply demonstrates in her intriguing new novel.

To the wrath of her pompous brother and his greedy wife, it is Lady Sarah Melford who inherits her grandmother's vast fortune. But before she can blissfully escape to set up her own household, she is forced to agree to help her beautiful sister-in-law host a houseparty at the family estate.

It is no surprise that the name of Lord Alistair Farrington is at the top of the guest list. A dashing rake and charming companion, the gentleman is pure catnip as far as the ladies are concerned. But not for Lady Sarah. At least not until she glimpses the lonely man beneath the smooth facade. And then she is fairly caught indeed.

But Farrington has more on his agenda than pleasing the ladies. A secret agent for the British crown, he's on the prowl to catch a dangerous French spy. To his surprise, he finds an able ally in Lady Sarah, a woman of wit and intelligence equal to his own.

A superb stylist, Ms. Richardson impeccably crafts a Regency love story of superior merit for our reading pleasure. (May, 224 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer